With yet another impressive win, Utah has risen to first place in the Western Conference alongside the Los Angeles Clippers. The Jazz defeated the Atlanta Hawks on Thursday night, 112-91. It was another big win for the Jazz, who have lost just one game since January 6th.
It was another well-rounded effort from the Jazz on offense. Small forward Bojan Bogdanovic led the way, finishing with 21 points while shooting 64% from the field. Donovan Mitchell finished with 18 points, while Mike Conley and Rudy Gobert each finished with 11 points.
The Jazz got good production from their bench tonight. Jordan Clarkson was the hot hand, contributing 28 points while shooting 62.5% from beyond the arc. Clarkson, who is averaging 17.4 points per game this season, has been one of the best sixth men in the league this season. His ability to heat up at a moment’s notice is crucial to this team when the starters’ shots aren’t falling.
The Hawks were in trouble before this game even started. Earlier today, Atlanta announced that star point guard Trae Young would miss the game against the Jazz due to a calf contusion. Backup Rajon Rondo started in his place, but he struggled to replace the production of Young. Without Young’s passing ability or limitless range to stretch the floor, the Hawks struggled to generate meaningful and consistent offense. This is the Hawk’s second loss in two nights after a tough loss to the Mavericks on Wednesday.
What Has Worked For the Jazz This Season
The Jazz have the best win percentage in the NBA for a good reason. A well-balanced team, the Jazz can do it on both ends of the floor with a variety of different players. Gobert has been a huge part of the Jazz’s success. Utah is tied for first in the league in offensive rebound percentage, and Gobert has over half of the team’s total offensive rebounds. Gobert also ranks first in points per possession as the pick and roll roll man (min 3.5 possessions per game). His chemistry with Conley gets better by the day, and Gobert is a constant lob threat when rolling towards the basket.
The Jazz will face some of their toughest opponents yet in their next stretch of games. Over the next six games, the Jazz will face Charlotte, Indiana, Boston, Milwaukee, Miami, and Philadelphia. This next stretch of games will be important in determining whether the Jazz are contenders or pretenders.