MILWAUKEE – The Utah Jazz rebounded from a loss on Saturday to beat the Milwaukee Bucks, 107-95, on Sunday, concluding their first long road trip of the season.
- The Jazz had just suffered a disappointing loss Saturday night in Chicago, in a game they played without Mike Conley. But the Bucks were also on the second night in a row after a tough loss to the San Antonio Spurs. But, the Jazz had the advantage of facing a slim list of Bucks on Sunday night. To their credit, the Jazz never really played like they faced an exhausted Bucks squad. They looked sharp and powerful on both sides of the ball.
- After a handful of slow starts from the 3-point line for the Jazz this season, they came out hot against Milwaukee. They moved up to 5 of 5 from beyond the arc to start the game before calming down, but it was a good reminder that this Jazz team hasn’t lost their ability to reverse shots. They’re still the same team that was one of the most prolific 3-point shooter teams in NBA history and they have the ability to absolutely warm up.
- Donovan Mitchell seemed calmer throughout this game. He read the defense more accurately and picked his points with more confidence. He finished with a top 28 points and made it from every spot on the floor.
- Jordan Clarkson didn’t have the best goal streak of his career in the last two games, but even when it didn’t work for him on the attacking side, he was fully engaged in defense and was directly responsible for some really big saves. against the Bucks.
- I know it doesn’t need to be said, but sometimes it’s worth pointing out how good Rudy Gobert is. He has so much impact and I think anyone who watches Jazz regularly can be spoiled because Gobert’s impact is just expected night and night. But he’s such a special player and it wouldn’t be impossible for him to get an MVP buzz this season.
- The defense as a whole on Sunday was much more focused and sharper for the Jazz. In particular, Gobert, Hassan Whiteside, and Royce O’Neale were huge in keeping the Bucks from really pushing hard at any point. Even when the Bucks made short trips, the Jazz were able to get enough back-to-back stops to almost wipe out MIlwaukee’s progress.
- It would probably be easy to look at Giannis Antetokounmpo’s stat line of 25 points on 50% shots with seven rebounds and six assists and think the Jazz didn’t do a good job defending him, and that would be a poor evaluation. The Jazz took a lot of different looks at the old MVP and they made him work pretty hard.
- For 99 straight games, Clarkson had hit at least one three-point pointer, but that streak ended on Sunday. Like I said above, he still left his mark on the game and was able to come down and put pressure on the defense closer to the edge, but it’s disappointing when a streak ends.
- It’s probably a little disappointing to come back to this subject, but the Jazz were clearly more settled with Conley on the ground and it’s great the stability he gives to this Jazz team. But the Jazz are going to have to figure out how to play without him. They will have to be effective on the nights he is not in the game, because there will be several of them this season.
- It would be really nice to come back to that game and see it as a solid win over the reigning NBA champions, but sadly the Bucks had so many of their regular rotating players that you can’t put much weight on this. Victoire . The Bucks were playing without Khris Middleton, Jrue Holiday, Robin Lopez, Donte DiVincenzo, Semi Ojeleye and Rodney Hood left Sunday’s game in the first half with a contusion to their right hand.