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Last Tuesday, Marc Stein (formerly of the New York Times) published his preseason NBA Power Rankings and that ruffled the feathers of some Jazz fans to learn that the Utah Jazz were seventh on his list, which ranked the Milwaukee Bucks, Brooklyn Nets, Los Angeles Lakers, Phoenix Suns, Miami Heat and Atlanta Hawks ahead of Jazz.
But I thought it was a pretty generous ranking.
If we break this down into conferences, that means Stein would have the Lakers, Suns, and Jazz in the top three spots, respectively, in the Western Conference, while the top four in the Eastern Conference would be the Bucks, Nets, Heat and Hawks.
Let’s see this logically considering what we know about each of these teams.
The Lakers were beaten in the first round of the playoffs last season, but they were the defending champions, and two of the best players in the world at LeBron James and Anthony Davis were injured early in the playoffs. It’s understandable to believe that in good health they will be one of the best teams in the league. The Suns were the team that beat the Lakers and went on to play in the final. These are the two Western Conference teams ranked at the top of the Jazz in Stein rankings. It’s rather good.
In the East, Stein has the current Milwaukee Bucks champion (which is only fair), followed by the Brooklyn Nets, Miami Heat and Atlanta Hawks.
You’d be hard pressed to find someone who thinks a healthy Nets team with James Harden, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving won’t give every team in the league a run for their money. As for the Hawks, they played in the Eastern Conference final against the Bucks last season. The Jazz can only say they have reached the second round of the playoffs.
The only team I could fend off is the Miami Heat. They already had Jimmy Butler and a group of young snipers and added Kyle Lowry, PJ Tucker and re-signed Victor Oladipo. They should be a good team, but this team as it is built hasn’t proven anything. On the other hand, even without the new additions, Butler took Miami to the finals in 2020. It’s not something the Jazz can go against.
The fairest and most thoughtful part of Stein’s ranking was his explanation under the heading of Utah Jazz.
“For all of Utah’s regular season successes and the various individual honors jazz players have won, no one outside of Salt Lake City will care what these guys do unless it happens in the playoffs. . “
It is essential. Until the Jazz prove they are more than a second round team, they will continue to be seen and treated as such.
New with Jazz
Statistics of the week
We are only 40 days away from the start of the 2021-22 NBA season and 19 days as soon as the training camp opens.
This week on ‘Unsalvageable’
To verify “Unbearable: A Utah Jazz Podcast ”, hosted by Deseret News Utah Jazz has beaten journalist Sarah Todd and lifelong jazz fan Greg Foster (no, not that Greg Foster). This week, the team recaps Netflix’s new documentary, “Untold: Malice at the Palace,” with special guest Jabari Davis.
This week in the history of Jazz
Tuesday, Donovan mitchell celebrated its 25th anniversary. Mitchell has been to Miami to train with teammates Royce O’Neale and Eric Paschall.
- NBA Free Agency 2022 could be a bit bankrupt (The ring)
- Rudy Gobert unveils a new short at the next Rudy Gobert Academy in France (KSL Sports)
Around the league
Pacers Guard Edmond Sumner is out indefinitely after tearing Achilles apart in off-season training.
LaMarcus Aldridge comes out of retirement join the Brooklyn Nets.
The key dates of the 2021-22 NBA season.
Next step: NBA preseason
October 4 | 6.30 p.m. | Utah Jazz @ San Antonio Spurs | To be determined
October 6 | 6 p.m. Utah Jazz @ Dallas Mavericks | To be determined
October 11 | 19h | Utah Jazz vs. New Orleans Pelicans | To be determined
October 13 | 19h | Utah Jazz vs. Milwaukee Bucks | To be determined
* Broadcast information for preseason games will be announced at a later date.