The Silver Scribe

The Utah Jazz are the hottest team in the NBA right now, and are making a push for the Playoff race.

Dallin Haws, Staff Writer

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The Utah Jazz are the hottest team in the NBA right now, and are making a push for the Playoff race.

If you have been paying attention to the Utah Jazz this season, you could say that it’s been rollercoaster. The first hit came when All-Star Gordon Hayward decided to leave the Jazz, and move his career onto the Boston Celtics. This happened in the offseason of 2017. The shock sent Utah into a flurry of wheeling and dealing, trying to barely scrape by with any decent players. Ricky Rubio was the highest profile player to join the Jazz in the offseason. Uncertainty started to creep into the minds of all Jazz fans when the news of Hayward was out. Things started to look up once signing Jonas Jerebko, Ekpe Udoh, Thabo Sefolosha, and rookie sensation Donovan Mitchell. The first of the season the Jazz looked like strong candidates for the playoffs.  Injuries to some of the star players such as Dante Exum, Rudy Gobert, and Thabo Sefolosha, put a damper to the teams play when gone. The Jazz fell into a major slump losing most of their games. Since the return of Rudy Gobert, all hope is not lost yet because they are the hottest team in the NBA with a 11 game winning streak.

Jazz Nation has been ecstatic about the recent change in the Jazz. Brad Porter, senior at Riverton said, “It has been pretty cool to see the complete turnaround in the play of the Jazz. They have been killing most teams and they’re just so much fun to watch. I just hope this push is enough to make the Playoffs.” The streak was started after a 104-90 loss to the Atlanta Hawks. The shrugged off another loss and made their way to Detroit to face the Pistons. Utah and Detroit battled back and forth throughout game, and it was tied at the end of regulation. In overtime the Jazz barely scraped by with a win. Little did they know that the next game they would take down the high powered Toronto Raptors 97-93. It almost seemed impossible that the Jazz could take down the Defending World Champs back 4 days after they took down the #2 seed in the east. The Jazz went into the game underdogs, but smothered the Warriors with unbearable defense. Utah completely shut down the perimeter and forced Golden State to drive in against the Stifle Tower. When the buzzer sounded, the Jazz rolled over the Warriors 129-99. For the next 3 games, the Jazz continued to dominate the Sun’s, the Spurs, and the Pelicans. The Jazz’s streak was almost halted when put up against the physical Memphis Grizzlies, but they scrambled out of a loss 92-88. Dax Steadman, Junior at Riverton said, “Honestly I got pretty nervous right after the Memphis game. We looked tired, but we managed to get the win. After seeing the next game though, I have no doubt that were gonna make that playoff push.”

After the Memphis game, Utah seemed tired. 7 in row was physically demanding for these players. Utah was just hopeful that the Jazz could keep the same intensity in the games to come. The Jazz only had 4 more games until the All-Star Break, but they needed a strong finish. 3 out of the 4 were home at Vivint, and the 1 away game was at the Portland Trailblazers who are very capable of blowing teams out of the water. The Charlotte Hornets were up first. The Jazz got a good win 106-94. The explosive Trail Blazers were right after at their house. Damian Lillard dropped 39, but it wasn’t enough to take down the Jazz. Utah won 115-96. Back in the 801, and San Antonio was to face the Jazz next. The game came down to the wire. Utah battled back down from 10 and miraculously won 101-99.

The 11 game winning streak was almost complete, only with 1 opponent left before the All-Star break. The Phoenix Suns are the last in the Western Conference. Phoenix would be an easy win for the Jazz heading into the break. Utah took the W 107-97. Utah’s first game after the break is against the Trail Blazers again on the 23rd of February. 12 wins in a row is in sight which is very possible, but Jazz fans are looking towards the far future. All hope is bet on the Playoffs.

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The Utah Jazz are the hottest team in the NBA right now, and are making a push for the Playoff race.