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Jazz HC Reveals How Hard Collin Sexton Worked for His Career Night

The Utah Jazz lost at home to the Detroit Pistons but Collin Sexton balled out.
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The Utah Jazz dropped their second straight game after falling at home to the Detroit Pistons, 125-116. It was a game that some the home team open up very flat. 

The Pistons exploited Utah's disinterest in being physical with aplomb, ending the first half with a 12-point lead. 

"I think the game was lost in the first half with our lack of energy, our lack of desire as a group," Jazz head coach Will Hardy said post-game. "I’ve got to do a better job of getting us ready to go.”

Ex-Jazzman Bojan Bogdanovic had himself a game in his first chance at revenge after being dealt to Detroit this summer in the same trade that landed Kelly Olynyk in Utah. Bogdanovic finished Wednesday night's game with 23 points and five rebounds, while Olynyk posted eight points, six assists, and three rebounds. 

If there was a silver lining for the Jazz, it was Collin Sexton's emergence as a bonafide point guard in relief of the injured Mike Conley. Sexton played 35:06 minutes, finishing with a career-high 12 assists and 17 points, shooting 58.3% from the field. 

“I thought offensively, he was very good," Hardy said of Sexton. "I think he picked his spots to shoot very well. I think he went into the game with the mindset of ‘let’s just get the best shot we can for our team on every possession,’ and his stat line reflects that. He moved the ball to his teammates very well tonight. It’s really great to see progress like that. I know that he’ll feel good about that."

Hardy peeled back the curtain to reveal how hard Sexton has been working on his reads, specifically out of pick-and-roll plays. 

"It’s something he’s been working really, really hard on with our coaches," Hardy said. "He’s been working on a lot of reads out of pick-and-roll, and when he’s driving out of isolation, so he did a very good job of that tonight.” 

Hardy was very dissatisfied with his team's performance in transition vs. Detroit, and the Jazz's overall lack of physicality and intensity on the boards, especially on the offensive side. 

“That’s something that we continue to address as a team, and it takes a collective effort," Hardy said. "Those things are not pretty. Those things are hard to do, but they really take attention because the way the league is going now, the way a lot of teams are playing much smaller and faster, if you shoot the ball and you just stare, by the time they’ve gotten the rebound, if you haven’t moved—either towards the rebound or to get back, it’s too late."

Hardy wants to see the Jazz be more active after taking a shot, either charging the glass for a potential rebound or getting back quickly to defend the other half of the floor. 

"You can’t play defense even with your man," Hardy said. "You have to get back and get in front of the ball. And then, the rebounding is just going to continue to be a collective effort from everybody. We can’t rely on one person to rebound for us. We’re having guys contest shots at the rim, and nobody is coming to clean up the rebound on the weak side by being physical with the roller. This is stuff that we’re continuing to work on and I expect to see improvement soon.”

Hardy still has a lot to be excited about. The Jazz only had four double-digit scorers (only, based on the team's trend this season) and saw Sexton take a big step forward as a true floor general. 

For now, it's back to the drawing board as the Jazz fall to 12-8 on the season. 

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