2014-15 Record: 38-44
2014-15 Offense: 95.1 PPG (26th)
2014-15 Defense: 94.9 PPG (1st)
Trey Lyles (PF)
Jeremy Evans (SF)
The Jazz were one of the youngest teams in the league last year and weren’t that bad. Well, actually they were horrible… on offense. They were great on defense though. They held opponents to the lowest points per game in the league. If they keep up the tough defense and improve their offense, it’s reasonable to think they’ll get one of the eight playoff spots in the west. Will that happen though?
Utah is basically bringing back the same team from last year. While that not might seem too exciting there are some reasons to be. Starting two guard, Alec Burks, missed most of the season last year but he’s back this year. Nearly all of their players are young and should be even better this year. Maybe the biggest reason for optimism is third year center Rudy Gobert. After Gobert became a starter after Enes Kanter was traded, the defense really took off. He’s one of the favorites for defensive player of the year. He has that kind of an impact. This year he’ll start every game he plays.
The downside for this team is that you have to expect some regression on defense. They should still be good, but will they be the best again? They also lost last year’s first round draft pick, Dante Exum, for the season. Exum didn’t do much last year but maybe he would have broken out this year. We’ll never know now.
There’s a lot to like about the Jazz. There’s no doubt they have potential. The west is so tough and I just don’t think they’re even close to the elite teams in the conference. The playoffs are a realistic goal. Winning a playoff round isn’t though.