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Inside the NBA Bubble, Utah Jazz are still looking to find their 3-point touch
ORLANDO • This isn’t the new normal the Utah Jazz want.
Nor is it one they expect to live with for long.
Over the first 64 games of the NBA season, Donovan Mitchell and company were the second-best 3-point shooting team in the league. They attempted more than 34 triples per game and connected on better than 37 percent of them.
Inside the Bubble, however, the Jazz have been flat.
Over the first three games of the NBA’s restart, the Jazz have been dead last in 3-point shooting (25.9). In an 8-point loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Monday night, Utah shot 27.9 percent from deep (12-for-43).
“The shots we got were good looks,” Jazz head coach Quin Snyder said on Monday night.
The Jazz certainly got open looks against the Lakers.
Mitchell went 7-for-17 on uncontested shots Monday night, per the NBA’s stats. Point guard Mike Conley went 4-for-12. Sixth man Jordan Clarkson was 1-for-8. And sharpshooting forward Georges Niang was 0-for-3.
Those numbers are encouraging in a way.
“Those are great shots and that’s the positive thing,” All-Star center Rudy Gobert said.
So Snyder’s message to his team as they continue to push toward the start of the playoffs later this month: keep shooting.
“It’s not difficult to keep sending the message,” he said.
Gobert remains confident his teammates will find their touch as they finish out the regular season on the NBA campus in central Florida.
“Donovan did a great job driving and dishing to the shooters and did a great job playing multiple actions and, you know, guys were getting wide-open shots and that’s what we want,” Gobert said. “Some nights the shots are not going to go in, but our guys, everyone, we just got to keep getting reps in. But I’m confident in Georges (Niang), Jordan (Clarkson) and Joe (Ingles) shooting those threes, they are great shooters and they need to make those shots. I think that’s where we have real potential as a team, we’ve done it many times this year.”
The Jazz knew it would be difficult to replace the sharpshooting Bojan Bogdanovic, who is out for the remainder of the season after having surgery on his injured wrist. Bogdanovic took 7.3 triples per game and connected on 41.4 percent of them.
It will take a team effort to fill in for Bogdanovic. But as the team prepared to take on the Memphis Grizzlies (Wednesday at 12:30 p.m. MT), Mitchell was confident his squad would regain its form.
“I think it’s just going down and taking those shots. I think the biggest thing for us is to continue to take them,” Mitchell said. “You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.”