The Utah Jazz jumped out to a 3-1 series lead in their first-round playoff series agains the Denver Nuggets, yet they blew a major opportunity, and now they find themselves on the brink of elimination.
Utah and Denver will square off in a winner-take-all Game 7 on Tuesday, with the winner then having to play the Clippers on a short turnaround. If the Jazz had won either Game 5 or 6, they’d have had the benefit of a bit more rest. Instead, they’re now a loss away from being eliminated from the playoffs altogether.
Jamal Murray went off in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s 119-107 win, dropping 50 points on an efficient 17-of-24 shooting performance. But Murray’s big game was nothing new, as he’s been destroying the Jazz all series, yet they had no answer for him.
And if you ask “Inside the NBA” analyst Charles Barkley, the inability of the Jazz coaching staff to make defensive adjustments was a major fail, which he stated after Sunday’s game.
“He’s been great,” Barkley said, in discussing Murray, as transcribed by Larry Brown Sports. “But that Utah team, that’s ridiculous. That’s ridiculous to let that guy go 1-on-1 every time and just torch people and get 50 points. I don’t like bashing coaches because they have a very difficult job, but that was (junk) watching that game tonight.
“You got one guy who just kicked your a– with that many points, and you don’t make no adjustments?” Barkley said. “And then with a minute to go in the game they start doubling him when the house was already on fire. You should have done that a quarter ago.”
We couldn’t agree more. The Jazz needed to do whatever it took to get the ball out of Murray’s hands, and force someone else to beat them.