clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Utah Jazz rise in Power Rankings despite Houston drubbing

The Jazz went 2-2 last week with a close win and a blowout loss mixed in.

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

NBA: Toronto Raptors at Utah Jazz Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Surprisingly, Sunday night’s embarrassment in Houston didn’t take too much of the shine off the Utah Jazz’s decent week for the interweb basketball experts. Utah fell down the rankings in only one place this week, Sports Illustrated, where they went from 18 to 22. In the case of CBS Sports, the win over the Trailblazers must’ve signaled that the Jazz were too low there as they got a massive boost from 21 to 12. The roller coaster continues. Are we having fun yet?

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

Ricky Rubio has become much more assertive on the offensive end in his first season with the Jazz, averaging career-highs in points, field goal attempts and 3-point attempts per game. The increased shot attempts haven't affected his efficiency as he's averaging career highs in both field goal and 3-point percentage as well. -- Jose De Leon

CBS Sports

Don't let DeMar DeRozan, Damian Lillard and James Harden's performances against it fool you. This team is not going to be easy to score on.

One of the teams I’m picking up and tossing down the rankings a little, the Jazz have hardly done anything to inspire confidence lately. Their one big win over the Blazers came only because Ricky Rubio and Donovan Mitchell combined for 58 points, something that might never happen again. There’s talent here, but it’s not coming together just yet.

At times, Ricky Rubio's aggressiveness has given the Utah offense a much-needed threat of the dribble. He shot 11-for-21 from 3-point range in the Jazz's three-game winning streak, with a couple of huge pull-up threes in Wednesday's overtime win over Portland. But he's 1-for-9 from beyond the arc in the two losses since and has averaged just 3.4 assists over the five game stretch. On the other end of the floor, high-scoring and highly efficient games from DeMar DeRozan and James Harden (100 total points on 45 shots) have dropped the Jazz to .500 and to 10th (from third) in defensive efficiency.


Two losses to end the week put an abrupt stop to momentum Utah was building. However, their defensive prowess should allow them to remain competitive all year long.

SLC Dunk

The national media can’t figure out what to make of this team and neither can I. The overtime win over the Blazers deserved a bump, but the blowout loss to the Rockets deserved a drop. I split the difference and just left the Jazz at 15th best in the league. At some point, if teams keep going off from 3 against Utah, we’re going to have to take a closer look at the perimeter defense. For now, I’ll chalk it up to the “make or miss league” narrative.