Can Jazz Cast Out Its Postseason Basketball Demons? – The athlete

It’s hard to blame Donovan Mitchell for thinking it was another déjà vu, a nightmare they all wanted so badly to forget.

It was March 29 in Los Angeles, a place where the arena’s name had changed but the Utah Jazz’s tendency to crumble against the Clippers had not. How could they lose when they were up 25 midway through the third quarter? And why – against the same team that ruined their title aspirations last season with a humiliating finish in Game 6 of Round 2 – did they suddenly seem unable to hold a late lead?

That night, when the familiar doubts returned, as the Jazz lost their fifth straight game, 121-115, to the same Clippers squad that had previously tortured them, those were the sort of questions that prompted searing analysis from Mitchell , as was the case everywhere.

“It’s the same shit,” Mitchell told reporters after the game. “It’s literally the same.”

But was it really? That’s the question that came up so big after all this.

As another postseason draws to a close for Utah, with the Dallas Mavericks without Luka Doncic as their first opponent but their own basketball demons as their true opponent, the Jazz find themselves in a crisis of confidence that will have everything to do with how this ends. The widespread fear is complicated, with some of the causes being obvious (five straight playoffs in which they never got past the second round) and others far more nuanced. Can Jazz Cast Out Its Postseason Basketball Demons? – The athlete

Olly Dawes

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