What a crazy week for the Utah Jazz, huh? Four games in five nights, a pair of back to back sets, and both times it was a road game, followed by a home game. The Jazz lost to the Portland Trail Blazers 103-102. Flying back home they then lost to the Memphis Grizzlies the next night 100-90. After a night off the Jazz then lost to the Phoenix Suns 100-93 -- but broke the streak by beating the Sacramento Kings 102-90. The Jazz won the game where they were playing without , , *and* -- and were the most fatigued. I guess there's no place like home.
I'm crazy about this club and encouraged by what we see. A 2-2 week would have been amazing when you look at how each of the clubs we lost to are Western Conference playoff clubs. Perhaps is the team just made more free throws against the Blazers it would have happened. But you know, Butterfly Effect. No one knows what would have happened if we won that game. (Again, talk amongst yourselves about quantum mechanics in the comments section)
But that is what I think, what did the rest of the national NBA writers think?
|Site:||ESPN||Record:||18-33||Make that six 30-point games forthis season after just four in his first four NBA seasons. Hayward's team, meanwhile, finds itself in a race with Miami to see which team can go the longest without an overtime game. They're the only two teams in the league yet to taste OT.|
|Author:||Marc Stein||This Week:||#23|
|Site:||SB Nation||Record:||18-33||This was not a great week for the Jazz, but it was an even worse week for Miles Plumlee. He may never be the same again after Gordon Hayward threw down a nasty poster on him.|
|Author:||Drew Garrison||This Week:||#24|
|Site:||Yahoo! Sports||Record:||18-33||Forward Gordon Hayward is averaging 23 points per game and shooting 46.2 percent from 3-point range during his past nine games.|
|Author:||Marc J. Spears||This Week:||#19|
|Site:||CBS Sports||Record:||18-33||They've improved in net points-per-possession every month of the season. There's real, sustainable growth there. Utah just needs time and good fortune.|
|Author:||Matt Moore||This Week:||#22|
|Site:||Sports Illustrated||Record:||18-33||Gordon Hayward already has twice as many 30-point games (six) as he did last season -- and in 26 fewer games. Hayward has had a quiet resurgence in Utah after struggling with his shot last season, raising his field-goal (41.3 to 46.2) and three-point (30.4 to 39.2) percentages.|
|Author:||Matt Dollinger||This Week:||#24|
Pace: 92.8 (28) OffRtg: 103.1 (15) DefRtg: 106.2 (27) NetRtg: -3.1 (21)
Dante Exum 's move into the starting lineup nine games ago gave the Jazz an initial boost, but they couldn't sustain it against a tougher schedule, and their defense has taken a step backward after showing improvement in January. Offense has as big a problem as they've lost six of their last seven on the road, where they'll finish their pre-break schedule.
|Author:||John Schuhmann||This Week:||#22|
Yikes. This is pretty rough as everyone but Spears dropped the Jazz for losing to three West Playoff teams. All together the team dropped 15 spots, and on average -2.5 spots for each power rankings. I love the Jazz, but I don't think playing Portland, Memphis, and Phoenix hard, losing in the fourth of all those games, is supposed to be rewarded like this. This is what happens when people start expecting things from you, I guess.
I think it's possible that a bunch of teams out performed the team, yes; but I think the ranks should be based on how well or poorly the team does based on where they are -- and as the #25th best team in the NBA I think we did okay.
But what did you think?