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Why Jazz’s road record is a good sign

The fact Utah is doing so well away from home is important as team sets sights on winning games that matter in May and June

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Utah Jazz guard Mike Conley drives on Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic during game Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022, in Denver.

Utah Jazz guard Mike Conley drives on Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic during game Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022, in Denver. The Jazz picked up the W to improve to an NBA-best 14-3 on the road this season.

David Zalubowski, Associated Press

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The Utah Jazz have been an incredibly good road team this season. In fact, the Jazz have a league-leading 14-3 road record heading into Friday’s game in Toronto against the Raptors.

The Jazz are also owners of the best offensive rating in the NBA (117.0), the fifth-best defensive rating (107.2) and the highest net rating (9.8). They have the best overall field goal percentage in the league, shoot 3-pointers with the sixth-highest percentage, and, when healthy, they seem to be getting better all the time.

The team’s home record is not as impressive at 14-7, but you’ll notice that they have the same amount of wins on the road as they do at home. So does this mean that the Jazz aren’t a good home team. I say, no.

The Jazz have played more games at home this season than they have on the road and that means that they’ve had more opportunity to lose. Sure, some of those losses have been a bit confounding and have been to sub-.500 teams, but every team is going to have some questionable losses over the course of an 82-game season.

Even though there are many that are disappointed with the Jazz’s home record this season, their home record still ranks fifth in the league. They are widely considered to be one of the few teams that could contend for a title this season and if you’re looking for any other silver linings in this situation, consider the classic NBA saying, “a playoff series doesn’t begin until a team wins on the road.”

Technically, a team with home-court advantage throughout the entirety of the playoffs could win all of its home games in every postseason series and win a title, but that’s not a path that anyone ever counts on. Being able to steal a game on an opponent’s court is what the best teams are able to do. So the fact that the Jazz are doing so well on the road, could be a good sign as they set their sights on winning games that matter in May and June.

New with the Jazz

Stat of the week

The Utah Jazz’s 76 wins in the 2021 calendar year set a record for the NBA. With the irregularity of the 2020-21 regular season schedule, caused by the even more irregular schedule of the previous bubble season, the Jazz collected more wins over a single year than any other team in NBA history.

From the archives

This week in Jazz history

In January 2018, rookie Donovan Mitchell was just getting his first taste at what stardom would look like. The young and promising product out of Louisville was taking on national broadcast interviews, talking about what it was like to be succeeding and getting so much attention in just his first season. I bet he didn’t expect to be a two-time All-Star and the face of the Utah Jazz franchise so soon after that.

Extra points

  • Pelicans rookie Herb Jones praised by Donovan Mitchell, Mike Conley (Deseret News)
  • Why Donovan Mitchell’s crossover is breaking more ankles than ever before (KSL.com)
  • Joe Ingles reacts to rumors that Jazz could be looking to trade him (KSL.com)
  • Utah Jazz and the new year: Resolutions for 2022 (The Athletic)

Around the league

Kyrie Irving made his part-time return to the Brooklyn Nets lineup.

Zion Williamson will continue foot injury rehab away from the New Orleans Pelicans.

Gerald Green comes out of retirement, joins G League in effort to stage NBA comeback.

Up next

Jan. 7 | 7:30 p.m. | Utah Jazz @ Toronto Raptors | AT&T SportsNet

Jan. 8 | 7 p.m. | Utah Jazz @ Indiana Pacers | AT&T SportsNet

Jan. 10 | 7 p.m. | Utah Jazz @ Detroit Pistons | AT&T SportsNet

Jan. 12 | 7 p.m. | Utah Jazz vs. Cleveland Cavaliers | AT&T SportsNet