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The state of the Utah Jazz - The Downbeat #1521

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Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

Apparently yesterday was "Treat yoself" Sunday for Jazz players:

Since joining the Jazz, Elijah Millsap has been pretty impressive. His shots aren't dropping (not many on the team's are), but his defense has been wonderful. Defensive impact is difficult to quantify anyway, but there just isn't enough data yet to prove what the eye sees. In Baby Sap's case, he has played 4 games against the Jazz and in those games he has had to matchup with players like Jimmy Butler, Kevin Durant, and James Harden. Welcome to the league, I guess.

Some small bits to keep an eye on:

Net +/-: +9

DRTG: 105, good for 3rd best. 2nd if you remove Jeremy Evans, who has only played 61 mins.

STL%: 4.6 is best among any Jazz player this year

These are cherry picked stats, but the point is to keep an eye on how he continues to play. He's stepped in to average 26 mpg over the last three games, so the coaching staff must see something in him.

Here's Coach Q, via Aaron Falk of the SL Trib:

You’ve got to figure out different ways to use players and sometimes you find something. You find an Elijah Millsap. … Sometimes necessity is the mother of invention."

Derek Favors has been quietly fantastic over the recent stretch. You have undoubtedly been watching a game and looked up stats, only to find Fav has 20/10.

This was an hour and a half into the OKC game. He went on to have 22/11 and 3 blocks.

Since mid-December, after he missed two games, he has averaged:

17PTS, 9TRB, 1.5BLK, 54%FG, and the stunner: 73%FT

In that time, the Jazz have gone 7-6, with wins over Memphis and Chicago.

Currently, the Jazz have played 38 games. That's 45% of the season complete. Need to feel good about the direction of this team? Last year the Jazz only won a total of 25 games. Right now, the Jazz have 13 wins.

How many more wins do they have left in them? Running through the schedule of remaining games, I count 16 wins. That would put them at 29-53 for the year. Not great, but that's about a 20% increase in wins (right?). Over their last 10, they are 5-5. If by some miracle they went .500 the rest of the season, they would end up with 35 wins, which would be phenomenal improvement. The difficult thing about judging this team (besides all the injuries) is that it seems like they can beat any team, on any night.

Here's my predictions? What are yours?

G Date H/A Opponent W/L
39 Tue Jan 13 2015 Golden State Warriors L
40 Fri Jan 16 2015 Los Angeles Lakers W
41 Sun Jan 18 2015 @ San Antonio Spurs L
42 Wed Jan 21 2015 @ Cleveland Cavaliers L
43 Thu Jan 22 2015 @ Milwaukee Bucks L
44 Sat Jan 24 2015 Brooklyn Nets W
45 Mon Jan 26 2015 Boston Celtics W
46 Wed Jan 28 2015 Los Angeles Clippers L
47 Fri Jan 30 2015 Golden State Warriors L
48 Tue Feb 3 2015 @ Portland Trail Blazers L
49 Wed Feb 4 2015 Memphis Grizzlies L
50 Fri Feb 6 2015 @ Phoenix Suns L
51 Sat Feb 7 2015 Sacramento Kings W
52 Mon Feb 9 2015 @ New Orleans Pelicans L
53 Wed Feb 11 2015 @ Dallas Mavericks L
54 Fri Feb 20 2015 Portland Trail Blazers L
55 Mon Feb 23 2015 San Antonio Spurs L
56 Wed Feb 25 2015 Los Angeles Lakers W
57 Fri Feb 27 2015 @ Denver Nuggets L
58 Sat Feb 28 2015 Milwaukee Bucks W
59 Tue Mar 3 2015 @ Memphis Grizzlies L
60 Wed Mar 4 2015 @ Boston Celtics W
61 Fri Mar 6 2015 @ Philadelphia 76ers W
62 Sun Mar 8 2015 @ Brooklyn Nets L
63 Tue Mar 10 2015 New York Knicks W
64 Thu Mar 12 2015 Houston Rockets L
65 Sat Mar 14 2015 Detroit Pistons W
66 Mon Mar 16 2015 Charlotte Hornets W
67 Wed Mar 18 2015 Washington Wizards L
68 Thu Mar 19 2015 @ Los Angeles Lakers W
69 Sat Mar 21 2015 @ Golden State Warriors L
70 Mon Mar 23 2015 Minnesota Timberwolves W
71 Wed Mar 25 2015 Portland Trail Blazers L
72 Fri Mar 27 2015 @ Denver Nuggets L
73 Sat Mar 28 2015 Oklahoma City Thunder L
74 Mon Mar 30 2015 @ Minnesota Timberwolves W
75 Wed Apr 1 2015 Denver Nuggets W
76 Sat Apr 4 2015 @ Phoenix Suns L
77 Sun Apr 5 2015 @ Sacramento Kings L
78 Wed Apr 8 2015 Sacramento Kings W
79 Fri Apr 10 2015 Memphis Grizzlies L
80 Sat Apr 11 2015 @ Portland Trail Blazers L
81 Mon Apr 13 2015 Dallas Mavericks L
82 Wed Apr 15 2015 @ Houston Rockets L
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