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Randy Hollis: If this Utah Jazz team gets healthy, just how good could it be?

SALT LAKE CITY — After watching the way the Utah Jazz completely dismantled a solid Atlanta Hawks team in a 27-point beatdown Friday night, you can't help but wonder:

How good could this Jazz team be if it ever gets everybody on the roster healthy?

Perhaps, sadly, we'll never know.

The Jazz are 9-8 thus far this season, but who knows what their record might be if three of the team's starters and best all-around players — point guard George Hill (eight games, sprained thumb), small forward Gordon Hayward (six games, fractured finger) and power forward Derrick Favors (six games, knee soreness) — hadn't missed big chunks of time on the court.

What's more, backup big man Boris Diaw, in his first year in Utah, missed eight games with a leg contusion.

Sure, injuries have always been a part of sports, but this is becoming downright ridiculous. Makes you almost wonder what terrible sin the Jazz must've committed to anger the basketball gods.

Actually, the Jazz have been snakebitten for the past two seasons, beginning in December 2014 when shooting guard Alec Burks was sidelined for the remainder of the season by a shoulder injury.

Then point guard Dante' Exum tore up his ACL in the summer of 2015 while playing for the Australian National Team and missed the entire 2015-16 season.

Since then, it seems like it's been one thing after another after another.

Burks broke his ankle in December 2015 and missed almost all of the rest of the season. Starting center Rudy Gobert suffered a sprained knee and missed 18 games last December and January, and Favors missed a similar stretch of 16 games last season with back spasms.

This season, Favors' lingering knee problems are becoming increasingly worrisome, and Burks has yet to play during the 2016-17 campaign.

It makes Jazz fans long for the day when the seemingly indestructible Karl Malone and John Stockton somehow managed to play through the pain and seemingly never missed a game. Those days are long gone, though, and they're not coming back. Alas, they just don't make players like that anymore.

Thankfully, Utah's deep bench has been paying dividends this season, and the Jazz have players on their roster like young big man Trey Lyles, veteran swingmen Joe Johnson and Joe Ingles, experienced point guard Shelvin Mack and the versatile Diaw to fill in for their injured starters.

During the last offseason, Utah was lauded for building one of the best benches in the NBA. That praise is certainly being put to the test by the way the current season has unfolded.

Now it appears those high hopes for a huge improvement over last season's 40-win total may have to be reined in a bit. But if the Jazz can somehow get everybody healthy, or almost everybody healthy, or at least almost healthy, they still may very well be able to chase a division championship and a spot among the top four teams in the Western Conference — though they'll most likely finish behind Golden State, San Antonio and the L.A. Clippers.

After all, there's still 65 regular-season games left to play. Still plenty of time to put together a strong winning stretch. Still plenty of time to make an upward climb in the standings.

And, hopefully, still plenty of time to get healthy and show everyone the team they truly can be, the team that most folks thought they'd be before those fickle basketball gods decided to give the Jazz a frustrating thumbs-down.

EMAIL: rhollis@desnews.com