The Los Angeles Lakers — again without Anthony Davis and Dennis Schroder — had no answers for the scorching hot Utah Jazz on Wednesday night, falling 114-89 in a game that was never really close after the first quarter.
L.A.’s losing streak was extended to four, although they are now one game closer to the much-needed All-Star break. Veteran Jared Dudley got some legitimate minutes in the loss, playing his season-high at 14.
He also continued his tradition of speaking candidly about his opponent, this time focusing on the Jazz and their lack of adversity. “I think they’re the one team that kept everyone and their chemistry level with all starters coming back,” Dudley noted.
“They added Favors, who is basically a Utah guy as it is. How many years was he there? They didn’t lose anything, guys got a little better, maybe a little healthier. They’re a force to be reckoned with.”
As it stands, the Jazz are 26-6, and four of their losses came in the first eight games of the season. For the large bulk of the campaign they haven’t had any issues.
“I would be shocked if they don’t hit a little skid here with people missing games and you lose two out of three,” Dudley added. “That’s really the biggest thing: how do you deal with adversity? That’s what I’ve noticed so far about a championship team.
“I remember last year we lost four in a row. There was no panic in here, the locker room was still loud as could be, guys were still confident. We’ll definitely take a look at that (the Jazz).”
This is part of why two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo recently compared the Jazz to last season’s Milwaukee Bucks, a team that dominated during the regular season but fizzled out in the playoffs.
Perhaps the Jazz are an outlier, but every season there seems to be one team that follows that path of the 2019-20 Bucks. Only time will tell if the Jazz are this year’s example.
Dudley compares Jazz to 2014-15 Atlanta Hawks
Continuing his breakdown of the current iteration of the Jazz, Dudley compared them to yet another team, the 2014-15 Atlanta Hawks. Those Hawks — led by Al Horford, Paul Millsap, Jeff Teague, Kyle Korver and others, won 60 games in the regular season but were swept in the Eastern Conference Finals.
“Utah kind of reminds me of the year that Atlanta, I think they won 60 games,” Dudley said. “I would say the difference is they have a little more star power with Donovan Mitchell being able to break down a defense; Atlanta didn’t have that. Rudy Gobert, how he protects the paint, Atlanta didn’t have that.”
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