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Utah Jazz vs. December Ghosts: Who Won?

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April may be the cruelest month, but December hasn’t historically been too kind to the Jazz either.

NBA: Utah Jazz at Brooklyn Nets Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports

At the beginning of last month, I wrote a piece here about the futility of Utah’s December performance during the past decade and made a prediction, which was as follows:

Again, this December is important. If George Hill, Rudy Gobert and Gordon Hayward continue their dominance, a 9-6 record is entirely realistic, if not a tad pessimistic.

The actual results were . . .

https://media3.giphy.com/media/l3vR6eU0prU8QamOs/200.gif#0

10-5, with losses coming against the Miami Heat, Sacramento Kings, and Golden State Warriors (twice) and Raptors. It may not look like much, but this was the best December mark the Jazz have posted in the past decade, their previous being a 9-5 record in the ‘06-‘07 season. One key thing to remember about this is that (and really, how could we forget?) George Hill was out for most of the month. Rodney Hood missed a couple of games. Gordon Hayward missed a game. Dante Exum missed several games.

The Jazz were starting their third-string point guard for much of the time, and still won 10 games. Let’s not kid ourselves; they didn’t play their best basketball last month, especially on the offensive end, but even that wasn’t terrible. Remember all those games last season and before that where we sadly thought to ourselves after a loss “Well, we were close. Just couldn’t finish it out.” The Utah Jazz—the same Utah Jazz who used to put on disappearing acts in the 4th quarters of games—appear to have shaken that monkey off their backs, thanks in large part to Rudy Gobert and Gordon Hayward.

In light of all that, I’ll take 10-5. Here’s hoping George Hill can play a few games for us down the stretch, though.