The Utah Jazz were defeated by the Detroit Pistons 125-116 in a holiday trap game before Thanksgiving. The Jazz began the competition with an unusually flat approach that lacked the team energy we’ve grown accustomed to.
The Pistons, on the other hand, approached this competition with an extremely aggressive game plan and wasted no time in earning their fifth win of the season. The Jazz must be disappointed as the Pistons are bottom in the Eastern Conference and have a team record of 5-15 averaging 109 points per game but managed to score 125 points against Utah.
An NBA season is full of twists and turns, you win some games you should lose and vice versa. But losing games you’re dying to win at home doesn’t bode well for the playoff seedings, and the Jazz allowed a good opportunity to come by Wednesday night.
Five Jazzmen had double digits, led by Malik Beasley’s 29 points, 11 rebounds and five assists. The Pistons also had five double-digit scorers, led by former jazzman Bojan Bogdanovic with 23 points, five boards, three assists and a steal.
Revenge was visibly palpable in Bogdanovic’s mind, and he certainly delivered it coldly. Another former Jazzman, Alec Burks, scored 18 points and hit a three-pointer in the fourth quarter to seal the Pistons’ victory.
Scroll to Next
The loss lowers Utah’s record to 12-8 and currently sits 4th in the Western Conference rankings. Every game throughout the season produces winners and losers on an individual level, so let’s explore who’s who starting Wednesday night.
Winner: Malik Beasley
Beasley bounced back strongly from his previous lackluster performance in LA and was the Jazz’s player of the game. In addition to the above stats, “Threesley” shot 9 of 18 from the field while connecting with 8 of 15 three-pointers.
With Mike Conley unable to help the team, Beasley’s input is definitely needed. Jazz Nation should now be hoping Beasley is offered a multi-year contract extension before it’s too late as rivals lurk and plot.
Loser: Danny Ainge
Bogdanovic was in revenge mode against his former team from the start. It’s one thing to get traded, but being dealt to the worst team in the Eastern Conference after they’ve put in a performance and contributed to a winning culture must make the trade for “Bogey” even worse.
He checks the Jazz roster and finds that Jordan Clarkson and Mike Conley remain on a team rumored to be starting from scratch. He can also see the Jazz can spread defense and dump three balls, a skill he possesses.
Jazz Nation will now be wondering what the Jazz rotation would be like if Bogey had stayed on that team under coach Will Hardy. We’ll probably never know. But jazz exec Danny Ainge was on the losing side and may have let a jewel escape.
Winner: Detroit Pistons
Losses quickly piled up with an overall record of 5-15, but the Pistons miraculously defeated the Denver Nuggets and Jazz on back-to-back nights on the road. This feat should give everyone a glimpse of just how unpredictable the sports world really is.
But credit the Pistons with a win clearly driven by Bogdanovic and Burks motivation. Surely the Pistons will have a happy Thanksgiving.
Loser: Jarred Vanderbilt
We’ve all seen the leg kick and stumble against the Clippers, and Vanderbilt played just under 22 minutes against the Pistons, by far the shortest minutes of any Jazz starter. The other four starters for the Jazz played at least 34 minutes and this should serve as a warning to Vanderbilt that Coach Hardy’s patience with his antics is running out.
To his credit, “Vando” plays hard, is a good defender, can defend multiple positions and shares the ball. But he’s a liability in several categories as a scheduled opponent for jazz. He commits unnecessary fouls, fails to hit a three-point shot consistently, and makes illegal mistakes during competition.
Vanderbilt has been traded multiple times and Jazz Nation gets a glimpse into why he may have played for at least three NBA teams. His days as a starter are numbered as Walker Kessler is the defensive presence Jazz needs.
The Jazz are feeling kick-ass after that loss, but there won’t be much time to sulk as they take on the Golden State Warriors on Friday. For now, let’s celebrate a happy Thanksgiving!
Keep following Inside The Jazz Facebook and Twitter.
Subscribe to youtube for breaking jazz news videos and live stream podcasts!