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NBA Power Rankings: Utah Jazz looking good at the break

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Utah’s 32-25 record at the break has the Jazz in the top third of the league

NBA: San Antonio Spurs at Utah Jazz Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports

It’s been over a week since the Utah Jazz entered the All Star break blowing a fourth quarter lead at Oracle Arena and losing to the Golden State Warriors. The loss put the Jazz at 32-25 with 25 games to play.

After a rough start to the season, Utah is 14-6 since the turning of the calendar to 2019. Sitting in the 6th seed in the Western Conference with one of the easiest remaining schedules in the league, the Jazz can still make some headway. At the break, the national media has Utah hovering around the top 10 in the latest round of power 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

Ricky Rubio maintained his professionalism -- and sense of humor -- as the Jazz dangled him in an attempt to upgrade with Mike Conley. Utah probably needs Rubio, a free agent this summer, at his best to advance past the first round for the third straight year. The Jazz also need Dante Exum to come back strong after a long absence due to a left ankle sprain. -- MacMahon

CBS Sports

Been telling you for months that the Jazz, who struggled for the first couple months of the season, would turn things around. And they have. Prediction: This team, which didn’t make any big trade-deadline moves and currently sitting in sixth place, will keep improving, and end up hosting a first-round playoff series. They’re only two games back from the fourth-place Trail Blazers, and they have the second-easiest remaining schedule in the NBA, per Tankathon.com.

SI.com

A win in Oracle would have been a great way to go into the All-Star Break. Instead the Jazz will just have to go into the break with the understanding that they are still in a prime position to snag the four seed and get home court for at least one playoff series this season.

NBA.com

Though they blew an opportunity at a big win at Golden State last Tuesday (by missing their last nine 3-point attempts) and have no more games against the fourth-place Blazers or fifth-place Rockets, the Jazz still have a legit shot at a top-four seed in the West (and home-court advantage in the first round for the first time since John Stockton was running the point). They actually have only nine more games (including four in the next 11 days) against teams that currently have winning records, and they’ve done well taking care of business. Since Christmas, they’re 12-0 against the 15 teams that are currently under .500.

Rotoworld

According to NBA.com, Rudy Gobert is on pace to become the first player to average at least 15 points, ten rebounds and two blocks on 60 percent shooting since Dwight Howard did so in the 2009-10 season. Gobert is also first in the NBA in real defensive plus-minus (5.4), first in effective field goal percentage (.653), first in true shooting percentage (.674), and third in total win shares (9.8).

SLC Dunk

I still believe this team’s ceiling could have been raised at the trade deadline, but it takes two to tango, and the Jazz were left without a dance partner at the buzzer. Dennis Lindsey will have to revisit some of those talks come the draft, I’m sure. For now, all that’s left to do is support the team down the home stretch and hope for a third straight year of some playoff success.