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The Utah Jazz Clearly Have No Idea How To Tank After Blowing Out The Nuggets To Open Their Season

Alex Goodlett. Getty Images.

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Once the Jazz made the decision to bring in Danny Ainge to run their front office, it was clear what they were about to do. When you need to rebuild and it requires trading your franchise players, you bring in Danny Ainge. This is what he's great at. Naturally he then immediately unloaded Rudy Gobert for a massive haul (who was actually pretty good tonight for MIN) that pretty much ruined the trade market, only to then also move Donovan Mitchell for a decent sized return as well. One thing became crystal clear. They were going to do everything in their power to win the Victor Wembanyama sweepstakes.

Or so we thought.

I can understand being jazzed up for a home opener. Will Hardy making his coaching debut, a nobody believes in us mentality, I get all that. But the Jazz need to understand that these wins hurt, not help. If I know Danny Ainge like I think I do, he's bullshit over this win. This is not why he tore down his roster and decided to invest in Kelly Olynyk and Lauri Markkanen. Playing a team like Denver who many consider to be a title contender, this is a game you should easily lose. Instead, they were blowing the Nuggets out by halftime. 

The Jazz did the exact opposite of what they should be doing to kick off their season. Especially on a night when the Thunder, Magic, Pacers, Rockets, and Spurs all lost. At least they know what the deal is here, they are tanking experts. This isn't their first rodeo and it showed.

I think this might just be a situation where the Jazz haven't tanked in a while, so maybe they don't really know how it works. Since 2016, they've never won fewer than 44 games and that was in the shortened season (they were 44-28). Their issue was more postseason disappointment and underachievement than being shitty in terms of win totals. But if I'm Danny Ainge I do two things. as a result of this loss.

First, I sit Will Hardy down, tape his eyes open like this

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and I force him to watch this Victor Wembanyama highlight reel until he completely understands what the goal of this season is

The goal is not to beat the Nuggets in October, even if it was the home opener. The goal is to not beat anyone ever. You probably need well under 24 wins in what is setting up to be the most epic tank job in NBA history. Will Hardy needs to understand that he got a long term deal for a reason. His record does not matter. In fact, the worse he does the better the chance is they get Wembanyama, and then he has job security for life because he's going to be awesome and whoever gets Wembanyama will probably be awesome one day. 

That's the important first step. You need a reminder of what's at stake here.

Second, I am taking 50 cents on the dollar for any remaining player on my roster that is somewhat functional. Mike Conley, Malik Beasely, Jordan Clarkson, Rudy Gay, all of em. See ya later. I know that might require Danny to "lose" some trades but really he wins because right now those guys are making too much of a winning impact already. All those guys combined for 54 of the Jazz's 123 points. That is way too many and something Ainge needs to take care of. The players are going to try because they're vets, and that's a problem. That is not how you tank. I imagine he's on the phone as we speak, probably trying to bend the Lakers over one last time about some sort of Mike Conley for Russell Westbrook swap. Watch. It's going to be like Conley/Beasley or Conley/Gay or Conley/Clarkson. We all saw the Lakers last night, they stink. You may as well prevent them from tanking for Wembanyama by giving them some of your players that still have a pulse. 

On the Nuggets…..yikes guys. That is not what Nuggets fans have been waiting over a year for. The band all back together, on the road against a team you should destroy, getting waxed like that as a "title contender" is a tough look. Of course there will be overreaction and we'll look at this team in like a week and they'll be fine, but for now? Very embarrassing. Jokic did what he could with 27/4/6 on 12-17 shooting, but when you turn it over 21 times as a team, well that's how you lose to the goddamn Jazz.

Seriously though, there's no way Ainge can let this continue. It's only been 1 game and the Jazz are already behind. Heads need to roll and players need to be traded before this gets out of hand. Imagine if they win 2 in a row? Or more? Talk about DISASTER.