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NBA Power Ranking: Solid start gets the Jazz a slight bump

How are the Jazz doing around the interwebs?

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

A 2-1 start to the 2017 Utah Jazz season was keyed by spectacular defense and a balanced offensive attack, and the NBA media world began to take note. Here’s what people around the internet are saying about the Jazz. The majority of these rankings were posted before last night’s poor performance in Los Angeles.

How the Utah Jazz were ranked.

Publication Preseason Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 6 Week 7 Week 8 Week 9
Publication Preseason Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 6 Week 7 Week 8 Week 9 12 11 18 13 20 20 19 15 16 18
CBS Sports 18 18 21 12 23 22 17 11 13 18 18 15 18 22 24 26 21 15 18 20 12 9 14 14 20 23 19 12 15 17
Rotoworld - 11 18 17 22 20 19 16 17 19
USA Today - 13 17 14 20 17 16 12 10 10
FiveThirtyEight 9 8 11 11 16 12 14 9 10 9
SLC Dunk - 10 15 15 22 22 19 10 12 15

Utah is second in the NBA in assist percentage (19 percent), behind only the Warriors, and has been able to score by committee so far. The Jazz are one of two teams that doesn't currently have a 15 point per game scorer, along with the Kings. On Saturday, the Jazz were able to hold reigning MVP Russell Westbrook to two made field goals, his fewest while playing 35 minutes or more since his rookie season. -- Vincent Johnson

CBS Sports (Preseason commentary)

The Jazz lost a lot of talent, but they still have it in droves. They don't have many rotation players you can single out as weaknesses, and great coaching. However, this team's offense with this core has been very unstable. Utah's either going to wildly exceed expectations or fall into muck; it's not likely it simply goes .500 and finishes somewhere in the middle.

You don’t want these problems with confirmed insane person MEAN JOE INGLES.

The league's best shooter (among players who took at least 25 shots) in Week 1 was Joe Ingles, who had an effective field goal percentage of 84.6 percent in Utah's first three games. The league's worst shooter in Week 1 was Donovan Mitchell (20.0 percent). The good has outweighed the bad (Mitchell has shown some playmaking skills) and the Jazz offense was efficient enough to pick up important wins against Denver and Oklahoma City. Of course, the defense did the heavy lifting, Ekpe Udoh gives them a second elite shot blocker, and they held both of those teams (expected to be top-10 offenses) under a point per possession.


The Jazz look like a well-oiled machine on both ends of the floor early on, and Ricky Rubio is fitting in really well with his new teammates. They are forcing opponents to turn the ball over on 19 percent of possessions which ranks second in the NBA and they rank sixth in defensive rating. Even after losing their best player over the summer, the Jazz definitely have the look of a playoff team.

SLC Dunk

I’ve got the Jazz as the tenth best team in the league right now. There’s no way around the defense, literally. It’s suffocating. Maintaining a top-10 position is going to depend on the other end of the floor, though. Right now, Utah is forcing opponents into situations that turn into easy buckets and the scoring is balanced. At any point, teams don’t know if they’re getting dunked on by Rudy Gobert, if Joe Ingles is going to drop another 3-pointer or if Ricky Rubio is going to create another transition bucket. That’s good, and hopefully the Jazz can continue to hide not having a true number one option on the roster like they did in the first three games of the season.