Seven games into the season and we’re starting to get a clearer picture of where teams stand. Not surprisingly, the Utah Jazz have been dominant on the defensive end.
NBA Net Rating
|4||Oklahoma City Thunder||3||3||109.44||99.37||10.07|
|7||Portland Trail Blazers||4||3||111.17||101.96||9.21|
|8||San Antonio Spurs||4||3||102.73||103.32||-0.6|
|11||Los Angeles Lakers||2||4||96.63||103.82||-7.19|
|12||Los Angeles Clippers||4||2||110.86||104.1||6.75|
|15||New York Knicks||3||3||107.4||107.41||0|
|21||New Orleans Pelicans||3||4||107.64||108.89||-1.26|
|29||Golden State Warriors||5||3||120.18||113.54||6.65|
This defensive rating comes after having played high powered offenses such as the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Oklahoma City Thunder. There’s no reason to think the defense will let up at all this season. The only question for the Jazz going forward is whether they can be good enough offensively.
And when it comes to the Jazz offense, a lot of whether they win or lose will hinge on the play of Ricky Rubio. On nights he’s played well, we’ve been dominant. On nights he hasn’t, it’s been a struggle.
This moment from the Jazz game against the Dallas Mavericks, where Rubio had a “gladiator” moment with the Vivint crowd was special. Rubio has a fire and passion that shows in the way he plays and this looks like he appreciates the passion from Jazz fans. It’s things like this that have made it so easy to root for him. I don’t know how long the Ricky Rubio ride will be in Utah, but right now, I’m just going to sit back and enjoy it.
I knew Utah would embrace Ricky Rubio... but I don't think anyone thought it would be a complete love affair after 7 games. #DALatUTA pic.twitter.com/CySXuEVkRc— Dave Noriega (@davenoriega) October 31, 2017
One of the things I’ve noticed this season was a seemingly slow start for Rudy Gobert. Most likely this has probably been caused by defenses game planning heavily for him now that he is more of a primary offensive weapon, but in some of the first seven games he’s looked a step slow for some reason. Whatever it has been, Rudy has still been one of the most impactful players in the NBA.
Top 20 players in the NBA so far this season, according to Value Over Replacement Player... pic.twitter.com/WGkH5ECy7X— Andy Bailey (@AndrewDBailey) October 31, 2017
After his latest performance against the Dallas Mavericks, with his near 5x5, whatever has been the issue, it looks like it’s may be figured out. Look out, NBA, Gobzilla is coming.
The Jazz are undefeated! (at home)
Undefeated at home #TakeNote pic.twitter.com/Le1w63YXQR— Ricky Rubio (@rickyrubio9) October 31, 2017
With an offense that seems a bit fragile at times, home court advantage will be a big deal and the Vivint arena has been rocking this season. The volume that Jazz fans have reached has been amazing. The decibels after Donovan Mitchell these two plays against the Lakers was phenomenal.
DONOVAN FREAKIN' MITCHELL! @SPIDADMITCHELL CAN FLY!— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) October 29, 2017
( via @XimoPierto) pic.twitter.com/we8HH0gYja
Keep up the playoff type atmosphere, Jazz fans. It’s gonna carry this team to some much needed wins!
Finally, have you followed Eric Woodyard yet? He’s replacing the great Jody Gennesy on the Utah Jazz beat.
My first @utahjazz game! pic.twitter.com/nva6GyW06r— Eric Woodyard (@E_Woodyard) October 29, 2017
His last article for the Flint Journal is great and lets us know about his journey to become a beat writer for an NBA team. Welcome to Utah, Eric. We can’t wait to read your work!