Well, our guys have now played 41 games, and half the season is over. The small picture issue here is that we just finished another week of Utah Jazz ball. And while the Jazz got destroyed in the 3rd quarter (at home) to the Golden State Warriors, and got destroyed almost all game long (on the road) to the San Antonio Spurs -- a small victory over the hapless (and Kobe Bryant -less) Los Angeles Lakers doesn't make everything better. I would have enjoyed seeing a little more competition against the Spurs -- a team we should match up well against and are modeled after. The Dubs, well, they are just a bad match-up for us. And the Lakers game was allowed to be a bit more physical. I kind of understand this team a little better. So I don't think it was a bad week. It was not a great week. But that's what I think. What do the major national writers think about the Jazz?
|Site:||ESPN||Record:||14-27||I was afraid to nominate Rudy Gobert as my preseason Most Improved Player pick because I assumed he wouldn't play enough. Now look. Jimmy Butler is the runaway MIP leader, but Gobert is averaging a heady 31.0 MPG since Jan. 1 ... along with averages of 10.0 PPG, 9.2 RPG and 4.2 BPG.|
|Author:||Marc Stein||This Week:||#20|
|Site:||SB Nation||Record:||14-27||The Jazz scored 69 points in a blowout loss to the Spurs Sunday. Yikes.|
|Author:||Drew Garrison||This Week:||#23|
|Site:||Yahoo! Sports||Record:||14-27||Rudy Gobert is averaging an NBA-best 4.4 blocks. Ex-Jazz center Mark Eaton holds the NBA record with 5.5 per game during the 1984-85 season.|
|Author:||Marc J. Spears||This Week:||#23|
|Site:||CBS Sports||Record:||14-27||The Jazz have young talent, are developing skills, beat the teams they should and lose to the teams they should. They are the very model of a modern major rebuilding team.|
|Author:||Matt Moore||This Week:||#26|
|Site:||Sports Illustrated||Record:||14-27||Trey Burke is having his best month of the season even though his three-point shot (31.1 percent in January) is as bunk as ever. The sophomore is averaging a season-high 16.5 points this month and owns a positive plus/minus rating for the first time.|
|Author:||Matt Dollinger||This Week:||#25|
Pace: 92.8 (29), OffRtg: 102.9 (16), DefRtg: 106.6 (26), NetRtg: -3.7 (25)
Only one player (Marreese Speights) has had a bigger jump in usage rate, effective field goal percentage and true shooting percentage than Gordon Hayward from last season to this season. Hayward's shooting has dropped a bit since November, but the Utah offense still collapses whenever he steps off the floor. He had 31 in Friday's win over the Lakers.
|Author:||John Schuhmann||This Week:||#21|
Yikes. Well, at least this is more familiar -- people recognize our players but think the team is bad. I'm used to National writers feeling that way. The whole "the Jazz are good with parts that may one day be good" thing that went on with the first few weeks was disorienting. Anyway, The Jazz moved up +1 according to one writer, and were -1, -2, and -4 by three others. Two were honest enough to see no change.
Overall, that's a -1 from everyone this week. I don't think the Jazz are world-beaters. But I do agree with Moore (CBS), this is a team winning the games they should. And really, that's not even something the team reliably did when Al Jefferson was the straw that
choked stirs the drink.