An offensive rebound surrendered in the final seconds against Sacramento led to the go-ahead putback and, as a result, a loss to the previously winless Kings.
Then, 18 offensive rebounds surrendered against the Clippers led to 29 second-chance points — enough to swing that game in L.A.’s favor as well.
Now, with a Sixers team that features perhaps the biggest starting lineup in the league and which leads the NBA in offensive, defensive, and total rebounding percentage up next, you wouldn’t need three guesses to figure out what was on the Jazz’s minds at Tuesday’s practice.
“I mean, we’ve all got to do a little better, a better job collectively. It’s not just one of us or two of us — it’s got to be all five guys on the floor,” said forward Bojan Bogdanovic. “We’ve got to be way better. Last game, we allowed, like, more than 25, 30 second-chance points. So we cannot beat anybody if we’re not better on the defensive glass.”
Bogdanovic was particularly cognizant of the subject, considering it was the man he failed to box out — Harrison Barnes — who got that decisive rebound and basket for the Kings.
Still, the Jazz acknowledge there’s been plenty of blame to go around.
Donovan Mitchell, rightly lauded for again carrying the offensive load on a too-frequent basis, conceded he hasn’t been above reproach.
“I’ve got to get in there. I can’t just stand on the perimeter. … I remember where, you know, I missed two of them on one possession, just trying to out-jump people as opposed to getting hit,” he said. “It works on some people but doesn’t work on everybody. So I gotta be able to go back to the fundamentals and be able to box out.
“There's nothing that can we can't fix, nothing we won't fix,” Mitchell added.
The thing is, there probably isn’t a ton the Jazz need to fix, actually.
As coach Quin Snyder would go on to mention, defensive rebounding only became an issue during that two-game trip through California. Even after those lackluster performances, the Jazz still ranked sixth in the league in defensive rebounding percentage through Monday’s games.
But there were enough miscues against the Kings and Clippers to be noticeable — and costly.
“You want your team to learn from that, and the guys do, too. You know, it's simple, but sometimes you learn the hard way,” Snyder said. “Unfortunately, that was the case in that respect.”
OK, then, so what do they need to do, especially with the board-cleaning Sixers coming to Vivint Smart Home Arena on Wednesday night?
Snyder said it’s really pretty simple.
“You do it,” he said. “I feel like the last couple games we just haven't been as consistent with it. And that's hurt us, obviously, at key times in the game. I think with them, there has to be an even greater awareness because they put so much pressure on you. … You have to just make really quick decisions and know that that's a priority and that they're coming. And it's got to be collective, everybody's got to get in on it.”
Bogdanovic and Mitchell both agreed that the changes to come are not of a schematic nature, but of mentality.
“Just effort and focus,” said the former.
“Making it more of a primary focus, and urgency to try to do it. I think that’s all it is,” Mitchell said. “You know, we saw what happened when we made the defense the primary focus. And now we’re doing a solid job with that. … We’ve got to be able to withstand their aggressive bigs and be able to do it ourselves.”
JAZZ VS. 76ERS
At Vivint Smart Home Arena
Tipoff • Wednesday, 7 p.m.
TV • ATTSN
Radio • 1280 AM, 97.5 FM
Records • Jazz 4-3, 76ers 5-1
Last meeting • Sixers, 114-97 (Dec. 27, 2018)
About the Jazz • Donovan Mitchell is off to an efficient start, averaging 25.7 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 3.3 assists, while shooting 52.0% overall and 44.4% from 3-point range. … Reserve guard Dante Exum was a full participant in Tuesday’s practice, while Emmanuel Mudiay was a partial participant. … Monday and Tuesday marked Utah’s first two-day break between games since the regular season started.
About the 76ers • Philadelphia was handed its first defeat of the season on Monday night in Phoenix, as the Suns prevailed 114-109. … Center Joel Embiid will be returning from a two-game suspension handed down for an altercation with Wolves center Karl-Anthony Towns. … Through Monday’s games, the Sixers’ size has given them the league leads in offensive rebounding percentage, defensive rebounding percentage, and total rebounding percentage.