clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

The Utah Jazz resurgence — what’s next?

New, comments

While the December Schedule looms over us, how will the Utah Jazz move forward?

Utah Jazz v Brooklyn Nets Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

It is possible we see the return of Rudy Gobert in tonight’s game against the Washington Wizards, according to Eric Woodyard of Deseret News.

He’s listed as questionable.

“Well, I defer to our medical group on that,” said Jazz coach Quin Snyder. “We’re going to confer and trust those guys to not do anything to put Rudy in harm’s way and when he’s ready to go he’ll be ready to go.”

Gobert has been sidelined for the past 11 games with a bone bruise in his right knee.

He was originally expected to miss at least four weeks but the big man is a little more than three weeks removed from the right tibia contusion after clashing with Miami’s Dion Waiters on Nov. 10.

This raises some questions, understandably, as much of our success has stemmed from good floor spacing and high-efficiency offense. Derrick Favors especially has been great for us at the Center position. How then do we insert Rudy into the rotation so as to not break the flow of what we have going on? Utah Jazz coach, Quin Snyder, addressed this briefly.

If Rudy does play, he will likely be on a minutes restriction. Easing him in is probably the best way to go about this, giving Quin room to adjust lineups and rotations.

Speaking of our hot streak, Nylon Calculus posted a graph of each team’s net ratings in 10-game intervals:

While we have had a bit of an easier schedule the past couple weeks, it definitely seems as though we’ve figured a few things out concerning offense. Not to mention we had a rising star break out. Donovan Mitchell is making waves, and even the most elite of the NBA are taking note. When asked if he saw Donovan’s 41 point game, Damian Lillard answered:

December will be a huge test for the Jazz, and the results could be the difference between a 41-win season and a 50-win season.

What is the biggest sign of Donovan’s development? Is it his monster jams, his spin move layups, or his shooting? Quin stated that a specific play is the biggest sign of his development, and you might not even remember this one. Out of everything Spida Mitchell has done in the past weeks, this is the play that shows the most growth in his game according to Quin Snyder (click through):

Speaking of Donovan’s playmaking abilities, he credited one of his teammates in particular with mentoring him.

Donovan isn’t the only one showing major improvements this season. Alec Burks has been displaying maturity, poise, and new-found defensive prowess. He too credits one of his teammates for this change.

Our vets have been very good for us this season, making the players around them better in more ways than one. With these recent changes, we have gone from a “tanking” team into a potential tough playoff team, capable of returning to the second round.

Donovan is getting more national eyes than any Jazz player in recent history. Large-market-focused BBall Breakdown even put out a video on Donovan’s 41-point game.

Donovan could mean a whole lot more than a typical star to this team. He could be the key to unlocking our market limits, giving the Jazz exposure and actual popularity, if things continue the way they are. This is an exciting time to be a Jazz fan.