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Boston win not enough to keep Jazz afloat in NBA Power Rankings

Utah got a good upset over the Celtics, but a loss to the Bulls has them dropping

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NBA: Utah Jazz at Houston Rockets Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Last week, the Utah Jazz suffered another wave of injuries, with Rudy Gobert and Derrick Favors both going out just as Joe Johnson returned from his absence. Despite that, the Jazz were fantastic in Boston, taking down one of the nationally-viewed title contenders in their house. Before that, though, Utah dropped one in Chicago to the Bulls, who might end up being the worst team in the league this year. That’s less impressive, as evidenced by the slight slide in most power rankings this week. Still, though, the Jazz remain a top-10 team according to the analytical models. Go figure.

Utah wasn’t able to withstand the onslaught in Houston last night, and things aren’t getting any easier the rest of the week, with a visit from the Spurs and two more games against the Thunder on the docket.

How the Utah Jazz were ranked.

Publication Preseason Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 6 Week 7 Week 8 Week 9
Publication Preseason Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 6 Week 7 Week 8 Week 9 12 11 18 13 20 20 19 15 16 18
CBS Sports 18 18 21 12 23 22 17 11 13 18 18 15 18 22 24 26 21 15 18 20 12 9 14 14 20 23 19 12 15 17
Rotoworld - 11 18 17 22 20 19 16 17 19
USA Today - 13 17 14 20 17 16 12 10 10
FiveThirtyEight 9 8 11 11 16 12 14 9 10 9
SLC Dunk - 10 15 15 22 22 19 10 12 15

Rudy Gobert is expected to miss three to four weeks with a PCL sprain. The Jazz have fared well without Gobert this season, going 7-5 without him and 7-11 with him. When he has been on the floor, Utah has an offensive efficiency of 96.5 with a net efficiency of minus-4.6. With him on the bench, that efficiency jumps up to 110.9 and the Jazz outscore their opponents by 7.8 points per 100 possessions. -- Jose De Leon

CBS Sports

Utah is skidding again, and Rudy Gobert is hurt again. They survived pretty well without him the first time thanks to Derrick Favors and Ekpe Udoh, but can they do it again? If they play well without him again does that mean something more or is it just a coincidence?

Well, if LeBron says Donovan Mitchell is the Young King, then he’s the Young King. It’s settled.

If you include Friday's win in Boston (when he went down with another knee injury in the second minute), the Jazz are 8-5 (and have been much better offensively) without Rudy Gobert. Donovan Mitchell had another big game (26 points on 11-for-16 shooting) and they shot 17-for-34 from 3-point range in Cleveland on Saturday, but with Derrick Favors also out, they were a minus-10 and shot 8-for-28 in 15 minutes with Ekpe Udoh (the only true big remaining) off the floor. Playing four games against top-eight defenses this week could have an effect on their strong, no-Gobert offensive numbers, though they rank seventh offensively (106 points scored per 100 possessions in nine games) against the league's top-10 defenses thus far.


Utah was able to keep their heads above water the last time Rudy Gobert was sidelined for an extended period. Will they be able to do it once again? Over the weekend, Gobert was diagnosed with a sprained PCL in his left knee and a bone bruise in his tibia and is expected to miss a month.

SLC Dunk

The Jazz need Joe Johnson to get right sooner than later. And they need Derrick Favors back. Without the starting bigs in the lineup, Utah did alright against the Cavaliers, holding the Cleveland bigs in check for the most part. Against the Rockets, the lack of size on the floor was staggering, with Clint Capela logging a 24 point, 20 rebound game.