Lauri Markkase has a new role, which is familiar from the national team – Utah, having given up its top players, is fighting for a place in the playoffs

Lauri Markkase has a new role which is familiar from

Utah Jazz head coach Will Hardy says that Lauri Markkanen is important to his team every night, and the player knows it himself. “He can develop even better.”

Finnish basketball player Lauri Markkanen represented by the Utah Jazz lost to the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday night with a score of 116-120 in the NBA. Markkanen had 33 points, eight assists and six rebounds. Markkanen’s pot of more than 30 points was the 13th of the season.

Utah head coach Will Hardy said after the match that the team deserved to win the match. According to him, the team fought and made the game difficult for Dallas’ star players For Kyrie Irving and To Luka Doncic.

At the press conference, he said that he expects a lot from Markkanes.

– I am strict with Lauri. He’s a hell of a player already, but he can get even better. The team follows Lauri’s game; he is the leader of the team, Hardy said.

According to the head coach, Markkanen is important to Utah every night, and the player knows it himself.

– There is a lot of responsibility, which he has experienced in the national team, but not in the NBA – it is new for him. I think he has embraced the role, which is seen in every game.

For example, in the fall European Championships, Markkanen’s average score per match was 27.9. In the tournament, his point per minute reading was the Greek player Giannis Antetokounmpo after the most in the measurement history. Now Markkanen is also responsible for a lot of points in his league team.

Will the losing streak crush the playoff hopes?

Utah, which played well compared to preliminary expectations, was still hanging on to the playoff spot at the end of January. Then the losses at the beginning of February dragged the team lower.

On February 9th, what had been expected for a long time happened. Utah traded three big role players for basically one first-round pick: Mike Conley’s, Jarred Vanderbilt and Malik Beasley’s.

After the player trades, it was believed that Utah gave up on the hopes of success for the season. However, the team exceeded expectations, won four matches out of six and even moved up a few notches in the standings.

In March, the direction changed. Utah is on a four-game losing streak and is 13th in the Western Conference with a .470 hitting percentage. There are three teams above with a winning percentage of 0.477. Utah has 16 regular season games remaining, so a playoff spot is still within reach.

According to head coach Hardy, the team must not “sink into deep holes” at the beginning of the matches, because getting up from a losing position takes too much energy. For example, in the 2nd quarter of Wednesday night’s game, Dallas got even 14 points away.