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NBA Power Rankings: Arrow pointing up for Utah Jazz

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An impressive 3-0 week solidified Utah in the top 10

NBA: Milwaukee Bucks at Utah Jazz Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

Before the Utah Jazz got the script flipped on them by the New Orleans Pelicans Monday night, they were on an incredible run. A 2-0 back-to-back and a win over the Milwaukee Bucks, owners of the best record in the NBA, had Utah flying high with an undefeated week.

Those impressive wins over some of the league’s elite were reflected in this week’s power rankings around the web.

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

Coming off wins over the Nuggets and Bucks, the Jazz have the No. 3 seed in the West in their sights. Utah is two games behind the Thunder and Trail Blazers now and has the NBA’s softest schedule in the final quarter of the season. Speaking of finishing strong, Donovan Mitchell scored 28 points on 11-of-16 shooting in the fourth quarters of those wins over Denver and Milwaukee. -- MacMahon

CBS Sports

Preseason projected win total: 48.7. Currently on pace for: 47.6. Difference: -1.1 wins. One trade-deadline acquisition (Mike Conley) away from being a team that could challenge as the second-best team in the West. These guys are just solid and tough all the way through; big win on Saturday against the Bucks has the Jazz at four in a row.

SI.com

18: Games remaining against opponents with a worse record

With the easiest schedule left in the league, the Jazz have a shot to jump as high as three in the West standings. And if Donovan Mitchell has more performances like Saturday’s 46-point outing left in his bag, there’s a really good chance that happens.

NBA.com

Against the toughest three-game stretch left on their schedule, the Jazz went 3-0, holding three top-11 offenses -- those of the Clippers, Nuggets and Bucks -- to just 102.6 points per 100 possessions. The Jazz got key offensive contributions from Kyle Korver (22 points in Denver) and Derrick Favors (23 points against Milwaukee). Overall, Donovan Mitchell carried the offense, averaging 34 points over the three games (with 19 of his career-high 46 in the fourth quarter against the Bucks on Saturday). Mitchell’s effective field goal percentage and true shooting percentage are still both down from last season, but the Jazz are now 24-4 when he’s had an effective field goal percentage of 50 percent or better. They’re still two games in the loss column out of a top-four seed, but will now play 17 of their next 18 games against teams that are at or below .500.

Rotoworld

Donovan Mitchell has had plenty of special moments since being drafted by Utah in June of 2017, but few compare to his performance on Saturday night in Salt Lake City. With the Jazz down 17 in the fourth quarter, Mitchell took over, scoring 17 points himself in the final eight minutes of the game. He would finish with a career-high 46 points to go along with three rebounds, six assists, two steals, one block and five 3-pointers. Utah is climbing the West’s playoff standings and can make up some ground this week. They have a home-and-home with New Orleans on Monday and Wednesday, and then take on the Grizzlies Friday night.

SLC Dunk

When Donovan Mitchell takes a game over like he did in the fourth quarter against the Bucks, the Jazz are flat-out hard to beat. On Rudy Gobert’s off night Derrick Favors was a monster, putting Utah’s depth on display. The schedule for the remainder of the season will allow for upward movement in the standings.