Having won nine straight games going into Monday’s tilt with the depleted San Antonio Spurs, the Utah Jazz will undoubtedly be the hottest team in the league entering the All-Star break. The Portland Trail Blazers found themselves as the latest team in playoff position to fall during the streak, as the Jazz used a monstrous third quarter run to knock off Damian Lillard and company. Utah continues to gain respect in the national media in this week’s rankings, even jumping into the top 5 in a few places. On a side note, we’ve finally found what it takes for the Jazz to move the needle for ESPN to the tune of a whole two-spot jump. Just takes a massive win streak.
The NBA’s hottest team will go for its 10th straight win on Monday on the second night of a back-to-back against the Spurs. The Jazz have battled back to .500 after dropping to 19-28 following a loss to the Hawks back on Jan. 22. In the thick of the playoff hunt, BPI gave Utah just a 7 percent chance of making the playoffs after that loss to Atlanta. -- Micah Adams
The Jazz made a big deal that helped the Cavs more than it helped themselves in the short term, but they’re are going to save some money and they’ve managed to move a disgruntled and ineffective Joe Johnson in the process. They could end up missing Rodney Hood, but that depends on which version of Jae Crowder they get.
Break up the Jazz! Utah has won nine straight, including wins over the Spurs, Warriors, Raptors and Blazers. Losing Rodney Hood is tough, but it’s possible Jae Crowder finds new life here. The Jazz would perhaps be better off in the lottery, but their super streak has them in the thick of the hunt for the final playoff spot out west.
It’s difficult to throw any kind of shade toward the Jazz’s nine-game winning streak. It includes wins over three of the top five teams in the league, seven of the nine games have been on the road (where the Jazz were previously 4-17), and they rank in the top three both offensively and defensively over the streak. A few weeks ago, Derrick Favors appeared to be a clear candidate to be traded, but the Favors-Rudy Gobert frontline is working again, they’ve played at least 20 minutes together in each of the last five games (something they hadn’t done since Nov. 10), and the Jazz have outscored their opponents by almost 30 points per 100 possessions in 153 minutes with the bigs on the floor together during the winning streak.
Utah is on a heater, having won nine straight games. In the process, they have vaulted themselves right back into the thick of the Western Conference playoff race. It’s the longest winning streak by the Jazz since they won nine consecutive games back in 2010.
Lets take another moment to reflect on just how crazy this win streak has been. Since January 24, the Jazz have mowed down the East 1 seed, the West 1 seed, the West 3 seed, the West 8 seed and the West 6 seed. Four of those five games have been on the road. The playoff push is officially on.