Al Jefferson sat in a folding chair for which he was too large, his knees angled upward, and shook his head slowly. His lips stuck out in a frustrated pout. Mo Williams rolled gently back and forth on a rubber medicine ball. As minutes passed, the truth set in. Their bid to qualify for the playoffs on the last night of the season fell far short. This, they realized, was it. Just as it began, the 39th season in Utah Jazz history ended with uncertainty. Questions that six months ago were of how this team would come together now are of how it will be taken apart. Like all things that stop working, be they automobile engines or basketball teams that fail to meet franchise standards, the Jazz will be stripped down and reassembled. The freshest, most sturdy parts will stay, the rest will be scattered. Even though the Jazz finished with a winning record (43-39), an 86-70 loss Wednesday to the Memphis Grizzlies in the final game of the regular season halted late-charging hopes of a playoff berth. A blowout in a must-win game sent the Jazz into a premature, critical offseason in which as many as 10 players will be free agents. While all seasons end, the force with which the finish line hit the Jazz caught them off guard. They achieved a season-low in points while shooting just 32.1 percent from the field. "It’s different," Mo Williams said. "We wanted to give ourselves a chance at least."
Utah Season ends with loss to Grizzlies
Salt Lake Tribune | Apr 18