ESPN's Marc Stein released his latest NBA Power Rankings and the Utah Jazz came in at the No. 8 spot.
Of the Jazz, he wrote, "If you believe in the value of nightly average point margin when it comes to measuring a team's strength, Utah deserves its status as the current holder of the last home-court advantage playoff spot in the West, thanks to a reading of plus-4.1 that ranks sixth in the league overall."
The Jazz were one spot higher, coming in at No. 7 in John Schuhmann's NBA.com Power Rankings.
After talking about Rodney Hood's injury, Schuhmann wrote, "Gordon Hayward is healthy and scored 60 points on 64 percent shooting as the Jazz took care of business against the struggling Bucks and Hornets last week. Joe Johnson also awoke from a slumber and the pair combined with George Hill for a 22-4, fourth-quarter run that turned a 10-point deficit into a seven-point win against Charlotte on Saturday."
Rudy Gobert's game analyzed in Prodigies Series
Jake Rauchbach took a look at the strengths and weaknesses in Rudy Gobert's game in the latest installment of Basketball Insiders’ Prodigy Series.
After touching on the play of Anthony Davis — who was also looked at — Rauchbach wrote, "Gobert is a quintessential energy guy whose defense, rebounding and high field goal percentage have been a major asset for the Jazz this season."
Rauchbach then talked about Davis's season before turning his attention back to Gobert, saying, "Despite being snubbed from this year’s All-Star game, Gobert is having a breakout season. He is the only player in the league ranked in the top-5 in rebounds and blocks and who averages at least 12.8 points, 12.6 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game."
Rauchbach then broke down the strengths and weaknesses that Gobert has in great detail, including how he plays in the pick-and-roll on offense and defense, his play as a defensive stopper and how he does in transition offense.
Gaines Triple-double not enough in Stars' loss to Los Angeles
Former Utah Jazz guard Sundiata Gaines has produced at a high level for the Salt Lake City Stars of late, averaging 22.3 points, 8.0 assists and 7.8 rebounds over the last four games.
He had another big performance on Monday as he finished with 23 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists in the Stars’ 138-129 loss to the Los Angeles D-Fenders. It was his second triple-double in four days.
The Stars also got big scoring efforts from Jermaine Taylor who registered 24 points on 5 for 8 shooting from beyond the arc and Diamond Stone who added 22 points in just 20 minutes off the bench.
Joel Bolomboy also had a big night with 21 points, nine rebounds and three blocks while former Utah Utes' center David Foster chipped in with six points, three blocks and two rebounds in 12 minutes for the D-Fenders.