Utah Jazz Continue Picking Up Steam

Utah has a lot to be excited about how their Jazz players are playing right now. Utah is riding high after winning five games in a row and they are playing some inspired basketball. Granted their opponent’s records in that win streak are only 49-102 on the year, but they are winning nonetheless. So what went right for the Jazz last week against Orlando, Atlanta, and Charlotte? And what can we expect in Salt Lake City and on the road over the next week?

Defensively Consistent

Utah did not have any outstanding defensive games this past week, but they did not have a poor outing either. Utah held Orlando to just 102 points and their all-star center Nikola Vucevic to nineteen points on 4/15 shooting. Next, they held Atlanta to 106 points and possible all-star Trae Young to just 9/28 shooting. Lastly, they held Charlotte to just 107 points and most improved player candidate Devonta Graham to just 7/22 shooting. Regardless of whether good players score if they do so inefficiently then all the credit to the opposing defense for doing so. No teams scoring over 110 points is great in today’s NBA, which favors scoring more than defending.

Bojan Bogdanovic Is On Fire

Image result for bojan bogdanovic charlotte hornets

Jazz fans were incredibly impressed by their off-season acquisition Bojan Bogdanovic this past week. Bojan had thirty points, five rebounds, and five assists against the Orlando Magic to start the week. He followed that up with a nineteen point, nine-rebound outing against the Hawks on the road. Then to conclude the week Bojan scored twenty-six points against Charlotte. If there is one thing Utah has struggled with the past few seasons it is scoring. Donovan Mitchell had very little help, but Bogdanovic is helping greatly with that. If Bojan can continue to score like this, then Utah will be a tough out in the playoffs.

Dominating On The Boards

Utah has size across the board and they are making teams pay for it. Utah may be thirteenth in rebounds per game, but this past week they far exceeded that. Against Orlando, Utah outrebounded them fifty-eight to forty-one led by Rudy Gobert’s nineteen boards. In Atlanta, Gobert had thirteen rebounds and the Jazz outrebounded the Hawks fifty-three to forty. Finally, the Jazz visited Charlotte where Gobert had nineteen rebounds once again. The Jazz only had forty-two as a team, but still outrebounded the Hornets by six. Rebounding is huge in the NBA and the Jazz are rebounding at an elite level right now.

The Week Ahead For Utah

The Jazz will have two road matchups with a home game in the middle this coming week. Their week begins Monday night in Miami as the Jazz take on a difficult Heat team. The Jazz and Heat are very similar in style of play, but with Donovan Mitchell rolling we give the edge to the Jazz. Utah then gets Christmas Eve and Christmas Day off before a Boxing Day matchup in Salt Lake City with Portland. The Trail Blazers are on a four-game winning streak of their own, but the Jazz will continue their winning streak in this one. Utah will finish off their week in Los Angeles versus the Clippers. Kawhi and Paul George are a tough matchup and this is where the Jazz winning streak will likely end.

By next week Utah will be 20-12. Book It.

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Kenneth Cotterilll

Kenneth hosts the Shooters Shoot Pod, which drops every Monday at 9 AM CST. Kenneth is also a senior writer for Overtime Heroics covering the Miami Heat and Duke Blue Devils

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