Utah Jazz-NOP: Jazz play sweet music to the tune of six straight

NEW ORLEANS, LA - FEBRUARY 05: Ricky Rubio makes a play with the basketball against the New Orleans Pelicans. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS, LA - FEBRUARY 05: Ricky Rubio makes a play with the basketball against the New Orleans Pelicans. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) /

The Utah Jazz knocked down the conference-rival New Orleans Pelicans 133-109 for their sixth straight win.

The Utah Jazz are hot. Scorching hot. So hot they are doing crazy things not done by the Jazz for over 30 years and even some things that have never been done. Their latest act, a 24-point win on the road over the New Orleans Pelicans begs the question — is it possible that this is the real Jazz or are we just in the midst of an unbelievable hot streak?

I think the answer is: a little of both. The 3-point shooting is not sustainable, but the defense is. It’s almost like having a DPOY (in our hearts) and All-NBA center actually helps a team win. Did we forget about the Rudy Gobert factor? Clearly we did when some fans started the #TankNote movement.

On Monday, the Jazz won their fourth straight game with 120 or more points.

Now, according to FiveThirtyEight, the Jazz have a 75 percent chance of the playoffs. While this isn’t everything, that’s still an interesting projection given that the sixth-seeded Denver Nuggets have only a 67 percent chance.

The Highlights

Okay, so what was good last night beyond the 3-point shooting (over 50 percent for the fourth straight game)?

Well, Rodney Hood came to prove all the haters wrong. (Or to boost his own value, take your pick).

He scored 30 points on 4-of-4 3-point shooting and had only two total misses from the field. His peak of the night was probably this emphatic dunk in what proved to be a momentum stopper for NOLA’s late rally attempt and helped seal the game for Utah —

Ricky Rubio also continued his stellar play. While he didn’t have a 30-plus point performance (the Jazz have had three straight games with a different guard hitting 30-plus), he did have 11 assists and is officially looking like the Ricky Rubio that Dennis Lindsey traded for.

Note that Rubio did have a hot streak coming into the year, so he’s not out of the woods yet and still has a lot to prove. Although, he did end last season with 30 or so games of playing at this level so he may have turned the corner in Utah.

Rubio has also had a new coach almost every season of his career, so it’s possible that it really takes him that long to feel comfortable in a new system. If he’s in Utah next year, it stands to reason (well my reasoning, anyway) that he could continue this level of play.

Donovan Mitchell was still obviously feeling the effects of an illness and had two points in very limited minutes.

I think we’ll probably see the 3-point shooting and 120-plus point nights slow down a bit, but when we do, we can expect the defensive intensity to continue as the Jazz push for a playoff spot.

More from The J-Notes

The Jazz go for their seventh straight on Wednesday night against the reeling Memphis Grizzlies.