Rudy Gobert on Jazz's Players-Only Meeting, Struggles: 'We're Not a S--tty Team'

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVApril 6, 2022

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 29: Rudy Gobert #27 of the Utah Jazz dribbles the ball during a game at the Crypto.com Arena on March 29, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Credit: 2022 NBAE (Photo by Chris Elise/NBAE via Getty Images)
Chris Elise/NBAE via Getty Images

Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert revealed Wednesday that the team held a players-only meeting Monday following a tough loss to the Golden State Warriors.

According to Sam Amick and Tony Jones of The Athletic, Gobert said:

"We got to sit together and just be honest with each other. 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... [...]
"Obviously, the good teams step up in the fourth. But still—we're not a s--tty team."

Utah fell 111-107 to the Warriors on Saturday despite holding a 16-point lead in the fourth quarter. The Warriors remarkably went on an 18-0 run to win the game.

The Jazz bounced back nicely after the players-only meeting, though, beating the Memphis Grizzlies 121-115 in overtime Tuesday to clinch a playoff spot.

Utah came through in the clutch during Tuesday's win, holding the Grizzlies without a point for nearly the entire overtime session and outscoring them 11-5 overall in OT.

Still, there is some reason for concern despite the win moving the Jazz to 47-32 on the season and putting them fifth in the Western Conference.

Notably, they faced a Grizzlies team that was without its top player in Ja Morant and another key contributor in Dillon Brooks. With a full lineup spearheaded by Gobert and Donovan Mitchell, most would have expected Utah to score a more comfortable win.

Making the playoffs hasn't been an issue for the Jazz over the past several years, but postseason success has largely eluded them.

Utah is about to make its sixth straight playoff appearance under head coach Quin Snyder, and in the past five seasons, it has not gotten past the second round.

If the Jazz are going to change that this season, they'll need to solve their penchant for surrendering big leads.

As pointed out by Ben Anderson of KSL Sports, Utah has lost a shocking 15 games this season in which it held double-digit leads:

Ben Anderson @BensHoops

Jazz blown double-digit leads resulting in losses this season is up to 15. <br><br>@ Magic<br>vs. Grizzlies<br>vs. Pelicans<br>vs. Wizards<br>vs. Spurs<br>@ Raptors<br>@ Pistons<br>@ Lakers<br>vs. Rockets<br>@ Lakers<br>@ Spurs<br>vs. Bucks<br>@ Mavericks<br>@ Clippers<br>@ Warriors

One of those defeats came against the Dallas Mavericks, which is the team the Jazz are currently slated to face in the first round of the playoffs.

The Jazz are 2-2 against the Mavs this season. But they have lost each of the last two meetings, and they aren't far removed from a five-game losing streak that ran from March 21 through March 29.

Utah isn't playing its best basketball right now, but the performance was better after the players-only meeting, generating some hope that the Jazz could be a tough out come playoff time.