This Week in Utah: The Jazz are soaring to the top of the NBA

This Week in Utah: The Jazz are soaring to the top of the NBA

by Nico Fiscella

It is a good time to be a Utah Jazz fan. After a Jazz loss on January 31, 2021 to Denver that snapped an 11-game win-streak, Utah has remained undefeated in February. This run has come against five of the top eight teams in the East. This includes teams like the Bucks, Pacers, and Celtics.

The Jazz Are Setting Records

Utah’s 22-5 start is the best start in franchise history. 

The Jazz are fourth in the west, averaging 115 points-per-game while only allowing 105 from their opponents.

Utah has been shooting the lights out as a team. They are hitting 46 percent from the field and 39 percent from three.

Things only get crazier from there.

The Jazz join the 2008-2009 Cavaliers and the 1970-1971 Milwaukee Bucks as the only three teams to record 16 double-digit wins over a 19-game span within a season. 

Utah has six players averaging over ten points per game, while four of the six are averaging over fifteen.

Overall, the Jazz are clicking on all cylinders, and it is going to be difficult to stop this train. 

Jordan Clarkson is the Sixth Man of the Year

When discussing what the Jazz had to do this offseason, I stressed the need to resign Jordan Clarkson.

After coming over from Cleveland, Clarkson finished the year with 15 points on 46 percent from the field. He added some much-needed offense to the Jazz second unit.

After signing a four-year contract to come back to Utah, Clarkson has been having a career year off the bench. 

Clarkson is averaging almost eighteen points per game this season while shooting 45 percent from the field and 37 percent from downtown. Although he does not give you much defense and playmaking, Clarkson has been a crucial piece of this historic Jazz team and he could not have picked a better year to have a career season.

Jordan Clarkson is the clear frontrunner for the Six-Man of the Year award. If he continues at this pace, the award will be his by the end of the season.

ESPN Still Disrespects Utah

The Jazz are off to a historic start this season, and yet ESPN still does not believe Utah is the top team in the league.

Although the Jazz have not yet played the Lakers this season, the Jazz are 14-5 against current playoff seeded teams. For the Lakers, they are 7-6 against the same competition.

The previous two weeks, the top two teams in the power rankings belonged to the Clippers and Lakers, while the Jazz shuffled from 4th to 3rd. 

This season the Jazz have been a far better team than the Clippers. Utah beat the Clippers earlier this year with the help of Mike Conley’s 33 points.

Depending on how Utah plays in the coming week, they could keep a hold of the #1 spot they secured in this morning’s ESPN power rankings.

Next Week in Utah Basketball

The Jazz only has three games this week, however, this will be the toughest three-game stretch Utah has faced so far.

Tonight, Utah takes on Joel Embiid and the #1 seeded Philadelphia 76ers. The 76ers are 18-9, and this could be a possible finals preview set in February.

After this game, the Jazz face off against the 19-8 Los Angeles Clippers. LA, who currently holds the three seed, was put above the Jazz for the last two weeks in the power rankings. If the Jazz can continue their seven-game win streak against these tough teams, the next question becomes:

Who can stop the Utah Jazz?

Featured image courtesy Rick Bowmer/Associated Press

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