SALT LAKE CITY —It was a short press conference for Utah Jazz coach Quin Snyder following Utah’s 115-99 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday.
Really short, actually. The Jazz coach was asked a single question.
To the media, the short presser made sense. There didn’t appear to be that much to talk about. It was a blowout win against a bad team. It was a game that didn't have much intrigue. But in his lone answer, Snyder may have given it some. Or at least gave it some meaning.
Snyder didn't discuss how the Jazz built a 38-point lead in the second half, he talked about how they didn't keep it. It was clear the head coach wasn't fully satisfied with the victory.
The Jazz are all about developing habits. A lackluster finish isn't the type of habit he wants to see creep into his squad.
“Being precise on offense — which I don’t think we were as precise as we needed to be,” Snyder said. “And the mental toughness to continue to focus.”
He pointed to Donovan Mitchell’s fourth foul on a reach in early in the third quarter. And how the Jazz defense became a shell of its normal self at the end of the contest. Mistakes that didn't hurt the Jazz on Friday, but might down the road.
“Obviously, if you have a lead, it is what it is. But I’d like t see us not give up 50 points in the last 16 minutes of the game,” Snyder said. “I think we can do better than that if we are focused.”
The poor ending — Cleveland outscored Utah 39-22 in the final quarter — can be explained away by the fact the Jazz had a huge lead in the third quarter and that the Jazz emptied their bench in the fourth quarter. But it’s the habit of playing a complete game that Snyder wants to instill — and that didn’t happen on Friday.
“We just have to keep building good habits,” Kyle Korver said. “We obviously played a good first three quarters. The fourth quarter wasn’t quite what we wanted. But a win is a win. It’s all about habits right now. We have a nice little stretch going; it’s easy to kind of get comfortable. But we got a lot of big games coming, so we can’t do that.”
The Jazz have feasted on a favorable schedule during their six-game winning streak, but things are about to get a little more difficult — six of their ten games before the All-Star break will be against teams currently in the playoffs. The Jazz will play the Denver Nuggets, Portland Trail Blazers, Houston Rockets, San Antonio Spurs and Golden State Warriors during that stretch.
“You want to play 48 minutes,” Korver said. “I thought we played a great first half. The third quarter we had a little bit of slippage and the fourth quarter wasn't our best. If you want to be a great team, you have to be able to play for 48 minutes.”