Friday, December 2, 2022

Are The Utah Jazz The NBA’s Biggest Surprise So Far?

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(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)


There have been a few surprises, both good and bad, to start the NBA season, and one of them has been the Utah Jazz.

Over the last couple of seasons, they were one of the better teams in the Western Conference, and in fact, they finished with the best record in the league during the 2020-21 season.

But after underachieving in the playoffs every year, new team executive Danny Ainge decided to blow it up by trading All-Stars Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert this past summer.

Many thought Utah would be a bad team this season and that perhaps it would even tank to try to be able to draft Victor Wembanyama next year.

Instead, it has been playing extremely well to the tune of a 7-3 record.


The Jazz Have Been The Definition Of Overachievers

Utah has a few good players, such as guards Jordan Clarkson, Mike Conley and Collin Sexton, as well as forward Lauri Markkanen.

But in all likelihood, it will not have a single representative in the All-Star game, which will be held in its home market of Salt Lake City.

However, the Jazz have been the proverbial whole that is greater than the sum of its parts.

They have six players averaging in double figures and are averaging 117.0 points per game, which is tied for fourth in the NBA.

On Friday night, they traveled down to Southern California and defeated a Los Angeles Lakers team that has been excelling on the defensive end by the score of 130-116.

They played an outstanding offensive game, shooting 50.5 percent from the field and 42.5 percent from 3-point range while dishing off 31 assists and committing only eight turnovers.

The Jazz almost certainly will not keep up this type of pace all season long, but they are absolutely the biggest surprise of the season so far, and perhaps they have a real shot at reaching the play-in tournament.



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