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Utah Jazz Represented well in Midseason Media Survey

Lauri Markkanen as MIP?

Every year the NBA surveys the media around the league to gauge the storylines and player performances at the midway mark. This survey was recently released and the Utah Jazz were represented consistently and well throughout. And I’d like to take a minute just sit right there... let’s review the results and how the Jazz performed!

Based on what you’ve seen so far, which team made the best overall personnel moves last summer?

  1. Cleveland - 67%
  2. Utah - 10%
  3. Boston - 7%
  4. Denver - 7%

That Cleveland-Utah trade appears to be one of those rare win-wins. The Cavs got an absolute superstar in his prime. The Jazz got an All-Star, potential future 6th man, a promising rookie, and several draft picks in return as they shifted to rebuild. Granted, the Jazz are also #2 because of the absolute haul from the Rudy Gobert trade. It’s pretty rare that you can trade 2 All-Stars and be in consideration for best personnel moves from the summer.

Which rookie has been the biggest steal related to where he was selected in the 2022 Draft?

  1. Andrew Nembhard, Indiana (No. 31)
  2. Walker Kessler, Utah (No. 22)
  3. Bennedict Mathurin, Indiana (No. 6)

Speaking of the Rudy Gobert trade, Walker Kessler! In a redraft, he almost certainly goes in the top 6-8. And if this media survey had been after Kessler became the first rookie since 2014 to put up a 20/20 game, then he may very well have been #1 from this question.

Who is on track to win the Kia Most Improved Player award?

  1. Lauri Markkanen, Utah - 53%
  2. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Oklahoma City - 33%
  3. Tyrese Haliburton, Indiana - 7%
  4. Anfernee Simons, Portland - 7%

Lauri Legend! The Finnisher! Love that guy, and well deserved recognition here for the ridiculous leap he has taken this season. Zach Lowe put it really well in his “10 Things I like + Don’t Like” this week:

You keep waiting for the slump — for reality to slap Markkanen in the face, to remind him how he disappointed with the Chicago Bulls, that he never hinted he could survive as the No. 1 option.

It appears as if you can stop waiting. Markkanen keeps doing this, keeps looking self-assured even as defenses throw everything at him. He is averageing 24.5 points on better than 50-40 shooting — including a mammoth 61% on 2s. Over his last 11 games, Markkanen has poured in 30.5 points and gotten to the line almost nine times per game. he has (at worst) a very strong All-Star case. He might be a lock. Utah is plus-5 per 100 possessions with Markkanen on the floor and minus-6.8 when he sits. He is the keystone of a strange roster constructed ad hoc from the remnants of mega-trades.

Which first-year head coach has had the most positive impact on his team?

  1. Joe Mazzulla, Boston - 37%
  2. Jacque Vaughn, Brooklyn - 23%
  3. Will Hardy, Utah - 20%

“Who could we hire that could possibly be better than Quin Snyder?” That was a common thought when some were asking for a coaching change after a few years of postseason failures. And especially once Coach Q decided to step away. I’m not saying that Will Hardy is already a better head coach than Quin Snyder. But what I am saying is that the change brought a breath of fresh air to the Jazz and it’s very clear he is extremely good at his job. I hope he has a very long coaching career right here in Salt Lake.

Which active player will make the best head coach someday?

  1. Chris Paul, Phoenix - 40%
  2. Garrett Temple, New Orleans - 10%
  3. Mike Conley Jr., Utah - 7%
  4. Taj Gibson, Washington - 7%
  5. Draymond Green, Golden State - 7%
  6. Tyrese Haliburton, Indiana - 7%

Ok first, LOL at anyone that actually thinks Draymond would be a good coach. Anyways, this highlights a major reason why Conley was one of the few remaining pieces from last year’s team. He’s been a great mentor and floor general for a young roster hungry to improve.

Which team has the best homecourt advantage?

  1. Golden State - 37%
  2. Boston - 27%
  3. Denver - 17%
  4. Milwaukee - 7%

Why did I include a result where Utah wasn’t even included? Not even in the “Also receiving votes” section? Because it’s a poll about best homecourt advantage and Utah isn’t on the list. This is unacceptable. We have a lot of ground to make back up, especially now that it will officially be the Delta Center again starting this summer. Get out and be loud!