Kris Dunn has proven himself worthy of his spot with the Utah Jazz

The Utah Jazz have a defensive wizard with Kris Dunn.
Utah Jazz v Toronto Raptors
Utah Jazz v Toronto Raptors / Mark Blinch/GettyImages

The Utah Jazz are currently on a role and a lot of it has to do with the current starting five and bench rotation that head coach Will Hardy has put together. The starting five includes Lauri Markkanen, John Collins, Simone Fontecchio, Collin Sexton, and Kris Dunn; while the bench contains Kelly Olynyk, Walker Kessler, Jordan Clarkson, Keyonte George, and Ochai Agbaji.

This nine-man rotation has basically gone 11-4 in their last 15 games, are now just two games under .500, and are streaking towards a playoff spot. And while a lot of love rightfully goes to the combination of Sexton and Markkanen, what should be highlighted even more is Dunn's impact on the defense.

Dunn isn't a great scorer but he's a good passer and can absolutely go off on defense, which is what he did against the Milwaukee Bucks. While Bucks' star Giannis Antetokounmpo had a nice night, he was angling for a much better outing but was stuffed constantly by Dunn, who disrupted many attempts to get the Bucks' superstar the ball.

Antetokounmpo couldn't lift the Bucks past the Jazz on Monday, and the win helped fortify the belief that the Jazz are no longer riding out the season, but are actively looking to push for the playoffs. With Dunn in the lineup, that is not only possible but likely.

Three of the big issues all season for the Jazz have been turnovers, poor efficiency shots, and poor defense. Sexton's arrival in the starting five has helped quell the turnovers and poor shot attempts, while Dunn's arrival and a healthy Kessler have really affected the Jazz's defense. The team is playing much better on both side of the court, and Dunn's a big reason for that.

Opposing teams are no longer able to just drive to the paint unguarded, nor can they just kick out a pass to someone in the corner for an easy three. Now they have to battle with Dunn. He's not enough on his own for this squad to go deep in the playoffs, but he's enough to turn around the team's fortune.

The Jazz would be wise to try and trade for another player who can play both ways, but if they do, it should be emphasized that Dunn's spot on the team is guaranteed. They need what he brings to the table, even if what he brings isn't always the easiest to turn into a number on a stat sheet.

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