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The Downbeat: Jazz players could bring home hardware this year.

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A couple Jazzman are garnering attention for some NBA Awards this season.

Melissa Majchrzak NBAE/Getty Images

One. More. Day. That is all.

Some of the national news outlets have been putting out their projected awards winners for the upcoming season. A couple guys on the Utah Jazz have been getting mentions.

Sports Illustrated on the Most Improved Player:

Mahoney: Rodney Hood, Jazz. Utah’s offense, in the absence of Gordon Hayward and George Hill, has to turn somewhere. Who better to fill that void than Hood? The 24-year-old wing has teased over his first three NBA seasons with tantalizing displays of shot creation. A little consistency (and some better health) could change everything. Hood clearly has the talent. Soon, he’ll have the ball in his hands for a team that very much needs him to take the next step.

Sports Illustrated on the Defensive Player of the Year:

Sharp: Rudy Gobert, Jazz. Only two other defensive players affect the game the way Gobert does. And since Kawhi Leonard and Draymond Green have won this award the past two years, it may be time for the Stifle Tower to get some love. If he stays healthy and his defense is dominant enough to keep the Jazz in the playoff race, everyone else is coming in second.

2 other writers voted Rudy there as well.

NBC Sports on the Defensive Player of the Year:

Dane Carbaugh: Rudy Gobert (Utah Jazz)Gobert probably should have been the recipient of this award last season. He is the best defensive center in the NBA, and with Hayward now in Boston he is now the franchise centerpiece for the Jazz. Gobert will be a monster just like he was last season, and with added responsibility and visibility, the Utah big man should grab it this year.

NBC Sports on the Most Improved Player:

Dan Feldman: Rodney Hood (Utah Jazz)The Jazz guard is in line for a bigger role with Gordon Hayward gone. It will also help that Hood’s season will be compared to last year’s injury-plagued campaign, not 2015-16, when he showed more of the promise I think he’ll build upon this year.

I think a really good case could be made for Derrick Favors as Comeback Player of the Year as well.

Fan Sided looked at the Utah Jazz for another season preview. Their focus was on Ricky Rubio making the great defense even better.

While Ricky Rubio may not replace the scoring production from Hayward or Hill, he should prop up that one weakness in Utah’s defense in forcing turnovers. Acquired in a trade for a first-round pick, Rubio has led the league in steals percentage — an estimate of possessions that end with a steal by a player when on the floor — in three of his first six NBA seasons, and finished with a rate of 2.5 or better each year. When looking at point guards with over 1,000 minutes in a season, the last Jazz point guards to have similar steals rates were Jamaal Tinsley (2013), Earl Watson (2012) and John Stockton (2003 and beyond). Hayward and Hill finished last season with steal rates of 1.6 and 1.7, respectively.

I really look forward to the differences that this year’s defense will have. With Rubio, Joe Ingles, Thabo Sefolosha, and Donovan Mitchell I anticipate that this Jazz team will get a LOT more easy transition buckets than last year.

The season is so close and SLC Dunk is getting more and more active. Thanks for the 3 Fan Posts in as many days this week!

First off is nkeith giving us his thoughts on Rubio vs. the Lakers in preseason.

Ricky Rubio seems to be developing his ability to get to the free throw line. At least he showed it against the Lakers, going 8-9 for FT's. Yes, the rest of his shooting against the Lakers was bad (6-18 FG, 2-8 3P), but he still came out +13 with 22 points on 18 FG attempts in 32 minutes with 6 assists, 6 TOV's (uncharacteristic), 3 rebounds, and 2 steals. And did I mention 8-9 for FT's? In a poor shooting game, Rubio showed he could at least get to the FT line...

Fesenko for President is excited for (what would have been) a great defensive reunion.

Did you all read that the defensive dynamo of Trey Burke and Enes Kanter has been reunited with the New York Knicks.

I can't wait to watch those two defend the pick and roll together . . . again.

And last but not least is Eric Sidewater with an incredibly in depth look at Ricky Rubio.

Of all the minutes the Timberwolves played during the 2016-17 regular season, Rubio was on the floor for 62% of them. While he was on the floor, the Timberwolves were outscored by 7 points. Hypothetically, if Rubio played the entire game (48 minutes), the Timberwolves, on average, would be 0.1 points worse than their opponent...

He appeared in three of the top four most-used lineups (for the Timberwolves), and two of those three were NET positive...

I think if Rubio could shoot league average (~36%) from three, he would be considered a shoe-in as a top 10 point guard.

Wow everyone. Thank you for your time and your passion. Please go give them a read and share your thoughts. There is some good content there that deserves your attention.

When you’re a legend, you don’t need a smartphone. Smartphone need you.

Of course, Karl Malone and John Stockton still rock flip phones. Of course, they do.

Utah Jazz > Boston Celtics according to Five Thirty Eight’s models.

I’m sure no one here has a problem with this, am I right? This puts the Jazz tied for the 7 spot in the West as well. But I think we are all sick of projections, odds, and estimations. It’s time to get to real basketball and let this team’s play speak for itself.