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Home / Sport / Jazz vs. Pelicans takeaways: Utah brings comeback victory in opening NBA rematch at Disney bubble

Jazz vs. Pelicans takeaways: Utah brings comeback victory in opening NBA rematch at Disney bubble



The 2019-20 NBA season is officially back. On Thursday evening, the Utah Jazz opened the action with an impressive 106-104 win over the New Orleans Pelicans. Under 16, the Jazz brought it back in the second half and held on to the win after Brandon Ingram’s late attempt from beyond the arc failed.

But while basketball is important, out-of-court action is also. As expected, everyone from both teams knelt for the national anthem before the game. Players also warmed up with the jerseys that said “Black Lives Matter,” and coaches from both teams wear special patches on their jerseys.

Jordan Clarkson came off the bench to lead the Jazz with 23 points. His energy and ability to get into the paint was key to Utah getting back into the game. Donovan Mitchell and Mike Conley added 20 points each. The Pelicans were led by Brandon Ingram, who went for 23 points and eight rebounds.

Social justice

Obviously everyone was excited to see basketball again but there are bigger things going on in this country, and the players made it clear that they wanted to use this platform to continue to fight for change and spread their message. . They did just that Thursday evening.

As expected, both teams knelt for the national anthem, while the players wore shooting shirts that said “Black Lives Matter”

;, and the coaches wore special patches on their shirts that said ” Coaches for Racial Justice. ” In addition, “Black Lives Matter” was painted around the middle of the crop, and players wore special slogans on their shirts instead of their names.

Clarkson provides a boost

The Jazz traded Jordan Clarkson back in December, hoping he would boost the much-needed score off the bench. Before the season closed, he was doing just that, jumping at 15.8 points and shooting 35.6 percent from a 3-point ground. It seemed like a sophisticated move for Utah but it took on even more importance now that Bojan Bogdanovic is out for the rest of the season.

Bogdanovic underwent surgery on his wrist and will not play in Orlando. That’s 20 points for every game the Jazz want to change, and a big chunk of that weight will fall on Clarkson. In the first game, at least, he proved he could handle the load. Despite firing 1-of-8 from 3, he led the team when he scored with 23 points, while also adding five rebounds and three assists.

His ability to get into the paint and create his own shot was crucial to Utah’s second-half change, as they bounced back from a 16-point deficit. The Jazz will need to maintain this not only during the last seven starting games, but also in the playoffs.

Zion looks good in limited minutes

A few hours before the game, it was not yet clear if Zion Williamson was going to play. The rookie had to leave the balloon for a family matter earlier this month and only canceled his quarantine two days ago. He returned to court for a few practices, but the team was cautious after failing the first half of the season due to knee surgery.

In the end, New Orleans decided to let him play, but only in extremely limited minutes. They were so strict about it, in fact, that head coach Alvin Gentry didn’t bring Williamson back to the last minutes. That decision could have cost them the game, but Williamson understood his coach’s decision.

“It’s just that I have my flow to the game back,” Williamson said. “This is the NBA, they are the best players in the world. You have to feel comfortable. I don’t want to hurt my team more than help me.”

When on the ground, Williamson was explosive, scoring 13 points on 6-of-8 from the pitch, while also doing what was perhaps the game’s play with a slick step behind his back. As opponents around the league found it, it’s almost impossible to stop around the edge.

Sloppy play

Each team played three scrimmages over the past week, but this was their first real game in more than four months, and it certainly appeared for bands. No team shot the ball well from outside, and combined to go 19-of-65 from a 3-point ground. And they struggled to take care of the ball as well, comparing each other with 20 turnovers of the piece.

As teams get back into shape of the game and regain their rhythm, and get more comfortable playing in front of no fans inside the balloon, those issues mean to disappear. It will be interesting to see how long that process lasts, however, and whether the teams will go back and shoot on all cylinders before the playoffs.




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