Boston • Jazz swingman C.J. Miles called it before the game.
Miles said prior to tipoff against the Celtics on Friday that it had been about two weeks since Utah last had a team meeting. That gathering was a "real, real intense one."
But he predicted that if the Jazz did not rise up and meet a strong Boston team head on, another one could soon follow. And after Utah was destroyed by the Celtics in a 24-point blowout, Miles and several other Jazz players acknowledged that the team has reached a crucial point in its season.
The NBA season is long, and teams are prone to surges and swoons. But right now, Utah is struggling to fix what should be fixable.
"We let people takes us out of our games," Miles said.
Veteran Jazz guard Raja Bell added that his new team has struggled all season to do a few fundamental basketball things well. Until Utah addresses its on-the-court problems, the Jazz's struggles will likely continue.
"When you don't do those, it doesn't matter who you put on the court you're not going to be a very good team," Bell said.
After publicly considering making a change to Utah's starting lineup several times this season, Jazz coach Jerry Sloan and his assistants decided Thursday not to alter Utah's first rotation despite the team's recent struggles.
Sloan said before tipoff against the Celtics that he does not feel a shakeup will fix what has recently troubled his up-and-down, slow-starting team.
If anything, Sloan will continue to tweak the Jazz's second unit until he finds an ideal rotation.
Sloan acknowledged that the Jazz's minds "drifted" during the previous 10 games. But he is trying to build cohesion among a Utah first unit that features four new players in new roles.
Boston coach Doc Rivers agreed in general with Sloan's stance, stating that consistency in a starting unit often ultimately pays off throughout the course of a season.
Meanwhile, Bell echoed recent statements made by several teammates, saying that he does not believe that simply changing the Jazz's starters will right the ship.
"I don't know that it's necessarily [the] lineup," Bell said.