Power rankings roundup: Utah Jazz stay put in week 8

Donovan Mitchell, Utah Jazz. Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images)
Donovan Mitchell, Utah Jazz. Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images) /

For the second week in a row, the Utah Jazz are on the outside looking in on the elite teams of the NBA.

The Utah Jazz had an up and down week, starting off with blowout losses to the Philadelphia 76ers and Los Angeles Lakers at home. They were able to snap the 4 game losing streak without Mike Conley on Saturday versus the Memphis Grizzlies, but the Grizzlies are in the dumps at the moment losing nine of their last 10 games..

Last week wasn’t as bad as the previous one, but it still wasn’t good either. My biggest positive takeaway from the week is that basketball became fun again for the Jazz on Saturday night.

Yes, they played a terrible first quarter and coughed up 22 turnovers; but Jeff Green and Joe Ingles especially had good games and it rubbed off on the team as a whole.

In the previous edition of power rankings roundup, I noted how Utah had been falling slowly in the power rankings. They started the season firmly in the top 10, but have slowly slipped to the middle of the pack as their 13-10 record would suggest.

Here’s how Utah ranked in week 8 of NBA action:

ESPN: 7th, 7th, 6th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 12th, 12th

CBS Sports: 6th, 9th, 13th, 7th, 8th, 8th, 12th, 13th

NBA.com: 7th, 7th, 11th, 7th, 8th, 10th, 12th, 13th

Bleacher Report: 5th, 7th, 7th, 7th, 9th, 8th, 12th, 13th

Sports Illustrated: 6th, 9th, 13th, 8th, 8th, 11th, 11th, 12th

Hoops Habit: 6th, 9th, 12th, 10th, 7th, 9th, 12th, 12th 

I was a little disappointed at first that Utah went down in some of the rankings despite winning a blowout game, but I think the slight slippage had more to do with solid play from the Brooklyn Nets and Indiana Pacers.

Brooklyn has done well despite having Kyrie Irving sidelined with a shoulder injury.  Their young players, especially Spencer Dinwiddie, have stepped up to fill the void. Meanwhile the Pacers have really taken advantage of a soft schedule. It’s hard to tell if their solid play is sustainable, but they do have a top 10 defense on their side, as well as the eventual return of Victor Oladipo.

Notable Quotes:

via Grant Hughes of Bleacher Report

"“The Jazz have made a habit of disappointing starts in recent seasons, but they tend to sort themselves out eventually. There’s more scoring talent here than there was at any point during head coach Quin Snyder’s tenure, but Mike Conley remains adrift, and nobody on the roster appears capable of slowing down opposing superstar wings (theoretically Royce O’Neale‘s job).”"

via Colin Ward-Henninger of CBS Sports

"“After losses to the 76ers and Lakers, Utah snapped a three-game skid by beating the Grizzlies at home. The Jazz’s net rating is now approaching zero, as their normally stout defense has allowed 114.2 points per 100 possessions over the last four games — 23rd in the NBA over that span. After a solid start, the Jazz have slipped considerably.”"

This upcoming week, the Jazz will face the Thunder in Salt Lake City tonight, fly to Minneapolis and play the Timberwolves on Wednesday, and then play Friday night at home versus the banged up Warriors squad. Then the Jazz will get a long weekend off and return to the hardwood Tuesday the 17th versus the Orlando Magic.

The keys to being successful this week are to win and build chemistry.

We are getting to the point where if the Jazz don’t get on a roll soon, they won’t earn home court advantage in the Western Conference. Since these upcoming games are against lesser opponents, and two of them are division rivalry games, this is a terrific opportunity for the Jazz to rack up some wins.

Another equally important key is to use this stretch of non-frequent travel as a long practice session. Hopefully the players and the coaches make the most of their practice sessions at Zion’s Bank Basketball Center.

In addition to practices, the actual games can become practice sessions as well. Even if the Jazz are up by 20, I wouldn’t mind seeing Quin Snyder keep the main starters on the court to gain a semblance of cohesiveness and chemistry. Here’s to hoping that Mike Conley will return ASAP to build that chemistry, especially in his two-man game with Rudy Gobert.

In the best case scenario that the Jazz figure everything out and produce three lopsided victories this week, they will sneak back in the top 10 of the power rankings. Worst case scenario would be an 0-3 week with injuries to Donovan Mitchell or Gobert. If that happens the Jazz could slide into the 20s really fast.

Next. Game thread: Jazz look to capitalize on tired OKC. dark

Realistically, it will be impossible to figure everything out that in just one week. I’m predicting the Jazz will rise in the week 9 power rankings, but not enough to break the top 10.

*All stats are a courtesy of basketball-reference.com