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  • So the Utah Jazz absolutely clocked the Lakers last night, at one point, leading by as much as 29 it honestly wasn't even that close afterward.

  • There was a rush of people proclaiming that the game didn't mean much.

  • LeBron James said.

  • Quote.

  • This won't define who we will be for the rest of the season and for the long haul.

  • And he is right.

  • The Lakers are missing two of their five starters during a rough section of the schedule and on the Utah side, well, even Donovan Mitchell has been reminding people that being good in February does not guarantee being good in June.

  • Yes, the Jazz have won 22 of their last 24 but they also had a stretch of winning 21 or 23 back in 2018.

  • And they still got their butts handed to them in the second round of the playoffs that year.

  • And all of that is smart and reasonable analysis.

  • But here is what is also true if you have not climbed aboard the rolling, rollicking freight train that is the Utah Jazz experienced this season.

  • Boy, are you missing out?

  • This team has all the bells and whistles, a young superstar who's as inspiring off the court as he is on it.

  • A two time, maybe soon to be three time defensive player of the year, the MBA's leading sixth man and one of the league's most crafty coaches, despite having already played the toughest part of their schedule.

  • The Jazz Air not just top five in the league and offense their top five in defense to which is saying something in a season where some other teams, entire defensive strategy, seems to be just rolling over and playing dead isn't working.

  • Are they gone yet anyway?

  • That is certainly not the Jazz, whose connectedness on that end of the floor is pretty dazzling.

  • Rudy Gobert, obviously the key there.

  • Not only does he have tremendous instincts, his defender we don't talk enough about the fact this band has a wingspan of nearly 8 ft.

  • Can you picture one of those giant Humvees in your mind?

  • Yeah, where do you go?

  • Bears arms stretch wider than that, and not even just by a little bit.

  • Good luck getting past him.

  • Meanwhile, no team in the league is better at smothering an opponent at the three point line, and no team in the league is better at brandishing the three ball, either.

  • The Jazz just set a record making 50 threes over their last two games.

  • In fact, Utah leads the league in both threes attempted and threes made, spreading out and exhausting opponents so thoroughly they may want to start putting some cots and blankets in the visitor's locker room.

  • So what is the steam entering engine that's powering this locomotive?

  • Some of it is flat out talent in addition to the Stars and, yeah, shock, Donovan Mitchell is a real one.

  • The front office has put together a deep roster where guys like Jordan, Clarkson are playing the best ball of their career and others, like, say Derrick Favors, have bought into adjusted roles on a lot of it is also continuity.

  • Yes, Mike Conley recently missed six games with hamstring issues, but as a whole, the Jazz have remained largely healthy.

  • They've only played three starting lineups all season.

  • Compare that to the Nets and Rockets, who each had to play 19, and that continuity actually extends even further back.

  • We all remember last year when Gobert became the first NBA player to test positive for Cove, it acting carelessly enough along the way that it caused riel divisions inside the locker room.

  • But it's what happened after.

  • That's really worth noting that Gobert was both publicly and privately contrite, not just talking the talk, but walking the walk that the team was then thrown in the bubble together, where they forced that they were just forced to iron things out.

  • Re bond friendship, slowly reforming over bad coffee and monster games of Ping Pong.

  • Of course, they then flopped a bit in the playoffs, snarfing up a 31 series lead to Denver, and that performance has many around the league still a bit skeptical of whether the dress are true contenders now, or just a really hot team built for the regular season.

  • And it's a fair question to at least ask, and last night's game isn't going to tell you the answer.

  • Playoff basketball is just different.

  • We don't know yet whether a Donovan and Rudy 12 punch is enough to best a LeBron and A D or Co y M P G combo, or eventually match up against K D Kyrie and James Harden.

  • That is a lot of cases.

  • They're the truth, though, Is that right now, the answer to that isn't actually knowable, and it also doesn't really matter yet.

  • Yes, eventually we will see where this freight train is headed.

  • But for right now, what we really should be doing is enjoying the ride.

  • Thanks for watching ESPN on YouTube for live streaming sports and premium content subscribed to ESPN plus.

So the Utah Jazz absolutely clocked the Lakers last night, at one point, leading by as much as 29 it honestly wasn't even that close afterward.

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Breaking down the Jazz’s success this season | The Jump

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    林宜悉 posted on 2021/02/26
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