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The Downbeat: The Utah Jazz are winners

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The Utah Jazz haven’t had spent many days as a sub .500 team.

NBA: Oklahoma City Thunder at Utah Jazz Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

The Utah Jazz may have never won an NBA title so far, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t winners. We’ve had it pretty good as Jazz fans. (Just purge that Corb era from existence)

First off, wow is really all I can say about the San Antonio Spurs. That’s insane. But we as Jazz fans have been pretty spoiled as well. And it would appear that Dennis Lindsey’s re-tooling on the fly this summer has worked out pretty well. I’m sure there are plenty more winning seasons ahead of us.

While I’m not the biggest fan of the name of the Vivint SmartHome Arena, I will say that Vivint has had some solid advertising the past couple years. Check out the work they’ve put in with the Jazz so far this year.

Pretty good stuff that had me laughing. Much better than the typical Utah advertising. These are good additions to this one from last year.

Tuesday is Fan Post day! And we’ve got more stuff to share this week thank to all of you!

tvilla1203 got us thinking about player rotations for this season, from the starters, the marvels, to the closers. Check it out here.

First, I would like to premise that I am only going to list 3 lineups I think will be key this year. Also, I am going to provide how I think the minutes will be distributed to each player for fun and explain why I think it will end this way. I encourage you to counter me or provide what you believe the best lineups are going to be.

mitchdowd24 decided to take a stab at some predictions for Western Conference teams:

6. Jazz- I'm a Jazz fan. Year is going to be tough but I'm cool with where we are 46-36

Click through to see the rest of the content they put up for us Jazz fanatics.

Cleaning The Glass put out an article recently to discuss the Plus-Minus statistic. I think this serves as a great reminder as we enter the new season on what this stat means, what it doesn't, and how to best use it.

The allure of plus-minus, then, is that it promises to capture everything a player does and quantify it in a simple way. But that makes it easy to become overconfident in those numbers. Depending too much on plus-minus can lead to mistaken evaluations, for two main reasons: basketball is random, and basketball is contextual.

Since plus-minus only looks at the score, randomness can affect it greatly in small minutes. Teams miss open shots, they catch fire and go on runs, they have extra motivation at some times and push through injuries at others. If a player happens to be on the court when opponents are going through a particularly hot stretch of shooting, their plus-minus numbers aren’t necessarily reflecting their play, because those numbers are tied to things the player can’t control. It takes a lot of minutes for the randomness to settle.

And more importantly, basketball is all about context. Who a player shares the court with, who they go up against, and how the coach uses the player — all of these make a big difference in the team’s results when the player plays, potentially drowning out anything the stat can capture about the player’s true impact.

Ricky Rubio is pointed out as a plus-minus darling, despite playing for the Timberwolves for his entire career so far.

In every year but one (his sophomore season), Rubio’s teams have been far better when he’s played than when he’s sat. The Wolves have not been a great team in this time, even with Rubio on the court — but their performance has fallen off a cliff when he’s been on the bench. Last year they had the point differential of a 42-win team with Rubio in the game, but of just a 27-win team when he was out. And that’s one of the smaller changes over the last few years! In 2015-16, Minnesota played at the level of a 44-win with Rubio in, but of just a 15-win team with him on the bench. And in 2013-14, those expected win numbers changed by a whopping 31 wins — the Wolves played like a 58-win team with Rubio on the floor but just a 27-win team with him sitting. Those are superstar level numbers.

Rubio doesn’t fit the profile of a star. He has never been a good finisher and he hasn’t hit threes at a high enough rate to make the defense respect him from distance. But he seems to have been doing something that makes his team much better when he is in the game.

If these numbers are picking up on something real, though, the Jazz got a steal: a high-level point guard on a good contract in exchange for a late first-round pick.

Speaking of plus-minus studs, Ekpe Udoh has been killing it so far this year. What a steal his contract already his. This point, however, is about his off-court contributions.

It’s really cool to see a guy so passionate and engaged in something like this. Thanks for making the world a better place Udoh. Also, we could use a sold nickname for his blocks this year.