clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

NBA Power Rankings: Win streak propels Utah Jazz up rankings

Utah was a perfect 3-0 last week

NBA: Cleveland Cavaliers at Utah Jazz Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

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

* CBS Sports appears to have taken the week off due to the holiday

ESPN.com

The Warriors are the only team with a longer active winning streak than the Jazz, who have reeled off six straight wins despite injuries to the three point guards on the roster. Utah is allowing only 97.2 points per 100 possessions during the streak -- and only 86.3 with reigning Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert on the floor. Gobert also became the first Utah player since Karl Malone in 1988 to have consecutive 20-rebound games when he ripped down a total of 47 boards in wins over the Pistons and Clippers. -- MacMahon

SI.com

The Jazz have won six straight and slid into seventh in the West, next up is five consecutive divisional games, including two against the Trail Blazers, who are only two games up on Utah in the standings. If Utah wins one of those games, it wins the season series over Portland, and gets a crucial tiebreaker in the crowded West. And they say January basketball doesn’t matter.

NBA.com

The Jazz have been playing without a point guard (because Ricky Rubio, Dante Exum and Raul Neto are all hurt) for the last five games, but have won six straight and are a West-best 12-4 over the last 4 1/2 weeks. The five games without a point guard have been their fastest-paced stretch of the season (103.3 possessions per 48 minutes) and over those eight days, they’ve outscored their opponents by 23.5 points per 100 possessions in 148 minutes with Donovan Mitchell on the floor with replacement starter Royce O’Neale. In addition to it being one of the best shooting stretches of Mitchell’s career, he’s also getting to the line more: 31 free throw attempts per 100 shots from the field over the winning streak, up from 21 over his first 37 games. The Jazz are seemingly on their way to ranking No. 1 on defense by the All-Star break, but six of their 10 remaining pre-break games (including visits from the Blazers and Nuggets on Monday and Wednesday) are against top-10 offenses.

Rotoworld

Winners of six in a row, the Jazz are streaking. Donovan Mitchell has been dominant during Utah’s six-game game run, averaging 30.0 points, 3.8 rebounds, 5.7 assists, 1.7 steals and 2.8 treys, while shooting 51.2 percent from the floor, 40.5 percent from downtown and 82.5 percent from the charity stripe.

SLC Dunk

Mitchell’s stats over this streak are littered throughout the blurbs above, so I won’t be redundant here. Suffice it to say, playing point guard has agreed with Mitchell’s game.

I won’t go so far as to say I think the Jazz will regress with the return of the point guards from injury, but it is something to keep an eye on. Perhaps more important is that Royce O’Neale seems to be a different player when paired with Mitchell at the point for whatever reason.