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NBA Power Rankings: Winless week drops Utah Jazz

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Hello darkness my old friend... The power rankings drop again...

NBA: Toronto Raptors at Utah Jazz Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

Things are not well in Jazz land. Not well at all. After a promising, even if occasionally lackluster, 4-2 start, Utah has dropped four straight contests. The schedule has been grueling, but the Jazz have been fortunate in not facing as much star power as they could have. Players the caliber of Jimmy Butler and Kawhi Leonard are sitting out, but Utah is still losing. An 0-4 start to the home schedule seems particularly problematic.

Don’t think this has gone unnoticed by the national media. After spending a large portion of the summer as media darlings of a sort, Utah is beginning to fall out of favor with the experts. A new low water mark for the season of 15 has been set by NBA.com and Sports Illustrated. The other publications followed suit, and this is a week of down arrows across the board.

NBA Power Rankings

Publication Preseason Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 6 Week 7 Week 8 Week 9 Week 10 Week 11 Week 12 Week 13 Week 14 Week 15 Week 16 Week 17 Week 18 Week 19 Week 20 Week 21
Publication Preseason Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 6 Week 7 Week 8 Week 9 Week 10 Week 11 Week 12 Week 13 Week 14 Week 15 Week 16 Week 17 Week 18 Week 19 Week 20 Week 21
ESPN.com 7 7 7 6 5 6 7 12 12 13 12 11 9 6 5 3 8 9 7 9 12 7
CBS Sports 6 6 9 13 7 8 8 12 13 12 12 8 6 3 4 4 10 8 6 10 13 6
SI.com 6 6 9 13 8 8 11 11 12 12 12 11 9 7 6 6 8 7 7 8 8 8
NBA.com 5 7 7 11 7 8 10 12 13 12 13 8 6 3 3 3 7 7 6 9 9 6
Rotoworld 7 7 7 9 7 5 6 12 12 12 12 7 7 3 4 3 9 8 7 9 12 7
USA Today 4 4 4 6 5 7 9 12 12 12 11 9 4 3 3 3 9 6 6 12 12 9
FiveThirtyEight 5 6 8 7 5 6 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 5 4 4 5 6 5 11 11 10
SLC Dunk 4 4 6 7 4 6 8 11 13 12 11 8 6 3 3 3 8 6 6 10 10 8

ESPN.com

What a brutal week for the Jazz. Derrick Rose dropped 50 on Utah, while the Timberwolves proved that they could actually win without Jimmy Butler. For the second time this season, the Grizzlies handed the Jazz a home loss. And the Nuggets went on a 24-3 run in the fourth quarter to make sure the Jazz went winless for the week. Silver lining: Neither of the Donovan Mitchell injury scares (hamstring, ankle) were serious. -- MacMahon

CBS Sports

Three losses in a row plus a Donovan Mitchell twisted ankle spells concern for the Jazz. A three-game home stretch this week -- all against teams that are on the second night of a back-to-back -- could be the perfect tonic ... assuming Mitchell gets right. The Jazz collapsed in the fourth quarter Saturday against Denver, getting outscored 35-15 after leading by five with 12 minutes to play. But it was the Jazz’s fifth game in third games in four days (and second night of a back-to-back). That’s context.

SI.com

Utah became stingier over the course of the week, so that was one plus. The Jazz started by giving up 128 to the Timberwolves without Jimmy Butler. They finished this tough stretch with a horrid 6-for-31 three-point shooting performance in Denver.

NBA.com

The Jazz offense had some good minutes with Derrick Favors and Rudy Gobert on the floor together against Minnesota and Memphis last week, but those were the teams’ two worst defensive games of the season, with a couple of point guards -- Derrick Rose and Mike Conley -- recording season highs in scoring. And with an ugly offensive performance in Denver on Saturday, the Jazz have a three-game losing streak, with Donovan Mitchell out for Monday’s game against Toronto with an ankle injury (which will give him as many absences -- two -- as he had all of last season). They’ve played five of their last six on the road and are still winless (0-3) at Vivint Smart Home Arena, but will have a rest advantage for each of their three games on this week’s homestand (all three opponents will be playing the second game of a back-to-back).

Rotoworld

Jazz fans got a major scare late Saturday night when Donovan Mitchell fell to the floor and clutched his left ankle before being carried off the court by trainers. However, Utah faithful were able to breathe a sigh of relief a short while later when he returned to the bench and then checked back into the game. “I was just being a baby,” Mitchell told reporters afterward. “I’m good. I’ve twisted an ankle before. It’s not a great feeling. I don’t tape my ankles, so I’ll probably start.” Utah will likely need Mitchell if they want to snap their three-game losing streak when they square off with the Raptors on Monday night.

SLC Dunk

No one wants to hear it, but the Jazz just are not very good right now. Donovan Mitchell has had a couple of different injuries, Ricky Rubio’s struggles remain immense and the team as a whole just isn’t clicking. They’re back to the middle of the pack for me until they can prove they can snap out of it.