The Utah Jazz had a busy week, with both good, and bad news.
First, the best news, the Jazz have won six straight games, and have moved into the 7th spot in the Western Conference Playoff race. The Jazz are 8-2 in their last 10 games, and currently sit five games above .500. The win streak is the second longest active streak in the league, behind the Golden State Warriors seven consecutive victories.
Second, Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert are on a tear. Going into Friday night’s game against the Cleveland Cavaliers, Mitchell was averaging 29/5/4 over his past seven games. Gobert was averaging 15/17/3 and adding two blocks. Both are playing like All-Stars, but may not get nods this year because of both their, and the Jazz slow start to the season.
The bad news comes on the injury front where the Jazz further pushed back the injury diagnosis’ of Ricky Rubio, Dante Exum, Raul Neto, and Thabo Sefolosha. The Jazz had set re-evaluation date for all four players injuries for this past Tuesday, only to report that each player needed another week to again be evaluated, minus Exum, who needs two weeks.
While Mitchell has been brilliant in over this stretch, the Jazz will need to build this chemistry and momentum with players they’ll be relying on in the post season. The Jazz recent stretch of easy to win games would have been ideal for Rubio to find his jump shot, and Exum and Sefolosha to continue to build on their string of hot play.
Finally, Mitchell announced he won’t defending his dunk contest title. Mitchell put a lot of time into last year’s contest, practicing before All-Star weekend, and will focus more on his game, and the Jazz leading up to the break.
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