Jay C. Brandriet
As the NBA season nears its midway point, we have enough information to start calling our shots.
This years version of the Utah Jazz has some viewers and media off balance. How good are they? They own the leagues best record, and have won 20 of their last 22 games.
Quin Snyder is a brainy, well respected head coach. His guys play defense. They are elite from the three-point line, and make the extra pass like it’s a fancy fundamental. Utah has won short handed, and during stretches heavy legs were expected. They have been victorious when I’ve assumed struggle.
This Jazz roster makes sense.
They fit like a well constructed puzzle.
This franchise is anchored by Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert. Not necessarily in that order.
In time, Shaquille O’ Neal will be the first one in line to support this duo. They are legit All-Stars. Will they be able to outduel other great combos in the playoffs? I’m not sure.
Everyone on the inside, should believe they can win it all.
WHERE SHOULD JAZZ FANS EXPECTATIONS BE?
We have to see the context of how things play out. Who’s healthy? Who did you matchup with and when?
If I were an attached fan, I’d want the number one or two seed. I’d like to see the Jazz get to the Western Conference Finals. While going out in six or seven games, I’d want to scare the hell out of my opponent. The NBA world would be on notice. Mitchell and Gobert would now be considered superstars. I’d want to go into next season as a dangerous threat to win it all.
I’m not trying to have a conservative or negative attitude. I don’t want to sound like John Madden, telling Tom Brady to take a knee. I’m putting humility over greed.
Going two rounds further than last year would be a note worthy jump. Ending up as one of the last four teams? Adding new success and mental toughness to your group can be invaluable.
That would be the furthest climb for the Jazz since 2007.
The West is brutal. Beating LeBron James four times is not an attractive assignment. The top heavy East is no joke either.
Home court advantage means less these days.
If the Jazz keep this pace, those that cheer have the right to want to go further.
Jazz nation is overdue and can taste some hope.
I’m focused on growth now, and the ring later.
If this Utah team falls down, they will get back up.
Jay C. Brandriet