This season has been a difficult one for the Utah Jazz. They’re young and inexperienced, and going through what looks to be an extended rebuilding phase after trading Donovan Mitchell, Rudy Gobert, Mike Conley and Bojan Bogdanovic.
But Wednesday night against the Dallas Mavericks may have put Utah a few levels of sediment below rock bottom. They lost by 50 points — 147-97 — and allowed Luka Dončić to tally a triple-double in the first half.
After the game, coach Will Hardy did not mince words to describe his team’s abysmal performance. Below is a collection of what he said.
On the team’s overall play
“That was an absolutely horrendous performance from start to finish. That was a masterpiece of dog----.
“I really don’t know how to describe that game. ... I haven’t been disappointed in our team very often this year. But I think tonight, from the beginning of the game — it’s hard to place what the reason is. But it seemed like the Mavericks were moving at a different pace than we were from start to finish.”
On the Jazz defense
“I think defensively, it was poor the entire night. When you play guys like Luka and Kyrie [Irving], you expect for there to be six to seven made shots in the game that there’s nothing to say about them other than they’re both awesome players.
“I was most disappointed with our defensive intensity to start the game. Obviously there are a couple of shots that are made that there’s no defense for. But back to work tomorrow.”
On the Jazz offense
“I thought early in the game, our offense was actually pretty good. We did a good job keeping it simple, finding the corner. And then as the game went on and they continued to make shots, it puts a lot of pressure on every offensive possession. That’s when our turnovers started to hurt us.”
On Jazz performing poorly after three days off
“Yeah, it is [more disappointing]. I thought we had two good days of practice. We had a shootaround [Wednesday] morning. You don’t get many pockets in the season where you get to practice like that. Obviously we’re down a lot of bodies, so the practices were as intense as they could be given our health situation.”
On what he tells his players after a game like that
“Bring it in. Back to work tomorrow. There’s no reason to kick and scream. They’re professionals, they’re adults. They feel like I feel right now. We’re always in this together.
“We win together, we lose together. So after a game like that, there’s really not much that needs to be said.”
On Taylor Hendricks playing well
“The time in the G League is paying off for him. When we get in these situations where we’re down a bunch of bodies and we bring Taylor up, it’s great that he’s been playing so many minutes. It’s great that he’s gotten a lot of live game action. He’s gotten to see himself on film a lot.
“He’s played well because he’s been ready from a physical standpoint. There’s obviously little moments in the game where I call a play that maybe he isn’t as familiar with. But on the defensive side of the ball, I think he’s been pretty good. There’s little errors here and there to clean up. But I’ve appreciated his intensity and I’ve appreciated how much he’s given us on that end of the floor.”