Three reasons the Utah Jazz offense will be better than people think

SALT LAKE CITY, UT - DECEMBER 16: Rodney Hood (Photo by Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images)
SALT LAKE CITY, UT - DECEMBER 16: Rodney Hood (Photo by Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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SALT LAKE CITY, UT – JANUARY 10: Derrick Favors (Photo by Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images)
SALT LAKE CITY, UT – JANUARY 10: Derrick Favors (Photo by Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Individual Returns to Production

Although there’s no debating that Gordon Hayward was Utah’s most capable scorer last season, a big reason why he had to shoulder such an offensive load was because two of Utah’s other more formidable scoring options, Derrick Favors and Rodney Hood, were hampered with injuries throughout the 2016-17 campaign. Although health issues will remain a concern until they prove otherwise, both appear healthy going into the preaseason and should be primed for a much-improved year.

And while the big question surrounding Rodney Hood is whether or not he can turn into a reliable go-to option, he doesn’t even have to blow the roof off on the offensive end to make this Jazz team much better on that end of the court. In a relatively healthy 2015-16 year, Hood was putting up nearly 15 points per game. And with Hayward out of the picture, he’ll have more shot opportunities and should be able to well exceed that mark.

Thus, even if his leap in production isn’t up to the astronomical mark that some fans are expecting, a return to his healthy norm alone will provide a significant boost for the Jazz. Favors is in the exact same boat. He was a consistent 16-point per night guy for two straight seasons until he was ravaged by injuries last season and put up just over nine points per game. A mere return to form for him would automatically improve Utah’s offense significantly.

The other guy who in many ways has become a forgotten man on the Jazz roster is Alec Burks. While Favors was hindered by injuries last season, Burks has been unable to remain healthy for three straight years now. Nevertheless, prior to his injury suffered in the 2014-15 season, Burks was putting up a steady 14 points per game, a significant leap from the 6.7 he posted last year.

For Utah’s offense to be much improved from last season, these three guys don’t have to do anything outrageous, they simply have to get back to the solid figures they’ve already posted formerly in their career. In other words, they’ve just got to get back to being a player they’ve already proven more than capable of being.

And if they’re able to do more than that, which certainly will be expected and hopefully attainable for at least Hood and Favors, then that will be all the better.

I think it’s very realistic to pin Hood and Favors as having breakout years and that would undoubtedly help fix Utah’s offense. But even if they only go on to match the production they’ve already proved capable of putting up, it should still make the Jazz better on that end of the court than many have pinned them.

Throw in career-highs in scoring for both of them and hopefully a Burks resurgence and all of a sudden this Jazz offense will look significantly more potent than anybody had predicted.