By: Joe Borek (@jjborek26)
The Utah Jazz is one of the NBA’s most surprising teams thus far. They have a good roster and should be a productive team, but not many foresaw them being in first place in the West at this point. That was a spot most had reserved for the Lakers or their LA counterpart, the Clippers. With the help of Davis being out for the Lakers, the Jazz is up 2.5 games in the standings for first place. Their stars are stepping up, and Mike Conley is now proving to be a very valuable pick-up. He is averaging 16.5 points with 5.6 assists to go along with it. He also is grabbing 3.5 rebounds per game as a guard. He is literally playing like a mini Chris Paul, and that is helping facilitate the offense in ten fold
Then there is the bucket himself, Donovan Mitchell. He is averaging a whopping 24.6 points with 4.4 rebounds and 5.1 assists to go along with it. When he gets going, he is unstoppable, and that, unfortunately for his opponents, is most nights. Mitchell is establishing himself as one of the best guards in the NBA and continues to get better. That is a scary thought. He and Conley have been the focal points of the Jazz’s offense while center Rudy Gobert is grabbing 13.5 boards a game and playing solid defense. He also is averaging an excellent 14 points even per game with 1.3 assists.
The pickup of Bojan Bogdanovic has also been money since he came over last season. Having him on the floor just gives Conley and Mitchell another great shooter to pass too. Which, in turn, spaces out the floor so well for the Jazz. He capitalizes on 15.5 points with 3.9 rebounds and 2.1 assists. We also cannot talk about the Jazz without the mention of Jordan Clarkson, who is going off this year. He averages 18.2 points with four even rebounds and two assists. Another pure scorer the Jazz have on their roster. Then on the defensive side of the ball, Royce O’Neal is emerging as one of the best pure defenders in basketball. He also chips in 7.6 points a night with 6.8 rebounds and 2.3 assists. So it is safe to say the Jazz have a well-thought-out and deep roster. Dennis Lindsay has done an excellent job at putting this roster together.
The Jazz also has the often forgotten vet still in Dereck Favors; He is not at all what he once was due to injury but is still an excellent player to have for about 15 minutes a night. Since returning to the Jazz this year, he averages 6.3 points with 5.6 rebounds. He is now a nice veteran presence on a team with a lot of young blood. He brings leadership and excellent bench minutes. Suitable for him to be able to figure out a way to still stick in the league.
There you have it, the 2021 Utah Jazz are ready to rock, and they seem poised to contend with both the Lakers and Clippers for the Western Conference crown. Do not be surprised to see this team in the Chip come this summer. Stay Jazzy, everyone.