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NBA Power Rankings: Final Five Games Will Shape Utah’s Playoff Spot

We’re almost there…

The playoffs are 12 days away and the Jazz finish off the regular season with five games against Western Conference opponents. They’ll take on the Clippers, Lakers (twice), Warriors, and Rockets to close out the season. Sitting in the 6th spot, the best Utah could finish would be the 3 seed (highly unlikely), and the worst they could finish would be 11th in the west and out of the Playoffs (we don’t want that).

Let’s take a look at the latest Power Rankings from around the nation and their thoughts on our Utah Jazz.

The official NBA website kept the Jazz in the 6th spot for a second straight week.

“At one point this season, the Jazz were 5-19 on the road. Since then, they’ve won 14 of their last 15 road games, and the only loss came in overtime in San Antonio. The turnaround pretty closely coincides with Rudy Gobert’s return to health, though the improvement has been almost as big on offense (9.2 points per 100 possessions) as it’s been on defense (12.0)… Dante Exum has exceeded expectations and provided a real lift off the bench, with the Jazz having outscored their opponents by 17 points per 100 possessions with him on the floor.

ESPN also kept the Jazz with their same ranking this week at No. 10.

“Rookie Donovan Mitchell continues to lead the Jazz as Utah tries to lock up a playoff spot. He has scored at least 20 points in a season-high nine straight games and has 43 games with 20 points this season. That’s the most by any rookie since Blake Griffin had 55 games such games during the 2010-11 season.”

Bleacher Report moved the Jazz back one spot to No. 5 this week.

“We’ve reached the point now where the Jazz’s phenomenal run since late January constitutes a large enough percentage of their season to make this ranking feel less like an acknowledgment of a hot stretch and more like a rightful spot based on full-year numbers.

Utah is now sixth in net rating and second in defense overall.”

CBS Sports keep the Jazz at their highest ranking at No. 3.

“Ricky Rubio has never been to the playoffs before. The Jazz have been a surprise team for a lot of people, but Rubio has always been a player that’s come under scrutiny while in Minnesota. He has a chance to prove a lot of those doubters wrong in the playoffs.”

And Sports Illustrated also kept the Jazz in their same position at No. 10.

“Ricky Rubio scored 23 points (with five threes!) in a revenge game against the Wolves on Sunday. The Jazz’s defense will give any opponent trouble in the playoffs. A lottery pick would have been nice, but I’m excited to see what Donovan Mitchell can do come the postseason, and what impact that experience will have on his promising career.”

 

The Jazz are in L.A. this weekend to take on both the Lakers and the Clippers.

 

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