KSL UNRIVALED

It’s Time For The Annual Utah Jazz Winning Surge

Jan 2, 2020, 1:45 PM | Updated: 11:50 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – For the past few seasons, it has been like clockwork to see the Utah Jazz not quite living up to expectations from October through Christmas and then something changes when the calendar turns over to the new year – the Jazz play much better basketball.

In 2018 it started in mid-January. The team went 14-3 from mid-January to mid-February which included a winning streak of 11 games, and last year saw the Jazz go 11-3 in January.

This season the team is already on a climb by winning eight of its last nine and looking into January the schedule is very favorable with 10 of the 15 teams they face having a losing record.

Nine of those games are on the road and only one set of games is back-to-back and that comes at the end of the month. There is no reason this team can’t win at least nine of those games and end the month of January with 30 total wins.

There are a few reasons the Jazz have been winning and will continue to win – acquiring Jordan Clarkson who in his first three games is averaging 16 points per contest.

Plus, Bojan Bogdanovic has turned up his production as well, just imagine what this team can do once Mike Conley is back healthy and playing at his best.

How High Will The Jazz Climb In The West?

KSL Sports’ Alex Kirry sees this upcoming stretch of games getting the Jazz near the top of the Western Conference standings.

“The Jazz will be playing a really, really easy schedule and it will be team after team with a losing record,” Kirry said. “This is a good stretch for Utah fans, winning eight of the last 10 is… exactly what they needed.

“Right now in front of them, the Mavericks who have been surging and had a great start to the season are 5-5 out of their last 10, the Rockets are 7-3, the Clippers are 6-4 out of their last 10, and the Lakers are 6-4. The West looks a lot like a better place for where the Jazz can prove themselves over the next few weeks.”

The Jazz could realistically move into the top four spots in the Western Conference by the end of the month. Currently, the Jazz are sixth but are just two games out of second in the West and the Lakers are within reach at first place by being just 5.5 games ahead of Utah.

KSL Sports’ Mitch Harper believes that the way this current Jazz team is playing there is no doubt in they can take on and defeat any team in a playoff series.

“How great is this NBA season? We are talking about the Western Conference where any of these six teams [can win the conference],” Harper said. “I feel like this Jazz team is built to go toe-to-toe with someone in a seven-game series. That is what has been so fun about the NBA this year, and there is no reason to believe this team can’t be a top-four seed.”

Donovan Mitchell Playing At An All-Star Level?

The one player who has stepped up a huge way the past few weeks is Donovan Mitchell with five games of scoring 30 or more points which brings his season total of scoring at least 30 in a game to 10.

If Jazz fans want to point to anything about this recent surge and what is to come it starts and ends with Mitchell. He has been this team’s constant and most consistent player despite having lineup changes with injuries and new acquisitions.

Being consistent and great is why Harper sees Mitchell earning his first All-Star bid in the competitive Western Conference.

“Donovan Mitchell is playing at, honestly, an MVP level so I don’t think it is too far-fetched that he will be an All-Star,” Harper said. “That performance against the Clippers was huge. I think that the Jazz fans needed a win like that because it was strange to see all the build-up in the offseason and in the Summer and then fans were ready to throw in the towel on Mike Conley and this whole team because it wasn’t working.”

If January goes as expected for the Jazz, next month people very well could be talking about a Jazz team that is vying for the top spot in the Western Conference.

Tune into KSL’s Unrivaled every Monday through Friday, 7-9 p.m., or download the KSL NewsRadio app to subscribe to the podcast. 

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