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NBA Power Rankings: Bump in the road leads to Utah Jazz dip

Lose to the Suns, fall in the rankings. Them’s the breaks.

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NBA: Utah Jazz at Phoenix Suns Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports

Prior to last night’s awesome win over the Dallas Mavericks, the Utah Jazz had a rough week. Sure, they swept the Lakers off the court to close, but they also weren’t particularly competitive against the Clippers in LA and there’s the small problem of scoring 88 points in a blowout loss to the league-worst Suns. This led to a drop across the board in this week’s power rankings.

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

Finding quality shots in life after Hayward has challenged the Jazz, who rank 26th in offensive efficiency. The starting lineup of Rubio-Hood-Ingles-Favors-Gobert has been particularly unproductive with the ball, with a net rating of minus-11.3. But rookie Donovan Mitchell showed promise this week, with two big games, including a 22-point effort in a win over the Lakers on Saturday.

CBS Sports

This team is weird. They beat teams like the Thunder and the Nuggets, but then they lose to the drama-filled Suns. They did manage to blow the Lakers off the floor at least. Ricky Rubio looks really good running the offense and even better on defense. Utah is still an incredible defensive team, but it needs someone to step up and score some points.

Portland, Toronto and Houston await this week. It could actually get worse for Utah, as if losing to Phoenix wasn't bad enough.​

As expected, Jazz games have been the ugliest in the league. And it's not just about the slow pace (though that contributes to inefficiency on both ends of the floor), as they're the only team that has scored and allowed less than 98 points per 100 possessions. After shooting 25 percent through his first five games, Donovan Mitchell provided some life in Saturday's win over the Lakers, scoring 22 points (tying the high for the Jazz this season) and submitting an early entry for Dunk of the Year. They're winless on the road, but undefeated at home, with Saturday's game having begun a stretch where they're playing eight of nine at Vivint Smart Home Arena.


Scoring just 88 points in a loss to the Suns last Wednesday was a reminder that Utah will have trouble finding consistent offense this season. On the other hand, they have a top-five defense, which should keep them in most games they play.

SLC Dunk

There’s no way around it. That Suns loss was BAAAD. At the end of the day, though, it was only one game. I feel like the majority of the media held that a little too hard against the Jazz. I put them as the 15th best team in the league right now. League average just feels right for this team. You never know if they’re going to come out and beat a great team or limp out and lay an egg against a bad one. Buckle up, because I feel like this season might just be a roller coaster.