The Utah Jazz went 4-0 over the past week, downing the Chicago Bulls, Denver Nuggets, Milwaukee Bucks, and Phoenix Suns. Three at home, and one on the road make it a solid week even if the competition was, at times, weak. Utah has now rattled off six wins in a row, and we're finally seeing the team we expected to see after last seasons' furious finish. The Jazz are now playing with 4 of 5 intended starters and it's not a surprise that they are now back to .500. While the sky may not be the limit for this club this season, it's pretty clear that despite all the challenges, the Jazz are on their climb once again. I am not alone in this thought, many of the national writers seem to agree. Let's check out what THEY have to say, though:
|News Outlet||Author||Date||This Week||Last||Change||Commentary|
|1||Bleacher Report||Grant Hughes||2||5||2016||11||17||6||
Let's hear it for homestands!
(Click here to read the rest of the write-up!)
|2||CBS Sports||Matt Moore||2||8||2016||15||22||7||Uh-oh. Look who got back to full strength and is now tearing the league apart? Lineups with Derrick Favors and Rudy Gobert together are scoring at an excellent rate (107.5 per 100 possessions), defending at a better one (99.7 allowed per 100 possessions) and the team is back to its defensive identity. Look out for Utah.|
|3||ESPN||Marc Stein||2||8||2016||12||16||4||You could diminish what the Jazz are doing these days by pointing out that only one opponent during their current six-game winning streak is presently on track for a playoff berth. Or you could praise them for taking advantage of the schedule opportunity to make a quicker-than-envisioned return to .500 and climb to fifth in the West in the nightly point margin (plus-1.5). Your call.|
|4||ESPN||ESPN Analytics||2||8||2016||12||--||--||OFF -0.3 // DEF +1.0 // BPI +0.7|
|5||Fox Sports||Andrew Lynch||2||4||2016||16||19||3||--|
|6||Hoops Habit||Gerald Bourguet||2||2||2016||17||19||2||[Ed. This is Last Week's] Credit where credit is due: Despite an unstoppable rash of injuries this season, the Utah Jazz are still not too far removed from one of the West's final playoff spots. Now that Derrick Favors and Rudy Gobert are both back, the Jazz have strung together a three-game win streak, including Monday's big overtime win over the Bulls.
But that's not all; Raul Neto torched Derrick Rose down the stretch for Utah's shorthanded backcourt, Rodney Hood has become an excellent playmaker out of pick and rolls and even Trey Lyles filled in fairly well with Favors sidelined. Don't look now, but the Jazz could be on the upswing.
Pace: 93.0 (30) OffRtg: 103.0 (12) DefRtg: 101.9 (12) NetRtg: +1.0 (11)
Last season, the Jazz had the league's No. 1 defense, by a wide margin, after the All-Star break. This season, they're getting started earlierov. They rank No. 1 defensively er the last 2 1/2 weeks and have won six straight games (twice winning with 84 or 85 points) to grab control of the 8 seed in the West. Rodney Hood has scored 22 or more points in six of his last nine games after doing so five times previously in his career.
|8||NBC Sports||Kurt Helin||2||8||2016||12||15||3||Winners of six in a row and it’s thanks to the return of Rudy Gobert and the lock-down Jazz defense we have remembered from the second half of last season. The Jazz are healthy and they are 12-6 in games Gobert and Derrick Favors start. Utah has moved into the eight seed in the West and I think it’s more likely they move up past Houston and maybe Dallas than it is Portland or Sacramento catches them.|
|9||NumberFire||Committee||2||8||2016||12||13||1||Likelihoods: Playoffs (74.3%), Champs (0.1%), Projected W/L 41.1 - 41.0|
|10||Odds Shark||Math||2||8||2016||8||8||0||Adjusted Power +7.68|
|11||Sports Illustrated||Jeremy Woo||2||8||2016||15||17||2||Since Derrick Favors returned to the starting lineup six games ago, his team owns the league’s third-best point differential (11.2) and most efficient defense (91.3 points allowed per 100 possessions). The Jazz faced just one plus-.500 opponent in that span, the stumbling Bulls, but will surely take the results as its playoff chase gains new life.|
|12||USA Today||Committee||2||8||2016||15||20||5||Utah's roster has a combined 32 years of experience, the fewest in the NBA, and yet the Jazz are two games back of the No. 6 seed.|
|13||Washington Post||Tim Bontemps||2||8||2016||10||20||10||The Jazz have started to get healthy, and now they’ve rattled off six wins in a row as a result.|
|14||Yahoo! Sports BDL||Eric Freeman||2||8||2016||13||12||-1||A six-game winning streak is notable no matter the opposition, especially when Rodney Hood is playing well enough to make fans forget about their glut of backcourt injuries. More neutrals would find them fun in Quin Snyder ever looked happy.|
Overall everyone seemed to say some nice things. The high score was 8th best, and the low score was 17th, but that 17 is from Feb 2nd. The average right now is 12.93rd best in the NBA. That's a playoff team, and when you look at this team on the court, that's the impression you get as well. Now that they are finally healthy.