clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

NBA Power Rankings: The Utah Jazz start anew

New, comments

Where have the offseason moves and preseason action placed the Jazz in the eyes of the national media?

NBA: Preseason-Portland Trail Blazers at Utah Jazz Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

The Utah Jazz will tip off the 2019-2020 season Wednesday night in Salt Lake City. With a new season comes a new table and chart tracking the internet’s NBA power rankings. Let’s get started with some preseason Jazz rankings.

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

There are several West teams with more glitz and glamour than the small-market Jazz. However, after a summer of roster renovation, Utah has a legitimate chance to be the last team standing in a loaded conference and perhaps finally bring a championship parade to Salt Lake City.

(ESPN also included a mini-season-preview in their power rankings this week. Click through to read that good stuff.)

CBS Sports

Yes it’s the preseason, but there has to be at least slight concern that the Jazz had the worst defense in the league in their five exhibition games at 111.4 points allowed per 100 possessions (worse than the New Zealand Breakers). Don’t expect that to continue once real games start, but it does highlight the defensive adjustment the team has to make with its new players and the departure of Derrick Favors.

SI.com

Best case: Dennis Lindsey is a top Executive of the Year candidate after landing Mike Conley and Bojan Bogdanovic in the offseason. Conley’s presence should relieve the playmaking load for Donavan Mitchell, who can slide to a more natural role as a scoring guard. Gobert was ultra-efficient offensively last season, showing serious evolution as a rolling finisher. He may add a third Defensive Player of the Year in 2019-20.

Worst case: The Mitchell critics are validated amid an inefficient third season. Mitchell posted the ninth-worst effective field goal percentage among the 52 players to take 1,000 shots last season. He’ll need to finish in the top half for Utah to grab a top-two seed.

NBA.com

The preseason doesn’t count and maybe the Jazz can flip the switch on Wednesday. But an 0-4 record against NBA competition and the league’s worst defense (121 points allowed per 100 possessions) in the preseason (when discounting games vs. international opponents) isn’t something that can be totally disregarded. This team typically finds itself in the second half of the season, but for now, the new guys need to learn the system. With additional playmaking and shooting in the starting lineup, Joe Ingles has moved to the bench, where he’ll run the second-unit offense. That puts some of the defensive spotlight on Royce O’Neale as the Jazz play three of their first seven games against the Lakers and Clippers, with their stars at small forward.

Rotoworld

The arrival of Conley should allow Donovan Mitchell to play off the ball more often this season. It may take some time for the team to develop chemistry and cohesion, but they are a legit championship contender in 2020.

SLC Dunk

It looks like I’m a little higher on the Jazz to start the season than the subjective national pundits. I open the season with Utah ranked behind only the Clippers, Bucks and Nuggets. I suspect there might be some growing pains, though. We’ll see how they battle through those and if it impacts my high expectations early in the season.