SALT LAKE CITY — The Jazz passed the midway point of the season, last week, like a cab chasing a $100 fare. There was no point in pausing to look around. The All-Star break — unofficially halfway — is still two weeks away. That is always a nice rest period for the NBA’s non-star players.

The Jazz have plenty of those.

But they also have some up-and-comers, which is better than once-upon-a-timers like Richard Jefferson and Marvin Williams, both of whom were on last year’s team.

At least now the story is ahead of the Jazz.

Their disconcerting news, though, is that in this season of renewal and optimism, the team hit the 41-game mark this week at exactly the same pace it did last season: 14-27. Everyone in the organization says the team is better, which is possible, but isn’t that like hearing your mechanic say, “That leak hasn’t gotten worse”?

Coach Quin Snyder says wins alone won’t determine the team’s progress this year.

You could have fooled me.

I always thought winning was, you know, how to tell.

This is progress: making the playoffs, finishing the season with a better-than-.500 record, generating some All-Stars.

In fairness, some things are obvious this year. Rudy Gobert has gone from a big guy with little experience to a genuine game-changer, at times. For proof, look at the fact he ranks 24th in ESPN’s Player Efficiency Rating. Enes Kanter has lately gained some nastiness to go with all his niceness. Dante Exum still looks like an All-Star on training wheels, especially after starting against Milwaukee this week. Derrick Favors — 11th in PER — is acting as though he, not Gordon Hayward, is the team’s best player.

Meanwhile, the Jazz have been better this year against good competition. Last year at the midway point they were 5-19 against playoff teams (.263). This year they’re 7-16 (.438) against playoff-bound teams (before Saturday’s game against Brooklyn), and they are losing by fewer points.

Last year they got nice minutes from players on the downside of their careers; this year they’re getting meaningful minutes from people on the way up.

At the same time, this isn’t as young a team as people say. Hayward is only 24, but he’s also a maximum contract player with nearly five years’ behind him. That’s enough time to know he has a big effect on games, a multi-dimensional rarity, having moved from 98th in PEF last year, to 54th.

But he’s not Larry Bird.

Favors, too, is in his fifth season.

The Jazz are progressing, but so are the Suns, Rockets, Blazers, Warriors, Grizzlies and everyone else west of the Mississippi.

How long can a team tread water?

Hayward is up slightly in field goal percentage, 3-point percentage and scoring, slightly down on rebounds, assists, blocks and steals. Favors: up slightly on field goal percentage, free throws, points, assists, steals and free throw percentage, down slightly on rebounds. Kanter and Gobert are up on virtually everything.

Alec Burks is out, which is a factor, but not so much that his presence would vault the Jazz into the playoffs. Rodney Hood’s arrival has been slowed by injuries, while Kanter and Favors have missed games this season, too.

That stuff happens in an 82-game schedule, to every team.

So here sits the newest incarnation of the Jazz, still a non-factor for the playoffs. The Jazz didn’t make a mistake by overhauling the roster. Seventh or eighth place was the best they could do with Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson. So they made a clean break. Since then, they’ve put together a lineup of respectable players.

The great ones, though, are in someone else’s arena.

In the measurement that matters most — wins — the Jazz hit halfway in the same place they were a year ago. In that sense, it’s hard not to look at the Jazz of 2015 and say, “Haven’t we met?”

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