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Utah Jazz Power Rankings Round-up: National writers recognize defensive dominance

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The opinions on national writers don't always matter. But every week they do when they look at our team.

Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Nothing brings all fanbases together like the collective outcry of any national insult, real or imagined. Small market fans and big market fans bemoan any slight, and love making a mountain out of the molehills we call weekly national writer power rankings. As is the case with us, and other fan bases, I think we can always nit-pick, But right now things are going well for the Utah Jazz. They went 2-1 last week with victories over the Memphis Grizzlies and Denver Nuggets, and a bad loss at home to the Portland Trail Blazers. We don't have a full roster yet for national writers, some are just not doing it at all this season -- others are waiting till later on. But we do have a few to look at: CBS Sports' Matt Moore, ESPN's Marc Stein, NBA.com's John Schuhmann, NBC's Kurt Helin, Sports Illustrated's Jeremy Woo, and Yahoo! Sports' Kelly Dwyer.

So what did they have to say about our team?

1 Site: CBS Sports Record: 4-2 They have the 17th-best offense per 100 possessions and are still third in net points per possession. That's how good their No. 1-ranked defense is. Schedule has been absolutely butter, though. Let's see how they do vs. the Cavs, Heat and Hawks this week on an East coast road trip.
Author: Matt Moore This Week: 11
Date: 11/9/2015 Last Week: 14
2 Site: ESPN Record: -- "First power rankings available in November."
Author: Hollinger This Week: --
Date: -- Last Week: --
3 Site: ESPN Record: 4-2 Playing that stubbornly slow pace and typically sticky D, combined with a fairly favorable early schedule, has the Jazz looking like the tough out most expected. They don't have Gordon Hayward going yet, though, so consider that a priority as Utah undertakes a pretty challenging four-game swing through the East this week.
Author: Marc Stein This Week: 11
Date: 11/9/2015 Last Week: 13
4 Site: FiveThirtyEight Record: -- [Nothing up yet this season.]
Author: Neil Paine This Week: --
Date: -- Last Week: --
5 Site: NBA.com Record: 4-2 Pace: 94.1 (30) OffRtg: 99.1 (17) DefRtg: 90.3 (1) NetRtg: +8.8 (2)
Jazz games continue to be rather slow and ugly, but Trey Burke is off to a strong offensive start, scoring in double-figures off the bench in each of the last five games after a scoreless opener. Utah's bench has good passers - Rodney Hood and Joe Ingles - on the wings, so Burke can be more of a scorer than a playmaker in backing up rookie Raul Neto. His usage rate is up, but his assist rate is way down from last season.
Author: John Schuhmann This Week: 9
Date: 11/9/2015 Last Week: 11
6 Site: NBC Record: 4-2 They have the second best net rating in the league, a sign that this power ranking may have them too low — and that they can sustain the fast early start. Remember that this team picked up Derrick Favors in the Deron Williams trade — Favors has been fantastic for them this season, that move looks brilliant now.
Author: Kurt Helin This Week: 7
Date: 11/9/2015 Last Week: 13
7 Site: Nylon Calculus Record: -- [No update since 10/27/2015]
Author: Hal Brown This Week: --
Date: -- Last Week: 14
8 Site: Sports Illustrated Record: 4-2 Utah boasts the NBA’s most tight-fisted defense, allowing just 85 points per game. A four-game road trip to the East should be an appropriate test, beginning with Cleveland on Tuesday. With the West in unexpected flux early on, this popular playoff sleeper looks to be right on course.
Author: Jeremy Woo This Week: 11
Date: 11/9/2015 Last Week: 13
9 Site: Yahoo! Sports Record: 4-2 Trey Burke (Burk?) has had an encouraging start, nailing half of his 20 3-pointers thus far. His work and the typical Jazz defense (currently ranked tops in the NBA) helped weather an iffy start from Gordon Hayward. The swingman has averaged 19 points on 56 percent shooting over the last two games, and his team is tied with 427 other clubs for second place in the West.
Author: Kelly Dwyer This Week: 11
Date: 11/9/2015 Last Week: 16

As you can see, overall, the team is ranked 10.0 out of 30.0, and last week their rank was 13.4 out of 30.0. So they've gone up +3.4 spots. Not bad. A couple of notes -- SB Nation is no longer doing Power Rankings each week. So yeah. That sucks. And secondly, there are a number of assignment changes from last season to this season. SI has a new guy doing them. And Yahoo! has removed Marc J. Spears for now with a rotation between Dan Devine and Kelly Dwyer. Their power rankings is now a "most interesting" rankings.

I think everyone recognizes the amazing defense the Jazz are playing right now. That's good. It deserves global praise. I'm glad our young guys are getting it -- even if Quin Snyder is quick to remind them that they have not yet earned anything on the court.