Are the Utah Jazz “built for the regular season” but not the playoffs?

Lauri Markkanen of the Utah Jazz.
Lauri Markkanen of the Utah Jazz. /

The Utah Jazz are being set up for a successful regular season, but not the playoffs says one expert.

The Utah Jazz have done a good job reloading following the massive trade seasons of 2022-2023. They have seemingly found their offensive anchor in Lauri Markkanen, their defensive anchor in Walker Kessler, and hopefully, a new head coach in Will Hardy to lead the way. The hope is that this Jazz team is ready to compete and win, and 43+ wins are the goal for this season in the eyes of many.

But one ex-Jazz assistant coach, Gordie Chiesa, isn’t sure that whatever success the Jazz obtain in the regular season, it’ll translate to the post-season.

Chiesa spoke to ESPN 700’s The Bill Riley Show (via Sports Illustrated), about it, and wanted to make sure fans knew he believed they were a playoff team, minus injuries, but he didn’t know if the regular season success would translate to the playoffs, saying;

"I have the Jazz be in the 6th seed minus any crazy injuries. I have the Jazz winning 44 games. …I’m leaning towards more history as far as injuries now — again, regular season. Everything changes. Nothing’s regular about the playoffs."

They say offense wins games, but defense wins championships, and by the look of things, that’s exactly what may be the issue for the Jazz. Kessler is going to be an anchor on defense, but if the team doesn’t have enough defensive-minded pieces around them, then Kessler can only do so much.

Likewise, if Markkanen can’t find a genuine running buddy in someone, whether it’s one of the trio of rookies, Jordan Clarkson, Collin Sexton, or whomever, then Markkanen alone can’t carry the team to the playoffs, let alone deep into the playoffs. It’s very rare that one player can do just that.

The ones who can are in the MVP discussion.

So the issue surrounding the Jazz right now will be down to the defense, and how they adapt throughout the year, and emerge in the playoffs.

Next. 3 interesting but not great trade proposals for the Utah Jazz. dark