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The Downbeat: Utah Jazz look to exceed expectations

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Utah ends up in the middle of ESPN’s Power Rankings

Golden State Warriors v Utah Jazz - Game Three Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images

Yeah, yeah, I know- its September. Rankings don’t mean anything right now. But we’re going to talk about them because, well, its September and it’s the only thing we can put on paper at the moment, so stay with me.

ESPN released their latest power rankings basked on BPI (basketball power index), and it put the Jazz about where everyone else is thinking.

The Jazz came in at 16th overall in the NBA, 9th in the Western Conference, and 5th in the Northwest Division. Obviously the Jazz will have much higher expectations than missing the playoffs and finishing last in their division. They are the defending Northwest Division champs, and they will look to defend the banner.

Rodney Hood joined Brandon Ingram and D’Angelo Russell as the Ringer’s breakout players of 2017-18.

This piece written by Kevin O’Connor highlighted several indicators of Rodney Hood’s ability to be a leading scorer for the Utah Jazz.

Hood has shown flashes. He scored 20 or more points five times in the last month of his rookie season. For a 25-game stretch in the middle of his second season, Hood averaged 18.5 points on a 55.7 effective field goal percentage (eFG%). Hayward missed the first six games of the 2016-17 season with a dislocated finger, and Hood took full advantage by averaging 17.4 points with a 55.3 eFG%.

He also points out that Rodney Hood last season per 36 minutes without Gordon Hayward on the court was.. well.. Gordon Hayward.

Rodney Hood has shown he can score in bunches. But scoring consistently and efficiently is what he needs to do to breakout in 2017-18.

The Utah Jazz released their new “Statement” jersey designs last week, and it received mixed reviews among fans and media. With such a bold color choice, the spectrum of opinion naturally becomes very broad, so the Jazz should expect heavily mixed feedback regarding the gold unis. Recently, the Jazz came in 25th of 30 based on the Ringer’s “Very Scientific Rankings”.

Uggetti: A lot of gold is a risky move. The cool green the Jazz have in their scheme barely stands out because the entire jersey looks like an already-used highlighter.

Rudy Gobert made an appearance at a Utah elementary school, and visited with kids who are learning french in class. When Rudy arrived at the scene, he was welcomed with “Rudy! Rudy!” chants from the students, and the video is enough to make your day.

Seeing players get involved in the community is always a great sign. It’s good for the players, for the kids, and the world in general. Good for Rudy for taking time out of his aspiring boxing career and shirtless selfies to do this.

It may be comforting to know that you aren’t the only one that’s dreaming of Utah Jazz players. Even national NBA writers are having and share their weird dreams about the Jazz.

I don’t really know what more there is to say about this tweet ... but Derrick Favors does: