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There was a general sense that the Jazz had been falling behind a bit of late before rallying back and winding up OK, but there’s nothing quite like seeing it in stark black-and-white numbers:
Utah is 5-0 in the month of January in games it has trailed at halftime.
Asked what made his team so good at responding to adversity, coach Quin Snyder initially quipped with a laugh, “Well, I’d like for us to avoid more adversity!”
Then he turned serious.
“It’s a resilient group. It gets back to individual character. Those guys have a belief in one another, and feel like they’re connected in that sense,” Snyder said. “If one guy or two guys is going through something, they come together as a group. It’s natural for them. And I think they have enough pride in the team that when the team is faced with any challenge, that they respond.”
After rallying to beat the Pistons, Donovan Mitchell echoed his coach’s sentiments.
“Dig deep. Obviously, it’s tough when they got out to a lead, but we never stopped fighting and competing, and we finally came out in the second half and started to defend,” he said.
Week in review
• Anyone hoping for a quick return to the court for the Jazz’s contingent of injured players got some bad news Tuesday: Ricky Rubio, Thabo Sefolosha, and Raul Neto are all out at least another week, and Dante Exum will miss at least two more. [TRIB]
• Kyle Korver noted that while you never want to see a teammate injured, it usually works out “for the betterment of the team,” because it forces the remaining players to step up in unforeseen ways. That’s exactly what’s happened with Utah, as those still playing have embraced new and unfamiliar roles. [TRIB]
• Columnist Gordon Monson notes that, as a player who doesn’t average anywhere close to 30 ppg, Rudy Gobert is a somewhat nontraditional All-Star candidate. But he maintains Gobert belongs and should earn a spot in the league’s midseason showcase. [TRIB]
• Donovan Mitchell’s dominant moments during a 3-1 stretch for the Jazz earned him Western Conference Player of the Week honors. [TRIB]
• Speaking of which, since the calendar turned to 2019, Mitchell has taken his game to another level. Andy Larsen breaks down what’s working for the second-year guard. [TRIB]
• Andy also dove into Jazz player contracts after hearing that Gobert would get a $1 million bonus if voted an All-Star by fans or named a reserve by coaches. What other unique incentives do these guys have in there among the legalese and minutiae? [TRIB]
• Andy also made an appearance on FOX 13′s “Sports Page” segment on Sunday, discussing the state of the Jazz with host Morgan Vance. (FOX 13 is a content-sharing partner with The Salt Lake Tribune.) You can watch the video here. [FOX 13]
• Deseret News columnist Brad Rock catches up with former Jazz coach Jerry Sloan to see how he’s doing while dealing with Lewy body dementia. [Des News]
• Ryan Miller of KSL.com wrote about how rookie Grayson Allen, who has spent most of the season in the G League, has stepped up the past two games to give the short-handed Jazz some depth. [KSL]
• ESPN Stats & Info noted on Twitter that Mitchell is in some rarefied air — he’s the first Jazz player since Karl Malone in 1999-2000 to score at least 26 points in six consecutive games. [Twitter]
• Everyone always naturally looks at the defensive impact Rody Gobert has. Tony Jones, a former Jazz beat writer for the Tribune now working for The Athletic, is taking a look at Gobert’s improved offensive play this season. (Content from The Athletic requires a free trail sign-up or a subscription.) [The Athletic]
• Jae Crowder’s recent post on Instagram made “Bossman” a very popular Jazzman. His live workout — relayed here by the Jazz’s Twitter account — featured a guest appearance from none other than Ricky Rubio. [Twitter]
• Rudy Gobert appeared on Yahoo Sports' “Posted Up” podcast with Chris Haynes. In the Twitter post below are links to the podcast for both iTunes and YouTube.
• Aaron Falk, another former Jazz beat writer for The Salt Lake Tribune who now writes feature stories for utahjazz.com, wrote about the impact that center Ekpe Udoh has on the team whether he’s getting minutes or not. [Utah Jazz]
• Adrian Wojnarowski, ESPN’s guru of NBA information, revealed on his Instagram account that Jazz forward Joe Ingles — aka “The people’s trash talking champ” appeared on an episode of “The Woj Pod” today. Use the following link to check The Woj Pod website. [Woj Pod]
• Speaking of Ingles, did you know that his jersey is among the top-10 best-selling — in Australia? E-commerce sales figures from the NBA Store in Australia (operated by Fanatics) between the start of the 2018-19 season and December revealed that Ingles' gear is pretty popular in his home country — albeit not quite as popular as that of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Ben Simmons, Derrick Rose, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jayson Tatum, Kyrie Irving, Jimmy Butler, or Steph Curry. [FOX Sports Australia]
Quote of the week
Ahead of Tuesday’s game vs. the Pistons, much was made of the need to limit the rebounding of Detroit big man Andre Drummond, one of the league’s best, particularly on the offensive glass. Utah won the boards battle 55-38, with Rudy Gobert outrebounding Drummond 25-13. Afterward, the Jazz’s Kyle Korver was asked about his teammate’s dominance:
“Andre is big, but Rudy is bigger. … So for us to do that tonight, when we are maybe lacking in other areas — we have to be great with where we are good. Obviously, tonight, Rudy was great on the boards and took that matchup seriously and did a great job.”
Having just completed a four-game homestand, the Jazz have a road one-off tonight in Los Angeles against the Clippers. Then they’re back at Vivint Smart Home Arena for four more in a row: the Cavaliers visit Friday, the Blazers next Monday, the Nuggets a week from today, and the Timberwolves on Friday, Jan. 25.