For the last few seasons, the Utah Jazz have been working hard to improve their team and crawl to the top of the NBA Western Conference.
That is exactly what they have done, and they now sit as the third seed with a record of 19-7.
It’s a far cry from last season when they ended up number one with 52-20, but it’s still an incredible feat for a team that is rarely talked about as legitimate Finals contenders.
The truth is that the Jazz are doing tremendous work and could really go all the way this year if they stay diligent and keep their eyes on the prize.
What can they do to stay toward the top of the West and maybe finally make the Finals?
Keep Pressing Hard On Offense
The Jazz are averaging 115.3 points a game, the highest in the NBA.
They have an offensive rating of 117.5, which is unsurprisingly also the highest in the NBA.
Not enough people talk about this but the Jazz are truly the most dominant scorers in the entire league and they need to keep it that way if they hope to stay at the top of the Western Conference.
When it comes to scoring, coach Quin Snyder has a multitude of options: from Donovan Mitchell (24.8 points a game) to Rudy Gobert (15.1) to Bojan Bogdanovic (16.8) or Jordan Clarkson (14.6), the Jazz have a plethora of scorers and that means that any team going up against them is going to get inundated with offense.
Utah is first in three-points attempted and three-points made – a deadly combo.
They are currently landing 37.2 percent of their threes, which is a number they could conceivably improve on, although they don’t want to sacrifice the other field goals they are making.
The Utah Jazz are the first team in NBA history to make 20+ threes in 3 straight games.
— StatMuse (@statmuse) December 9, 2021
No matter what anyone says, basketball is a game about points and when it comes to offense, no one does it better than the Jazz.
They will need to keep it that way to continue their success.
Go Small Or Go Home
If the Jazz are so good, why haven’t they been to the Finals lately?
That’s simply because other teams in the league figure out how to beat them – and that’s often by playing small ball.
The NBA has become increasingly smaller in the last decade or so and that seems to be a weak spot for the Jazz.
They always have problems going up against teams like the Phoenix Suns or Golden State Warriors, squads who rely on faster yet tinier players.
— KSL Sports (@kslsports) December 12, 2021
This would allow more rest time for Gobert and would also hopefully go a long way to stopping the Suns, Warriors, Clippers and other teams who have proved to be small but ultimately deadly to the Jazz.
It’s a relief to see Snyder attempting to fix this problem and figure out a way to strengthen his team – fans only wish he did it last year.
The Jazz will have a tough time making it to the Finals, especially if the Warriors and Suns continue to play like they are.
However, they are working hard to stay at the top of the Western Conference and are improving their chances of making it to the Finals.