The Utah Jazz look to close out their series against the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday as they took a 3-1 lead in Game 4. The internet was abuzz with takes on Dillon Brooks and Jordan Clarkson, while the TNT crew pontificated about how just how real of a title contender the Jazz are.
Here is what fans and media were talking about during and after Game 4.
Can the Jazz win it all?
After the Jazz beat the Grizzlies, the TNT crew of Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith and Draymond Green discussed whether Utah is a “complete” basketball team, and what that means for its potential to win an NBA championship.
Johnson was definitive in his opinion. He has already said the Jazz will make the finals, and on Monday called them “the most complete team in the West.”
“I like the offense, defense. I like the bench,” Johnson said. “I think they have all the elements that make you a championship team.”
Green, however, challenged that notion.
“I can’t necessarily say they are the most complete team,” Green said. “But I think they can match up at every position.”
Smith then asked Green if the Jazz aren’t complete, what exactly was missing? Green wasn’t specific, but compared them to other powerhouses in the West.
“It’s not that they’re not complete,” Green said. “But are they more complete than the Lakers? Are they more complete than the Clippers? I don’t think they’re more complete than those teams.”
Barkley agreed with Johnson, and said the Jazz haven’t lost a game with their preferred starting lineup. The only reason they lost Game 1, he said, is because Mitchell didn’t play. Since then, Utah has won three straight.
“They’re really two deep at every position,” Barkley said. “I think they’ve got to be the clear frontrunner.”
While Green argued that Utah losing due to Mitchell’s absence makes it an incomplete team, he acknowledged the potential.
“They got a real chance,” Green said. “That’s for sure.”
Rudy Gobert misses a dunk
Gobert is a dunk master, and usually that is mostly where his offense comes from. But late in the game, he had an opportunity at the rim and it didn’t go so well.
To be fair, Gobert thought he got fouled. But fans were relentless nonetheless.
What Dillon Brooks does
Brooks has drawn the ire from Jazz all series. First it was him head-butting Mike Conley, then it was an exchange between him and Conley in Game 3.
So all throughout Game 4, fans on Twitter made fun of Brooks by suggesting he’s the most milquetoast of human beings, from potential music choices to suggesting how he eats food.
There were so many, and they were mostly humorous. Here is a small sampling of some of the most fun of the bunch.
Rudy Gobert’s situational defense
The TNT crew at halftime was missing Shaquille O’Neal. But in his stead was Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green, who provided a video breakdown of how the Grizzlies attacked Jazz center Rudy Gobert on defense.
Green focused on shots Memphis was getting in screen-roll — shots the Grizzlies are capable of making. And if Memphis continued getting those kinds of shots, Green argued, it could succeed potentially succeed against Gobert.
“The reality is we all know Rudy is an incredible defender,” Green said. “But if they want to beat the Utah Jazz, let’s make Rudy defend where he’s uncomfortable. Because he’s going to get involved defensively one way or another. So you get him involved where you want him at, or he’s going to get involved where he wants to be at. And if he gets involved there, it’s over.”
Kenny Smith then suggested that Green was essentially saying Gobert, a candidate to win his third Defensive Player of the Year award, wasn’t a good defensive player. But Green was talking more situationally, he said.
“It’s not that he can’t play defense,” Green rebutted. “This is the question: Is a young coach in Taylor Jenkins going to trust his dog enough to say, ‘I believe in you more than I believe in Rudy Gobert’?”
The crew seemed in agreement with Green at that point. Some fans watching the TNT broadcast agreed with Green’s analysis.
Gobert scored just one point and two rebounds with two fouls at halftime.
Highs and lows of Jordan Clarkson
Clarkson, who won the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year award, is divisive to say the least. He’s a true spark off the bench and can be downright exciting on offense, but sometimes how he plays causes a healthy amount of chin stroking.
The first half was another one of those dichotomous situations for Clarkson, who scored 12 points on 4-of-10 shooting and committed two turnovers.
Suspect defense early
The Jazz allowed 54.5% shooting by the Grizzlies in the first quarter. Memphis got several open shots, including from 3-pointers from Desmond Bane and Dillon Brooks, and plenty of drives into the point from Ja Morant.
Coach Quin Snyder said on TNT between the first and second quarters that the Jazz need to make Morant see more of a crowd. Meanwhile, fans on social media noticed the early difficulties from Utah’s defense.