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Joe Ingles said the Jazz’s losses to the Kings and Clippers were pretty easy to explain.
“Realistically, if we box out in those two games, we probably win,” he said at Wednesday morning’s shootaround. “… Not saying we definitely win, but it at least puts us in better position.”
With Derrick Favors no longer around to form a super-sized front line with Rudy Gobert, part of the issue, he noted, is that Jazz lineups now tend to feature “smaller guys, more guards.” Not that he’s using that as an excuse. In his estimation, the team simply wasn’t physical enough in those games. Whoever is on the court, he added, needs to make it a point to put their body on the line to secure the ball.
“We’ve got five out there, they’ve got five out there. If we get a hit before they run in, usually not too many guards — or bigs, anyway — continue to rebound if you get a hit, or box out,” Ingles said. “So if we can be the first guys to make contact or get hits, I think we can get the ball.”
And that in turn, he added, will generate easier scoring opportunities for an offense that’s been too stagnant of late.
“It’s a good thing for us if we can get that rebound and take off — we’re very quick going the other way,” he said.
In case you missed it
Though the Jazz have largely been a good defensive rebounding team this season, miscues in that area put the issue foremost on their minds heading into Wednesday’s matchup with the Sixers, who come in as the top rebounding team in the league.
Meanwhile, with Utah’s offense continuing to sputter, Rudy Gobert said one potential resolution is to get him the ball more. And with veteran center Ed Davis out with a broken leg, Tony Bradley will get a chance to step up.
And you should definitely give a read to Andy B. Larsen’s profile of well-traveled Jazz forward Jeff Green, who has endured both heart surgery and a nomadic professional career, but who continues to be both productive on the court and well-respected in the locker room.
Other people’s stuff
• Sam Amick of The Athletic wrote a “Five X-factors that can decide the West” piece, and his third item detailed Mike Conley’s struggles with the Jazz. That bit includes an enlightening Q&A with the point guard.
• Also from The Athletic, Tony Jones wrote about how the Jazz went from an encouraging 4-1 to a worrying 4-3 in a 48-hour span.
• It’s no secret that Utah’s offense has struggled so far this season. Ryan McDonald of the Deseret News delves into some of the numbers to explain why.
• Ben Anderson of KSLsports.com dove into how the Jazz used their rare two days off between games on Monday and Tuesday.
Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons and the Philadelphia 76ers are at Vivint Smart Home Arena for tonight’s game. Another top Eastern team, the Milwaukee Bucks, will be in SLC on Friday. After that, the Jazz get their first look at the brand-new Chase Center in San Francisco when they face the Warriors this coming Monday. They return home the next day to face the Brooklyn Nets.