COMMENTARY | Now that they've lost seven of their past eight games -- and fallen behind the Los Angeles Lakers for the No. 8 spot in the West -- it's safe to say the Utah Jazz have hit a bit of a flat note.
Here's a breakdown of their current slump:
It all started when: the Los Angeles Clippers outscored the Jazz 36-20 in the third quarter of a 107-94 win on Feb. 23.
It continued because: the Jazz kept coming out of halftime not ready to play. They were outscored 32-19 in the third quarter against the Boston Celtics, 26-18 against the Atlanta Hawks and 30-17 against the Milwaukee Bucks. Maybe Coach Corbin needs to work on his pep talks?
The worst part: was an embarrassing 113-84 butt-kicking by the New York Knicks on March 9. The Jazz played so poorly that night, I'm pretty sure my old Brigham Young University intramural basketball squad could've taken them on. (I'm just kidding, of course, but back in '08 we did beat former BYU football star Harvey Unga and his cronies. It was wondrous.)
Stat of the slump: Four -- the number of games the Jazz lost by three points or fewer. The Celtics edged them by three (110-107), the Bucks by one (109-108), the Cavs by three (104-101) and the Bulls by one (89-88).
Valiant in defeats: Derrick Favors has been playing some pretty solid basketball in the past eight games. During that span he's averaged 10.4 points, 9.8 rebounds and 2.4 blocks in just 26.3 minutes per contest.
What's ahead: After playing their past four games on the road, the Jazz will finally return to EnergySolutions Arena Monday night to face the 23-42 Detroit Pistons. (Thank goodness!) However, after that, they're scheduled to play the Oklahoma City Thunder, Memphis Grizzlies, New York Knicks, Houston Rockets and San Antonio Spurs. (Yikes!)
Jared Bray, a graduate of Brigham Young University's broadcast journalism program, has followed the Utah Jazz since 2008, when he covered the team as a sports correspondent for KBYU-TV's Daily News at Noon.