NBA Playoffs: Why Aren't the Utah Jazz Getting Any Love?

NBA Playoffs: Why Aren't the Utah Jazz Getting Any Love?

Ayden Fahlstrom
3 years ago
2 min read

They had the best record in the NBA. They are tops in a loaded West. They have the sixth man of the year and the likely defensive player of the year. And yet, the Utah Jazz are a team that doesn’t get mentioned amongst the NBA elites.

The Lakers are out. The Heat are gone. So, let’s talk about the Jazz. Why aren’t they getting any love?

Are They Tired of the Rudy Gobert Narrative?

Rudy Gobert is a 2x Defensive Player of the Year. 4x All-Defense, and 3x All-NBA. He normally manages to stay healthy and has missed just seven combined games over the past three years. He is the leading shot blocker in the NBA and, in 545 career appearances, is averaging 2.2

And yet, the team falls short every year. Fans love to see Chris Paul cross him over in the playoffs, as he did with the Houston Rockets. For some reason, people outside of Utah and the media think he’s overrated; that you can get him into a switch on the perimeter and try to exploit some sort of advantage.

That is not the case. Folks being tired of Gobert being great need to just not. He’s elite. He might be the DPOY again. Get over it and enjoy him.

Is Mitchell Overrated?

In his fourth NBA season, Donovan Mitchell averaged a career-high 26.4 points per game. He has increased his scoring average during each of his four campaigns, getting better and better. But, like all-star players, he has his off-games. He’s far from perfect, but he’s very good at what he does.

His assist totals were up. He shot a career-high from beyond the arc and proved to be one of the best scorers in the league. Averaging 21 per game as a rookie will thrust you right into the spotlight.

Folks tend to fall in love with players that have high field-goal percentages. Mitchell is not always like that. But let’s not forget his 50-point effort and first-round dominance in the bubble.

Appreciate Mitchell because someday he’ll be 35, and you’ll wish you did. 

Respect the Jazz, Folks

The Jazz lineup really isn’t anything special on paper. Yes, they have Mitchell and Gobert, who are terrific. Bojan Bogdanovic is a scoring wing. Mike Conley has had a good season. And Royce O’Neale is a menace on defense. It’s that they mesh so well together that makes them dangerous.

They are far from the biggest outside of Gobert, as everybody else after that is pretty small. Jordan Clarkson has done a great job off the bench all season, along with Georges Niang, Derrick Favors, and Joe Ingles. That group is a big reason for the success. Plus, a veteran like Ersan Ilyasova brings a lot as a mentor.

At the end of the day, Utah ended up with the top seed. They are a tremendous team. They even have Dwyane Wade in the new ownership group. There is a lot to enjoy about this team. And so, you need to stop hating and start appreciating. 

This is a magnificent year for the Jazz.

Share article on: