The Utah Jazz finished the 2014-2015 season with a lot of momentum. They had made a pretty big move last trade deadline, and power through to a fantastic finish of the season. Expectations were high for the 2015-2016 season but, well you know, injuries happened. If there was a disappointment so far this season it wasn't due to inconsistent play, or locker room tension, or any other of the distractions that divert the best intentions of other franchises. This year the Jazz faced a lot of injuries. They aren't the only team to do so this year, but unlike the New Orleans Pelicans (for example), Utah didn't let the injuries bury them.
In fact, when healthy this team was quite good. They were a .500 team (or above) after eight of their first ten games, and 15 of their first 20. And by "healthy" we mean -- playing without their starting point guard who had suffered an ACL tear during the off-season and would miss all of 2015-2016.
Utah was under .500 for close to 15 straight games, but made a steady climb back up the mountain. Right now the Jazz have returned to not just .500, but above it. And this is remarkable with all of the injuries they've sustained this year. Behold:
|Player||Role||Games Missed||Total Games||Percent of Season|
|Revolving Door = J.J. O'Brien, and,|
|Games Missed do not include DNP-CDs, NBADL, or double secret probations|
First, thank you based Hayward for not missing any time. Second, at some parts of this season the Jazz were without four rotation players, nay! Without four of their best six players for weeks at a time. And yet here they stand. Poised to wreak havoc on the rest of the West, rolling right now on a seven game win streak with revenge in their eyes.
I am encouraged by their tortoise-like dedication to this season. They aren't going to be at full strength at any point, not until Dante returns next season. But they are going to finish this race. And they are likely to have another season ending run that shakes the nerves of the big market teams on their way to the playoffs.