There was something about that opening night game against the Thunder that felt like the opening games for the Jazz would be tougher than expected. A tough, rock-fight of a game ended with a close win for the Jazz. It happened again in game 4 against the Suns. What was supposed to be an easy win against the lowly Suns ended up being a nail-biter and a 1?
Turns out Shae Gilgous Alexander is taking a huge leap and as of today have a positive net rating. The Suns are this year’s surprise team making those wins look much better in hindsight.
That 5-3 record could also be deceiving because even in the Jazz losses they’ve been close games. (Again, let’s just forget about that Kings loss.) Against the Western Conference leading Lakers, the Jazz were without Bojan Bogdanovic and against the Clippers they couldn’t get a defensive rebound.
Now the Jazz are left with what seems like an underwhelming 5-3 record. But that record is about to get better.
Tonight the Jazz have another tough game against the Milwaukee Bucks but here’s how their next ten games look: Warriors, Nets, Grizzlies, Timberwolves, Timberwolves, Warriors, Pelicans, Bucks, Pacers, Grizzlies. Those are all very winnable games.
On top of that the Jazz haven’t even reached their full potential offensively.
As of Friday morning (11/8/2019), according to NBA.com, the Jazz have the #2 defense in the league with the #26 offense. With the offseason additions of Mike Conley and Bojan Bogdanovic, that’s pretty surprising. With Rudy Gobert, having a top #5 defense should just be expected. He’s the best defensive player in the game and deserves another DPOY award. The debate is over already. But why hasn’t the offense been better?
The first reason is pretty obvious. So far this season Mike Conley hasn’t hit his stride. The percentages just aren’t there yet.
But there are other things that show the Jazz team as a whole will be better.
For example, the Jazz are currently 27th in the league in 3 point attempts per game, but they’re 8th in the league in 3 point percentage. You can bet Quin is going to get those three point attempts up.
The Jazz are also 25th in the league in turnover rate. Mike Conley is normally very good at protecting the ball and he will get better as he gets more comfortable with Snyder’s schemes. But the team as a whole has not been good enough protecting the ball. As they find more chemistry together, and understand the offense better, the Jazz will improve dramatically on offense. There’s also a chance the defense improves as well by stopping some potential transition points for the opponent off of those turnovers.
So what will happen when Utah hits their stride offensively and Mike Conley gets closer to his career averages? A win streak is what happens, that’s what!
All signs are pointing to the season Jazz fans were hoping for, now we just have to sit back and enjoy it.