A clean look at the very end – a chance for the Utah Jazz to win and tie the series.
The grip, the dribble and the side step – all the hope of this jazz team which flies through the air in one fell swoop.
The ball hits the back of the rim – the air and the joy go out of the building.
Despite only having 4.3 seconds left in the game, there seemed to be so much time. It’s time to absorb the enormity of the moment and realize that this could be the end of an era.
Bojan Bogdanovic hit two game-winning goals in his time with the Utah Jazz. He had been arguably the Jazz’s best player in the first four games of the first-round playoff series. He’s a career 39.2 percent 3-point shooter.
There’s not a Jazz player who doesn’t trust Bogdanovic with the ball in his hands beyond the arc in the dying moments of a game. Jazz head coach Quin Snyder crafted an endgame that saw Bogdanovic hit a 3 that would win the game. The Jazz executed the game perfectly, Bogdanovic launched the shot and…
“No better guy to take that hit,” Snyder said. “Everyone in the dressing room would want him to have that chance at that time.”
When all was said and done, the shot didn’t go in and a Dallas team that’s been trying for years to get over the hump and prove they’re better than their recent playoff outings, walked out of Vivint Arena. Thursday night with smiles on their faces.
The Dallas Mavericks defeated the Utah Jazz, 98-96, earning their first playoff win since the Mavericks won the NBA title in 2011.
Meanwhile, a team that started the year saying they had championship aspirations have found themselves with another first-round exit under their belt and enter an offseason of uncertainty.
This Utah Jazz team, this core group endured more pressure and had more expectations than any other year they had been together and they failed to rise to the challenge.
“I don’t think we had that much pressure on us as a group,” Donovan Mitchell said. “He’s a completely different animal and it’s the first time I’ve experienced that in my career.”
The truth is that this match is not just about this one shot from Bogdanovic. There were missteps throughout the night that put the Jazz in a position to need a whistle to win the game. In the games leading up to Thursday night, the Jazz gave up the looks and weren’t able to deal with the pressure from the Mavericks and those failures put them in a game 6 elimination situation. And, all this season , the Jazz failed to prove they were a cohesive, cohesive group that was ready for a long playoff run.
Last year, the Jazz finished the regular season as the No. 1 seed and died in the playoffs as injuries mounted. This year, the Jazz made sure to stay in the playoff picture, but put less emphasis on the regular season, but didn’t seem as connected coming into postseason basketball.
“I don’t think we had that much pressure on us as a group. It’s a completely different animal and it’s the first time I’ve experienced that in my career. — Jazz Keeper Donovan Mitchell
But, the Jazz entered the playoffs healthy, which means this team can be rated like never before. While previous iterations of this team have always had an excuse for key injuries to detract from how good they could be or how far they could go, this time they failed with nothing holding them back.
This sets up an offseason in which Jazz’s front office will have to make tougher decisions than in recent years.
Jazz owners are going to have to decide if this is the front office group they want to move forward with. The jazz brass are going to have to decide if Snyder is the coach they want next season. Snyder is going to have to decide if he wants to coach this team, no matter what it looks like. And together, the organization must choose how it wants to move forward with the list.
Losing in the first round means this team would be highly unlikely to return next season as built and while most of the pieces are still there at the start of the 2022-23 season there will likely be more moves made before that. the trade deadline.
That’s what was rolling on this one, on this series, on this playoff. Had the Jazz been able to force a Game 7, advance to the next round and play competitively or even have reached the Western Conference Finals, there would have been more reason to believe this team could bring him back once again. .
But, the Jazz wasn’t good enough, and now that change is on the horizon, their window of greatness is probably closed.