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"Welcome to Fatherhood, Hood!"; Downbeat #1811

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Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to the first full week of 2016, a new year full of hope, wishful thinking, and maybe some more steps in the right direction!

With complete disregard to jinxing, it appears the Jazz may have very well had their low point of the season last month. Now the Jazz are starting to get more wins again even while missing 4 of their top 7 players due to injuries.

This was Rodney Hood's weekend.

First off, a hearty congrats to him and his fiancée for adding another Rodney Hood to the world:

I've been losing track of all the Jazz babies over the last year, but I believe Favors (twins), Hayward (daughter), Burke (son) also have all had children this year. Congrats to the many on our team who have welcomed new life into this world in the last year!

Back to Hood, he had a career game on Saturday night against the Grizzlies (Amar's recap here). He had a crisp 32 points and 8 rebounds in this overtime win.

Great work Hood!

The Jazz play a busy 4 games this week. This is probably going to be their toughest week for quite some time, as the rest of the pre-all-star-break schedule is quite forgiving for what has been an unforgiving season for the Jazz for what seems like quite a while now.

Their games this week:

Tonight vs. Rockets at 7PM

Wednesday at Spurs at 6:30PM

Thursday at Rockets at 6PM

Saturday vs. Miami at 7PM

I'm hoping the Jazz go 2-2 in this tough week against all playoff teams. The Spurs game is just about as much of a write-off as you can get against the undefeated at home Spurs. I'm hoping the Jazz rest up their better players (of the healthy ones, I should add) for the more important game against the Rockets the next night.

The Jazz are 2/5 of the way through the season now.

How are the standings in the West looking:

(Photo Source: ESPN)

Wow, the Jazz may not be doing amazing as they are only on pace for a 38 win season, luckily this is not your older brother's killer Western conference of yesteryear. The Jazz are currently in 7th place in the West with a losing record!

The 45+ win 9th seeds in the West of year's past are rolling in their graves.

The Jazz would currently be 12th in the East in this bizarro season! This still baffles me to no end.

The injury-ravaged Jazz are still keeping their heads above water against all odds and are still in a position to make a strong push in the 2nd half of the season for not only barely scraping into the playoffs, but maybe even as a team fighting for home-court in the first-round if the Jazz start getting more and more wins against teams that they should.

The Mavs, Grizzlies, and Rockets are the 3 other teams sharing space with the Jazz in the lower half of the playoff bracket. These are the teams with the inside track to the playoffs. Will they all hold on?

Who is your candidate for team most likely to drop out? How about dark horse team most likely to sneak into the playoff picture above any of the current teams?

I don't see any of the current 8 teams dropping out of the playoffs, but I definitely could be wrong.

The NBA trade deadline is in a month and a half. Do the Jazz make any moves midseason or let the cards fall as they may?

Should the Jazz buy or sell this season? We are obviously good enough in this season's debilitating West to make the playoffs, but what do the Jazz need to do to make the next desired jump to a contending level team? 

Will Quin Snyder be able to get his system running on all cylinders with a fully healthy roster? Can this roster be a 55+ win team? I think it may be too early to tell at this point.

With the Jazz holding onto their playoff spot amidst this storm of injuries is this more a situation of a blessing in disguise? On one hand, you have Jeff Withey, Trey Burke, Rodney Hood getting to play a much bigger role than they would have had otherwise with all these injuries? But I think many of us would have preferred a fully healthy squad competing for a top 4 seed in the West this year.

The injuries struck though, and with the hand dealt to us, I think the Jazz really are performing as well as we could have hoped with exception to a couple of winnable games that the Jazz threw away.

So what say you, readers of SLC Dunk, have these injuries been more of a blessing in disguise for this Jazz team or more of an obstacle in this team's way from reaching its full potential?