Utah Jazz

The Jazz breakout player will be…

Donovan Mitchell. Mitchell is going to be the beneficiary of the best spacing he’s ever had in his life. The NBA game is slowing down for the third year player which is a benefit in and of itself, but now Mitchell doesn’t have to shoulder the responsibility of carrying the Jazz offense. This will allow Quin Snyder to get Mitchell the ball while he’s on the move more often. Mitchell will be able to take advantage of his 40% catch and shoot three point shooting when open with Mike Conley, Joe Ingles, and Bojan Bogdanovic taking the attention of the defense. It’s a brave new world for Spida-Man.

It all goes wrong if…

Rudy Gobert goes down with an injury. The Utah Jazz removed their redundancy at the center position by moving on from Derrick Favors. Ed Davis was brought in to mitigate some of that loss, but he’s no Favors. It’s a calculated risk which they felt was necessary to bring in more offensive firepower. The Jazz are relying on Rudy Gobert to shoulder even more of the defensive responsibility this season. It is said that Gobert is a defense in and of himself, and if he were to go down this season, so would Utah’s defense and their hopes of a championship season.

What we’ll be saying about the Jazz at the end of the season…

We overlooked the Utah Jazz. The Utah Jazz have reloaded and have the sting of being knocked out of the playoffs in the 1st round still fresh in their minds. Quin Snyder finally has a team constructed to fit his offensive vision, and he has a budding young superstar in Donovan Mitchell that doesn’t have to be the best player on the floor every night in order for his team to win because of Mike Conley. Rudy Gobert could very well be an MVP candidate after this season due to impact he will have on the offensive end with increased spacing. That’s before we even get to sharpshooter Bojan Bogdanovic. This Jazz team is ready to be the best in the West.

Final prediction

The Utah Jazz finish as the best team in the Western Conference at 57-35 and ultimately fall to the Los Angeles Clippers in the Western Conference Finals as the star duo of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George just prove too much for the Utah Jazz. Vegas has Utah’s over/under at 53.5. That seems high, but Utah should have been above that last year with a weaker roster. The West is better, but so are the Utah Jazz. Don’t bet on the large market contenders, take the small market sleeping giant Jazz.

Final prediction: 57-35

Mychal Lowman (@My_Lo)