It is time we give more credit to a few key role players for the Utah Jazz.
Over the course of this season, the Utah Jazz squad has proven to be one of the best in the NBA. The team currently sits atop the standings with a league-best record of 44-17. And the top players in Salt Lake City have garnered attention as Donovan Mitchell, Rudy Gobert, and Mike Conley were all named All-Stars this season.
While Utah’s stars have received the respect they deserve, the heart of this team’s success has been unselfish, team-oriented basketball. Here are three particular Jazzmen who have played key roles in the franchise’s outstanding season despite not seeing the same recognition as the All-Stars…
Underrated Utah Jazz player: Georges Niang
In four seasons with the Utah Jazz, Georges Niang has become a steady contributor at the power forward position. “The Minivan” — as he is affectionately known — may not wow anyone with his numbers, but he brings some much-needed shooting to the team off the bench.
While averaging just under 15 minutes per game this season, Niang has been incredibly efficient from beyond the arc, where he’s shooting 42.1 percent. His accuracy from deep was most recently on display in the historic win against the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday.
In their 154-105 win over Sacramento, the Jazz set a new franchise record for points in a game. Niang led the team in 3-pointers, going 5-for-7 from deep, and contributed 19 points in his second start of the season.
The former Iowa State Cyclone has found a home in Utah, where he has proven to be a reliable spark plug off the bench. Having played in all 62 games for the Jazz this year, they will depend on his consistent shooting to help make a deep run in the postseason.