Utah Jazz: 2017-18 Northwest Division Comparison – January

SALT LAKE CITY, UT - DECEMBER 30: Donovan Mitchell #45 of the Utah Jazz reacts during game against the Cleveland Cavaliers on December 30, 2017 at Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images)
SALT LAKE CITY, UT - DECEMBER 30: Donovan Mitchell #45 of the Utah Jazz reacts during game against the Cleveland Cavaliers on December 30, 2017 at Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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SALT LAKE CITY, UT – DECEMBER 30: Donovan Mitchell #45 of the Utah Jazz looks to pass the ball during the first half against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Vivint Smart Home Arena on December 30, 2017 in Salt Lake City, Utah. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images)
SALT LAKE CITY, UT – DECEMBER 30: Donovan Mitchell #45 of the Utah Jazz looks to pass the ball during the first half against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Vivint Smart Home Arena on December 30, 2017 in Salt Lake City, Utah. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images) /

Utah Jazz

Current Record: 16-21

Standings: 5th in Division, 10th in Conference

Last but certainly not least are our very own Utah Jazz. They’re obviously in the toughest spot of any of their divisional foes, but as I covered in detail yesterday, they’re far from down and out. After taking on several of their most difficult opponents in seemingly one stretch during the toughest month that any team will face this season, things get considerably easier for the Jazz in January.

Nevertheless, they’ll still face a tough road trip right out of the gates and a number of other challenges this month. They need to reverse their road woes right away if they hope to prove to be any sort of competition moving forward. The Jazz have certainly had some bright moments this season, but they’ve been unable to string together any sort of consistency on either end of the floor.

I truly believe that trend can change and that if the Jazz get some momentum rolling in January, they could very well find themselves in the thick of playoff contention with the rest of their divisional foes. They may still be in fifth in the division by month’s end, but it’s quite possible that they’ll have made significant progress in closing the gap.

On the other hand, if I’m way off and the Jazz struggle once again after going just 5-10 in December, it could very well erase their playoff hopes entirely. Although there’s plenty of time for a comeback, I feel that bouncing back after last month’s ringer will be vital for the Jazz and that their performance in January could very well make or break their season.

Next: Utah Jazz: Bradley, Williams-Goss thriving away from NBA limelight

Without question, there’s a lot to figure out and a lot to look forward to in 2018 as the teams of the stacked Northwest Division continue to battle one another for supremacy. Look for the Utah Jazz to make a significant push as they aim to keep pace in the West.