The Utah Jazz entered the 2021-22 NBA season with ultra-high expectations, and while the team is going to make the playoffs without needing the Western Conference play-in tournament, things have just been a little bit off. The team is 47-32, good for fifth place in the West, but Utah’s inability to close out games and rumblings that Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert aren’t always on the same page have led to questions about what this team can really accomplish, both this season and beyond.
On Tuesday evening, Utah was able to quiet some of that noise with a 121-115 win over the Ja Morant-less Grizzlies. And after the game, Gobert sat down with Sam Amick of The Athletic to discuss a recent players-only meeting that the Jazz held to clear the air with one another.
“We got to sit together and just be honest with each other,” Gobert told The Athletic about the meeting he said was the first of its kind this season. “It was the whole team. And for us, the bottom line was really the communication during the game. We’ve been playing well for three quarters; I mean, we’d be first in the league if the game ended after the third…”
He laughed — sort of. If only it weren’t true.
“Obviously, the good teams step up in the fourth,” Gobert continued. “But still — we’re not a sh*tty team.”
Gobert went on to say the ability to be open and honest with one another was something everyone found helpful, telling Amick, “that’s what was great about it. I think a lot of teams have those (meetings). It’s man to man. It’s great. We all need that, whether it’s your wife or your teammates or your friends, sometimes. It’s great to just express yourself.”
The Jazz have games against the Thunder, Suns, and Blazers left on their schedule. They currently sit a half-game up on the Nuggets for the 6-seed in the West.