Things are trending up for the Utah Jazz. If you’re team playoff push, you have to be pleased with the most recent developments. The week started with the Jazz falling on their faces in Atlanta, having arguably their worst game of the year and losing to the league-worst Hawks in embarrassing fashion. They rebounded well, though, taking back-to-back games for the first time since early December with victories over the Detroit Pistons and current East 2-seed Toronto Raptors. The truth is we’re probably going to get some Jekkyl and Hyde with this team all season, but right now Utah has won four of the last six games. With the DeMarcus Cousins injury and the Blake Griffin trade to the East, the idea of a playoff spot isn’t absurd, depending on Utah’s own deadline moves.
The Jazz won consecutive games for the first time since winning six straight from Nov. 22 to Dec. 4, holding both the Pistons and Raptors to fewer than 100 points. It is the first time this season Utah has held consecutive road opponents to fewer than 100. -- Matt Williams
Utah is healthy and back to being pesky. Thanks to Donovan Mitchell its found a scoring punch it didn’t have earlier in the season. The bottom of the conference is weak, so a solid trade could actually set Utah up for a second half playoff run. It’s a long shot, but there’s a lot of basketball left to play.
God, this is just a mess at the bottom of these rankings. So incredibly sad. I’m supposed to believe in the Jazz now?
The Jazz are 4-23 when they haven’t made at least 37 percent of their 3-point attempts, and the four threes they made in Atlanta on Monday (probably their worst loss of the season) were a season low. But one of those four wins came on Wednesday, when they made three threes in overtime in Detroit. And one of their best wins of the season came two nights later when Ricky Rubio hit the game-winning three in Toronto. Those two games were the first time they’ve held two straight opponents under a point per possession since early November. Their defense could be gaining some traction with Rudy Gobert back, but they’re still five games in the loss column out of a playoff spot and probably a seller with the trade deadline just 10 days away.
Donovan Mitchell has scored in double-figures in each of Utah’s last 13 games. Over that stretch, he is averaging 22.3 points, 4.1 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 2.2 triples, and 1.4 steals.
Anyone tired of watching Donovan Mitchell play basketball yet? No? Me neither. The rook was insane again in Toronto, scoring 26 points including 4-of-7 from the 3-point line. Perhaps most importantly, he only had one turnover and was a game-high +11. The performance was paired with Rudy Gobert rounding back into shape with an 18 point, 15 rebound game. We’re getting a glimpse of the future watching these two play together. Playoffs or not, enjoy that.