Jazz Notes Grades: Can Utah Enter Postseason Picture In January?

Jan 4, 2024, 2:49 PM

Utah Jazz Jordan Clarkson Notes Grades...

Utah Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson (00) questions referee Ed Malloy (14) after seeing a replay of a foul call as the Utah Jazz and Detroit Pistons play at the Delta Center in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2024. Jazz won 154-148. (Photo courtesy of Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

(Photo courtesy of Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY – After starting the season 7-16, things looked rough for the Utah Jazz.

But, they turned it around as 2024 crept closer and have won nine of their last 12 games. Can the Jazz sneak into the playoff picture before the end of the month?

On the Jazz Notes podcast, Ben Anderson and Chandler Holt gave the Jazz weekly grades in various categories.

The Jazz received grades on veteran performance, youth development, standings, and fun factor.

Utah had a lot of players return from injury in December. Because of this, others fell out of the rotation.

Rookie forward Taylor Hendricks is the perfect example of this.

However, Keyonte George returned from his foot injury, Walker Kessler played well in a bench role, and Simone Fontecchio continued to make an impact with his shooting and defense.

This all led to a B grade for the young guys.

The veterans are the reason that the Jazz have been winning games though.

Lauri Markkanen has done his usual All-Star things, Jordan Clarkson has thrived in his return to the bench, and Collin Sexton emerged as a Most Improved Player candidate.

The veterans got their best grade of the season at a B+.

For standings and fun factor, Utah also received some high grades.

The Jazz still sit in the 12th spot in the West but they continue to inch closer to that 10th seed. Considering you have to get wins to move up and Utah has done that, they got a B- grade for standings.

Lastly, the fun factor. Winning games is fun and the Jazz were a competitive team to close out December. Other things like Clarkson’s triple-double and Utah’s revenge against Dallas led to an A grade.

Can The Utah Jazz Enter The Postseason Picture?

The question should be will they enter the top ten in the West because there is no doubt that they could if everything falls their way.

Despite only being one game out from the 10th seed, it will be a difficult climb.

The three teams ahead of the Jazz (Golden State, Los Angeles, and Phoenix) have a lot of talent and playoff aspirations. On top of this, Utah has a very tough schedule in January.

Luckily for the Jazz, there are a lot of very winnable games to close out the month.

Utah entering the top ten in the West is dependent on other teams having a fall from grace. Outside of unpredictable injuries, here are some teams who are candidates to fall in the standings.

Houston sits in 8th and their success this year has caught some by surprise. With a new head coach and a few new additions, a cold streak is very possible for the Rockets.

Golden State is not the same team that it has been in years past. With an aging core and a competitive division, the Warriors could continue to fall further and further under .500.

New Orleans holds the 6-seed in the West. With a long injury history and a league-average offense, the Pelicans seem like one of the more unpredictable teams in the Conference.

Sign up for the new Jazz Notes newsletter! Receive game updates, exclusive analysis, and chances to win Jazz tickets.

Are you on Threads yet? Let’s connect, give us a follow @kslsports. 

Chandler Holt is a co-host for the Jazz Notes podcast and a Digital Sports Producer for KSLSports.com, specializing in all things basketball and football. Follow Chandler on Twitter @ChandlerHoltKSL or on Threads @chandlerho1t.

Take us with you, wherever you go.

Download the new & improved KSL Sports app from Utah’s sports leader. You can stream live radio, video and stay up to date on all of your favorite teams.

  • Utah Jazz Scoreboard

  • Utah Jazz Team Leaders

  • Utah Jazz Standings

Jazz Notes

Utah Jazz trade deadline season Jordan Clarkson...

Chandler Holt

Jazz Notes: Why Did Utah Sell At Trade Deadline?

The Utah Jazz decided to sell at the trade deadline. Why did they go that route and what does it mean for the rest of the season?

8 days ago

Utah Jazz Notes Grades Trade Deadline Dictate Season...

Chandler Holt

Jazz Notes Grades: Will Trade Deadline Dictate Rest Of Jazz Season?

The Utah Jazz sit in the 10th seed with a record of 24-25. Will the trade deadline determine how the rest of Utah's season goes?

20 days ago

Pascal Siakam trade Utah Jazz NBA Trade Deadline...

Chandler Holt

Jazz Notes: How Does Siakam Deal Affect Utah Jazz, Trade Market?

The Raptors and Pacers agreed on a trade to send All-Star Pascal Siakam to Indiana. How does this trade affect the Jazz and the trade market?

28 days ago

Utah Jazz Notes Grades Kris Dunn Los Angeles Lakers...

Chandler Holt

Jazz Notes Grades: Utah Continues To Climb West Standings After Perfect Week

After going 4-0 last week, the Utah Jazz find themselves in the postseason picture for the first time this season.

1 month ago

jordan clarkson and keyonte george...

Chandler Holt

Jazz Notes Grades: Will Hot Streak Carry Utah Into Playoff Conversations?

The Utah Jazz are one of the hottest teams in the NBA right now and have found themselves just outside the playoff picture.

1 month ago

Utah Jazz Notes Grades Holiday Momentum...

Chandler Holt

Jazz Notes Grades: Can Utah Build Off Of Holiday Momentum?

With a 3-1 record and big wins over the two New York teams, the Utah Jazz built up some momentum before leaving on a road trip.

2 months ago

Sponsored Articles


KSL Sports

KSL Sports Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the KSL Sports newsletter. Get the latest Utah sports news delivered to your inbox.


KSL Sports

Jazz Notes Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the Jazz Notes newsletter. Get insider analysis, game recaps and opportunities to win tickets!

Follow @kslsports...

The Road Home Mediathon 2023

The KSL Sports Zone and KSLSports.com are proud to support the all-day Mediathon 2023 at the Road Home, an annual tradition to raise money and other essential items for the Road Home, a Homeless Shelter.

3 kids wearing real salt lake jerseys smiling...

Real Salt Lake

6 Reasons You Need to Experience a RSL Matchday

RSL Games are a great way to spend time with your family with fun activities, good food, and traditions you can only experience at the field.

High angle view of the beautiful Rose Bowl Stadium...

KSL Digital Sales

How to Prepare for the 2023 Rose Bowl

Everything you need to know to plan your 2023 Rose Bowl trip in Pasadena, California. This year, the Utes will face Penn State.


KSL Digital Sales

Notable Moments From The Utah Jazz Season… So Far

At the beginning of the season, the Utah Jazz were second to last. Now they rank in the top 10 teams in the Western Conference.

Jazz Notes Grades: Can Utah Enter Postseason Picture In January?