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Utah Jazz remain optimistic after historic loss

Dallas Mavericks forward Dwight Powell (7) and forward Dorian Finney-Smith (10) defend Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell (45) during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Dallas, Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018. Dallas won 118-68. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)

Okay so generally after a 50-point defeat, spirits could certainly get very low and it may have for a lot of fans. But the Utah Jazz remain optimistic about their potential after an uneven 7-7 start.

The team lost Wednesday night 118-68 to the Dallas Mavericks as the team only score 22 points in the entire second half. It was the second worst loss in franchise history, but the worst since the move to the Beehive State. Jazz center Rudy Gobert said they simply got outworked.

“I feel like I’ve never lost by this much, but I have had some worse losses,” Gobert said after the Dallas game. “They outplayed us in every lineup and every guy we got up on the court against, we simply got outplayed from the first to the last minute.”

It was not all doom and gloom after the loss. Donovan Mitchell, who only scored 10 points, said he did not play with enough force, but he was hopeful he and his team could turn it around.

“There wasn’t much that I did to impact the game tonight,” Mitchell said. “We have two big games coming up … so I have to change that.”

The Jazz were the second best team in defensive efficiency last year at 102.9 per 100 possessions. This year, so far, they rank 19th at 108.5 per 100 possessions per NBA Stats. Even with returning the Defensive Player of the Year in Gobert, the Jazz have yet to find a way to consistently stop teams. The Jazz center says there could be lots of reasons as to why.

“First of all, teams come here with the mindset of attacking of us,” Gobert said. “You can feel it. You can feel that ‘we know the Utah Jazz last year’ in their head and they come into the game and they try to be aggressive.

“They know what we’re trying to doing defensively and they try to counter that by being even more aggressive on the perimeter and driving and kicking so it’s on us to go past that and just be the aggressor,” he added. “We’ve got to set the tone and when we start setting the tone defensively, things are going to go back to how they should be.”

The NBA has seen an uptick in offense as well and part of that could be the player movement, but the Jazz have decreased there as well in offensive efficiency. Last year they were 16th in the league at 107.2. This year they are 20th at 106.7. Point guard Ricky Rubio says this also may be because no one is surprised the team this year.

“Of course, they’re more ready and they watch more tape and we play the same system as we did last year and they pay more attention,” Rubio said. “But the system works, and we know but we have to do it 100 percent.”

Now a 50 point blowout can skew the numbers slightly, but the team just hasn’t gotten to the level they were at last year. At 7-7 the Utah Jazz remain optimistic, so maybe fans, for now, should too.

The Jazz have also traveled a lot. Throwing in home games between road trips may feel like it’s another road game because your still constantly traveling around. The Jazz continue its current road trip on Friday against the Philadelphia 76ers. Tip-off is at 5 P.M.

Another reason Jazz fans should remain optimistic, for now: