How good is this year's start compared with the beginnings of seasons past?
If you're anything like me, you may be feeling cautiously optimistic for the Jazz. They won in Sacramento, then lost a heartbreaker to the reigning champs, taking them down to the very bitterest of ends. Then there was the episode against the Grizzlies, which I won't refer to in order to hopefully absolve myself of reliving the painful memories. But we've looked like we're on the up and up. We've now won three straight. Sure, those wins came against shorthanded Houston and New Orleans teams, but the wins were convincing. I don't know that you could make me believe that James Harden staying in the game or Anthony Davis not missing his would have led to different outcomes in the win-loss column. Then, the night following the trouncing of the Pelicans, we ground out a W against the Mavericks.
But I'll be honest. In moments alone, sometimes, being a selfish fan, I feel like we haven't had a good enough start. I just see Jonas not getting that tip, and then playing a halfway decent game against Memphis, and we're sitting atop the NBA standings at 6-0. So I decided to look back at the past few years to see where we stand. Are we doing ok, relative to past years? Here is what I found: Since the 2008-09 season, where we went 5-1, we have only had one start (15-16) as good as the one we're having this year, and none better. (Also, it may be important to note that in that 15-16 season, after starting 4-2, we went on a three-game losing streak) So essentially, provided we can win against the Timberwolves, we will be off to the best start since D-Will and Booz were playing in EnergySolutions Arena under Jerry Sloan. That's promising.
So if you feel, like I was, a little naive disappointment, just look at where we've been, and where we are hoping to go. Recognize, that we really are doing better than just about ever. Obviously, we're six games in. It's hard to tell what's going to happen, but we have to make do with what we have. So I would contend that we're doing just fine. For the most part, we've won the games we are supposed to win. If we can keep that up, we're guaranteed upwards of a 50-win season, and then if we can box out even more in the last few seconds of our tight games in the future, we'll be reasonably looking to push 60. So the fact that some Jazz fans have been slightly underwhelmed with our start should not be alarming. It shows the potential we have and the prospects that are there for us as we figure things out this season. Excited to see where we go!
Let me know if I'm alone in my initial view of this start, or if we're all in this together.