clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

NBA Power Rankings: All is not well in Utah Jazz land

New, comments

After an embarrassing loss to the Suns, have the Jazz begun a turnaround?

NBA: Washington Wizards at Utah Jazz Russell Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Going 1-4 on a 5-game home stand fresh off of the all-star break is less than ideal, to say the least. The Utah Jazz started off last week with the worst loss of the bunch, a 20-point blowout at the hands of the Phoenix Suns.

Back to back wins over the Washington Wizards and Cleveland Cavaliers in their last two have given the Jazz a brief reprieve from the losing streak, but the underlying numbers still aren’t great. That bears out in the fact that Utah hasn’t budged from their 12 and 11 spot in USA Today’s Sagarin model and FiveThirtyEight’s ELO rating model.

Elsewhere around the web, the Jazz continued their descent in this week’s power rankings, now in the double digits in all of the rankings we track except Sports Illustrated and NBA.com.

If this is the start of a turnaround, tough, we’ll find out quickly as the Jazz will stay on the road for 4 of their next 5, and 3 of those 5 are against current playoff teams.

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

Donovan Mitchell has scored at least 30 points in four consecutive games for the first time in his career and has a true shooting percentage of 60.8 during that span. But Mitchell has been a big part of the Jazz’s recent disastrous defense. Utah allowed 125.8 points per 100 possessions with Mitchell on the floor during a 1-4 homestand coming out of the All-Star break. — MacMahon

CBS Sports

The Jazz saw their losing streak extend to four games by falling to the Suns and Celtics to start the week, but they bounced back to beat the Wizards on Friday to get back on the winning path. The team reportedly decided to send Mike Conley to the bench, but then changed course and had Joe Ingles captain the reserve unit. Donovan Mitchell has taken over the offense of late, averaging 35 points on 48 percent 3-point shooting over the past week.

SI.com

Mike Conley is perhaps the biggest bust of 2019-20. The former Grizzlies point guard arrived in Utah as a potential difference maker in the Western Conference, arming Utah with another quality ball handler. The Jazz’s move has not exactly worked as planned. Conley is shooting just 39.5% this season. He’s been relegated to the bench, and Jordan Clarkson has frankly looked like a better option for significant stretches. What was supposed to be a key addition is now a troubling albatross.

(Author’s note: Perhaps not encouraging that the highest-ranking publication of the week also thinks Mike Conley is coming off the bench instead of Joe Ingles.)

NBA.com

The Jazz have committed more turnovers than their opponents in 16 of their last 17 games, and that’s more about their defense than their offense. They rank last in opponent turnover rate (10.5 per 100 possessions) over that stretch, with their opponents having committed fewer than 10 turnovers in eight of the 17 games.

A lack of turnovers hasn’t been their only issue on that end of the floor as the Jazz have allowed 120.6 points per 100 possessions over their five post-break games, their worst defensive stretch of the season. Their opponents have shot 44% from 3-point range, the Suns scored 66 points in the paint (four off their season high) on Monday, and the Celtics registered 21 second-chance points (four off their season high) on Wednesday.

The Jazz shot 19-for-37 from 3-point range against the Wizards’ 30th-ranked defense and got great minutes from their bench on Friday to put an end to their four-game losing streak. The new (old) starting lineup (the one without Joe Ingles) that they finally settled on Wednesday has scored 118.2 points per 100 possessions in its 543 total minutes, the third best mark among 30 lineups that have played at least 200.

Rotoworld

The Jazz had lost all four games they’d played since the All-Star break, before snapping the four-game losing streak Friday vs. the Wizards. Utah embarks on a four-game East Coast road trip starting Monday. However, three of those four games are against the Knicks, Pistons and Cavs.

SLC Dunk

Nothing is fine. Everything is broken. The offense is in and out of sync. The defense is... Well, what defense?

Perhaps there’s still time to get it together, and we’ll see how they continue to measure up in these upcoming games against tough opponents. But if Utah doesn’t make some major changes to their play soon, they’re playing with fire, now having clawed back up to 5 after falling down to 7 in the West briefly.