Jazz keep struggling, searching for answers

Now mired in a six-game losing streak, the Jazz are quite obviously full of frustration.

The other day at practice – following that ugly 0-4 roadtrip – Deron Williams carefully chose his words while lamenting Utah’s offensive woefulness.

Williams, who scored 39 in a loss to the Spurs on Wednesday, is obviously frustrated by the team’s recent struggles, but hasn’t called anyone out.

Last week he said he felt if he did that, he’d look like a villain.

Instead, he has been willing to accept some of the blame himself.

“It’s everybody. It’s me, it’s everybody,” he said. “It’s my fault. It’s not going to be the same, I’ve got to learn to adjust. It’s been tough. You’re used to have spacing.

“We’re trying to run half of a system and half just freelance. We can’t do that. We’re not the Phoenix Suns, we’re not the New York Knicks, we can’t just come out and play one-on-one but that’s what’s happening. Things are breaking down and we’re going one-on-one for the last five seconds of a shot clock. We’re not getting anything good.”

Before Thursday’s practice session, coach Jerry Sloan blamed, at least in part, the team’s spotty energy.

The Jazz practically gave up Tuesday night in L.A. and were eventually blown out 120-91. However, a night later, at home against the Spurs, the Jazz looked much sharper, through still lost late.

“It’s interesting,” Sloan said. “When we got some energy, we got back in the game. You may be upset with what’s going on; you’re not getting the shots, the kind of playing minutes you want (but) your job’s still remains the same, to come in and compete. If You can’t do that, it makes it very difficult.

“There was a big difference in the game when we were playing with energy and when we weren’t playing with energy. A couple of hustle plays will get you going.”

At that, Sloan almost had a Dr. Phil moment.

“You can feel sorry for yourself all day, lay around the house and never get out of the house,” he said. “And when you come to the game, you’re still in the house.”

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About Jim Burton

Jim Burton has worked for the Standard-Examiner since 1991. He has covered everything from the preps to Utah, BYU, Weber State and the Ogden Raptors. Currently he is the Standard's Utah Jazz beatwriter and its sports columnist.
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