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From the comments: It's been hard to root for this version of the Jazz


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SALT LAKE CITY — The Jazz are now down to their last breath.

The Mavericks routed Utah 102-77 in Game 5 to put the Jazz's season on the brink of elimination. How is the fan base feeling after watching Utah set a record of futility by going 3 of 30 from deep?

Let's head to the comments.

"I wish all the fans would no show this Thursday and give the Jazz players what they keep giving their fans!" — pac21ace

The Jazz reported a sell-out crowd in each game this season, so the numbers say the fan support is still there. But "tickets sold" is different than "seats filled," and there were plenty of games with chunks of sections empty. That visual aligned with what seems to be growing apathy in the fan base.

That was probably felt the most at the start of Game 4. Vivint Arena, a place that has earned a reputation for being one of the toughest places to play a postseason game, had as much atmosphere as a Friday afternoon staff meeting. That's to say, it was pretty sleepy in there.

By the end of that game, things were obviously buzzing. There was even a sense that the thrilling finish and the poetic connection between Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert could help revitalize the fan base. Gobert offered up a not-fit-to-print playoff slogan and shirts were even made. Things were suddenly fun again.

Then Monday happened.

Oh, and the electric crowd at the end of Game 4? That's how it was for the Mavs' first defensive stop at American Airlines Center on Monday.

Don't take that as an indictment on Jazz fans — far from it. One team in this series is fun to root for, the other has made bringing the energy pretty tough.

The whole team got clobbered on the boards and should be embarrassed by the way they were out hustled. — Shadowpup

After Game 1, Quin Snyder said teams might have to start thinking twice about going small against the Jazz if they were going to have a 20-rebound advantage. That was a little over a week ago; it feels a lot longer.

The Mavericks outrebounded Utah by one in Game 3 (and held the Jazz to a single offensive rebound), Dallas then lost the rebounding battle by just three in Game 4 before dominating the glass in Game 5. The Mavericks got nine more boards than the Jazz did in Monday's game, eliminating what was once one of Utah's top advantages in the series.

So how did that happen?

"I think it starts with our defense," Gobert said. "Once again, when they gain an advantage, offensively, and then we scramble, they get an advantage on the glass, too. They were much more aggressive. ... That starts with me. I should do a better job."

The Mavericks had 11 offensive rebounds and 14 second-chance points. Jalen Brunson, usually the smallest guy on the court, had five boards himself.

Even after shooting a historically low 3-point percentage, Utah only got seven offensive boards. That's not great.

"I'll keep it simple. Something isn't clicking. I'm not sure what it is. Best record in the league last year. They brought back the same players but the team is very different." — TerrillMelville

Quin Snyder has said multiple times this season that just because the vast majority of the team returned from last year's squad didn't mean similar results were guaranteed. After an inconsistent regular season, it was pretty clear he nailed that one. The team managed the year with two eyes on the postseason, giving out what now appears to be nothing but false hope that things would be different come April.

They haven't been, and the blame can be spread around.

Mike Conley has been so far off of his expected production that it wasn't even a surprise when he didn't close Game 4. After a full season of minute restrictions and rest days, Conley was supposed to be healthy and rested for the playoffs. And if he is both those things, the Jazz have a whole other issue at hand.

Conley is shooting 32% from the field, 21% from deep, and has been held to below 10 points in three of the five games (and one of those he didn't score at all). While he's been mostly fine in pick-and-roll coverage, Brunson has made himself a lot of money this postseason going at him.

Mitchell has been way off the admittedly lofty standards he set in the last two playoffs. Gobert has been mostly fine, but far from the dominant force the Jazz need to win games in the postseason. Royce O'Neale has been Utah's worst pick-and-roll defender (and he's been put in a lot of them), and is just 2 of 11 from 3-point range in the last two games.

Something isn't clicking is an understatement. Why? Players are getting older and Utah has been so heavily scouted that teams know exactly how to get the Jazz uncomfortable. And losing locker room guys like Georges Niang and Joe Ingles hasn't helped matters, either.

Sure, the team is mostly the same, but different enough to feel the impact.

So the Jazz may need to change some things up for Thursday's elimination game. Will Danuel House Jr. and Juancho Hernangomez, who have been pretty decent off the bench in the series, get more run in Game 6? What about trying Jared Butler out to see if he can spark the offense? Will Rudy Gay make his first appearance?

None of those things seem like they'd move the needle much; but at this point, it wouldn't hurt to try.

"Honestly, I can't wait until I quit seeing news about the Utah Jazz. I'm so let down by this team I just want to push them out of my mind completely." — 1CommentIsNotEnough

Hey, now! Look, I get it, but I still can't help but take this a little personally.

Joking aside, with how the season has gone, expect a fair amount of Jazz news in the offseason.

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