UTAH JAZZ

Mitchell, Jazz Have Stepped It Up With Five Wins Over Last Six Games

Jan 14, 2019, 4:01 PM | Updated: 4:09 pm
Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell (45) celebrates after scoring on the Chicago Bulls at Vivint Smart...
Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell (45) celebrates after scoring on the Chicago Bulls at Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019. (Spenser Heaps, Deseret News)
(Spenser Heaps, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Donovan Mitchell’s Western Conference Player of the Week honor was well deserved, but as a whole, the Utah Jazz have been playing much better as a team over their last six games.

In that stretch the Jazz have won five of six, with wins over Cleveland, Detroit, Orlando, Los Angeles (Lakers) and Chicago. Their lone defeat in that time was on the road against Milwaukee, the top team in the Eastern Conference.

It could be argued that the Jazz are beating teams that they’re supposed to beat, and that they played the Lakers without their transcendent superstar in LeBron James, but the stats don’t lie, this Jazz team has been playing like the team that fans expected at the beginning of the season.

A Look At The Numbers

The Jazz are scoring more and playing better defense. Prior to the stretch-starting win over Cleveland on Jan. 4th , the Jazz were scoring 107.7 points per game. Since, they’ve averaged 109.7.

That might not seem like a huge increase, but the real difference comes in the point differential.

Whereas, prior to the win over the Cavs, the Jazz were outscoring teams by 1.7 points per game. Now, the point differential over the last six games is 9.7, an eight point increase. That shows that the defense has definitely tightened up.

The Jazz are also taking and making more 3-pointers. Utah was taking 32.2 3-balls per game after a Jan. 1st loss to the Toronto Raptors, but over the stretch they’re shooting  35.5 trifectas at an improved clip of 36.6 percent.

Individuals Shining For Utah

Offensively, no one has made more strides than Mitchell, who was named the Western Conference’s player of the Week on Monday afternoon.

He’s upped his scoring from 20.1 points per game to 28.3 over the last six games. His field goal percentage has increased 8.5 percent and his 3-point game has dramatically increased from being a below-average 29.1 percent shooter to shooting at an unreal 50 percent pace since Jan. 2nd.

Probably the most interesting stat line over the last six games belongs to Jae Crowder. Offensively, he has struggled a lot during the Jazz’s recent success. His percentages from everywhere on the court have tanked. His field goal percentage has gone down 16 percent, his 3-point shooting percent has also gone down 15.6 percent over the last six games.

Yet at the same time, he has enjoyed the largest increase in plus-minus on the team. The Jazz are outscoring teams by 8.9 points more with Crowder on the floor in the last six games, which is a testament to the impact he makes defensively.

Next Up

Clearly something has clicked with Utah as the Jazz try to make a big run in the second half of the season.

The Jazz will go for their fourth-straight win Monday night against the Detroit Pistons at Vivint SmartHome Arena. The game will tip off at 7 p.m and be televised on AT&T SportsNet.

 

  • Utah Jazz Scoreboard

  • Utah Jazz Team Leaders

  • Utah Jazz Standings

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Mitchell, Jazz Have Stepped It Up With Five Wins Over Last Six Games