Sports / Utah Jazz / 
Chicago Bulls' Otto Porter Jr. (22) and Patrick Williams (9) and Utah Jazz's Donovan Mitchell (45) and Bojan Bogdanovic (44) vie for a rebound during the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, March 22, 2021, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)


From the comments: Will the triple-double drought ever end? Jazz have had lots of close calls

By Ryan Miller, | Posted - Mar. 23, 2021 at 3:38 p.m.

SALT LAKE CITY — The Jazz finished off a long long road trip with a 120-95 win over Chicago Monday. They had another near triple-double, looked like the dominant team from last month and are now set to start a home stand. Let's go to the comments.

"The broadcast last night and ESPN both reported that the last triple double by a Jazz player was Carlos Boozer back in 2008. That simply isn't true. Ricky Rubio to my knowledge was the last Jazzman with a triple-double." — Harvey C.

Ricky Rubio did record a triple-double in the memorable Game 3 against Oklahoma City in 2018, but official NBA stats don't factor in the postseason. For example: Karl Malone's No. 2 all-time scoring total only counts his regular-season points. So Rubio's famous game didn't end the long triple-double drought. It did show that it was indeed possible for a Jazz player to do it — something that is increasingly becoming harder and harder to believe.

There have been nearly 900 triple-doubles recorded throughout the league since Boozer had 22 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists against the then-Seattle Sonics in February 2008. None have been by a Utah player (unless you count former Ute Andre Miller, who did it twice since Boozer's game).

Rudy Gobert's 21 point, 10 rebound, nine block night on Monday was just the latest performance that's been excruciatingly close to breaking the long drought. It was the seventh time since Boozer that Utah had a player put up a 10-10-9 game. One player and one season, specifically, really highlights Utah's struggle to reach the mundane-but-sought-after stat line.

In 2013-14, Gordon Hayward had four games when he came up just one assist shy of a triple-double, another where he was two assists short, and another where he needed just a single point and a single rebound to reach the elusive stat line.

That's kind of been the case in 2020-21 as well. Gobert officially got the closest on Monday, but there have been plenty of players before him that have been on triple-double watch. Donovan Mitchell finished two assists shy of the mark in one game and two rebounds short in another, and Mike Conley gave it a run with a 14 point, eight rebound, eight assist line. But like so many before them, they've come up short.

While Jazz coach Quin Snyder said, "We're not looking to play for stat lines," he did keep Gobert, who had been listed as questionable right up until game time, in the game well after the other starters had taken a seat. The Jazz know about the drought, and frankly, it's clear they want to end it.

10-10-9 games during triple-double drought

  • 2010: Deron Williams: 11 points, 10 assists, 9 rebounds
  • 2013: Gordon Hayward: 16 points, 11 rebounds, 9 assists
  • 2014: Gordon Hayward: 17 points 10 rebounds, 9 assists
  • 2014: Gordon Hayward 23 points, 10 rebounds, 9 assists
  • 2014: Gordon Hayward: 17 points 10 rebounds, 9 assists
  • 2019: Joe Ingles: 11 points, 14 assists, 9 rebounds
  • 2021: Rudy Gobert: 21 points, 10 rebounds, 9 blocks

10-10-8 games during triple-double drought

  • 2009: Deron Williams: 32 points, 15 assists 8 rebounds
  • 2010: Deron Williams: 18 points, 16 assists, 8 rebounds
  • 2010: Deron Williams: 22 points, 14 assists, 8 rebounds
  • 2010: Carlos Boozer: 12 points, 10 rebounds 8 assists
  • 2011: Deron Williams: 19 points 14 assists, 8 rebounds
  • 2012: Paul Millsap 16 points, 11 rebounds, 8 steals
  • 2013: Gordon Hayward 18 points, 10 rebounds, 8 assists
  • 2016: Gordon Hayward 20 points, 10 rebounds, 8 assists
  • 2016: Shelvin Mack 15 points, 10 assists, 8 rebounds
  • 2017: Ricky Rubio: 16 points 10 rebounds, 8 assists
  • 2017: Rudy Gobert: 16 points, 14 rebounds, 8 blocks
  • 2018: Ricky Rubio: 14 points, 10 assists, 8 rebounds
  • 2019: Joe Ingles 10 points, 10 assists, 8 rebounds
  • 2019: Rudy Gobert 15 points, 16 rebounds, 8 assists
  • 2021: Donovan Mitchell 13 points, 10 rebounds, 8 assists
  • 2021: Mitchell 27 points, 11 assists, 8 rebounds

Other close calls

  • 2011: Earl Watson: 11 points, 9 rebounds, 8 assists
  • 2013: Gordon Hayward 9 points, 9 rebounds, 11 assists
  • 2015: Gordon Hayward 12 points 9 rebounds, 8 assists
  • 2019: Joe Ingles 13 points 8 assists, 8 rebounds
  • 2021: Mike Conley: 14 points, 8 rebounds, 8 assists

"Glad they won. But when is Bogey going to come out of his slump! 5 of 14 and 0 for 5 from 3's!" — Stanford O.

Bojan Bogdanovic is in a major shooting slump. Over the last six games, he's shooting 25% from the field and 16% from the 3-point line. That's not the Bogdanovic Utah fans got accustomed to last season. It hasn't been just his shooting, either. He's been turning the ball over twice a game, mostly on ill-fated drives, and his defense has been subpar. All in all, not a great stretch.

"Everybody has those rough patches," Snyder said.

Snyder has put Bogdanovic in the post more and called plays for him coming out of timeouts to try and get him more kickstarted a bit, but while that has provided glimpses of hope, it hasn't really sparked consistent production from Bogdanovic.

"Sometimes things just work themselves through," Snyder said. "I think that's probably the most common thing. It's not that you ignore anything. It's similar to a team. There's just an ebb and flow to the season."

There are two things most commonly associated with getting out of a slump; the first is to keep shooting. While Bogdanovic's attempt totals have dropped a bit, he's still putting over six 3s a game, so the attempts, more or less, are still there. The second is to focus on other parts of the game. Bogdanovic, to his credit, did that on Monday. His help-rotations deferred Zach LaVine at the rim numerous times, adding to Utah's dominant defensive effort. The Jazz often say that if they focus on defense, the offense will take care of itself. Maybe that'll be the case for Bogdanovic individually as well.

"I have incredible confidence in Bojan and the things that he does for our team and he's a big part and an important part of what we do," Snyder said.

"The Bulls are a team that the Jazz should beat like this. Let's see how they do when it counts in the playoffs." — M C.

The Bulls are not just a team the Jazz should have beat. They are the team that every good team has beat.

Going back to Feb. 10, the Bulls are 10-0 against under-.500 teams. It's just about the exact opposite record against .500 or better teams. Following Monday's loss to the Jazz, the Bulls have now lost nine straight to those upper-echelon teams. They lost to the Clippers by 19, the 76ers by 22, the Heat by 11, and now to Utah by 25.

So while the Jazz looked significantly better on Monday to end their road trip with a 3-2 record, it was against a squad that every good team has looked better against. So more data is needed to see if Utah is truly out of its recent swoon.

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