Last season, the Utah Jazz looked like a powerhouse, finishing with the best record in the NBA and boasting one of the league’s most potent offenses.
They ended up losing in the second round of the playoffs to the Los Angeles Clippers in six games, even after Kawhi Leonard got injured and was forced out for the remainder of the playoffs.
So far this season, Utah has been a relative disappointment, and there are whispers that if it falters again in the postseason, there could be changes in order.
The biggest change that has been rumored is that head coach Quin Snyder could leave the team.
The Jazz Are Underperforming
Currently, Donovan Mitchell and company are only in fifth place in the Western Conference.
It is an underwhelming position since at one point they were 28-10 on the season.
The Jazz are still top in offensive efficiency, but their 3-point shooting, which was deadly last year, has faltered a bit.
This year, Utah is eighth in 3-point shooting percentage, which sounds good enough, but last season they were fourth in that category.
What makes matters worse is that the Jazz’s defense has fallen off even more.
In 2020-21, they were fourth in defensive efficiency and third in points allowed, but this year they have dropped to 11th in defensive rating and 10th in points allowed.
The Jazz could very well lose in the opening round of the playoffs, especially if they draw Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors.
The Golden State Warriors come back to win down by as much as 21 points against the Utah Jazz 111-107.
With this win they have now clinched the 2021-2022 Playoffs 🤘🏾 pic.twitter.com/VEBEGGbIVA
— MD.Takes (GS/WC/🇳🇬/) (@MDTakes) April 3, 2022
The Jazz recently went through a five-game losing streak, and in one contest they blew a huge lead and lost to the inferior Clippers.
— NBA BASKETBALL (@DejoseMark) March 30, 2022
Some Of It May Not Be Snyder’s Fault
The Jazz certainly have a strong and well-balanced roster, but when it comes to getting to the next level, they have a big deficiency.
Although Mitchell is, at worst, a borderline superstar, the team lacks a second bona fide star or superstar.
Point guard Mike Conley is a fine player, but he lacks the ability to consistently force the issue by scoring points and making defenses adjust.
Bojan Bogdanovic is the team’s second-leading scorer, but he is mainly a player who needs to be set up, and he lacks the legitimate ability to get his own shot.
Center Rudy Gobert is an outstanding rebounder and rim protector, but he too lacks to ability to create his own shot on a consistent basis.
Mitchell has shown that he can go off for over 40 points in any given playoff game, but to get over the hump, he will need a co-star or two at some point.
Where Could Snyder Go?
If Snyder is indeed fired, or if he simply decides to step away, there are already at least a couple of teams that are rumored to be interested in him.
The Los Angeles Lakers are expected to fire Frank Vogel very soon, and with LeBron James and Anthony Davis still under contract, they will likely prefer a proven head coach to make one final run at another championship while James is still an elite player.
The other hot rumor is that if San Antonio Spurs head man Gregg Popovich retires, Snyder could very well replace him.