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Jazz improving but still an All-Star short

Going into tonights game, the Jazz are 19-34, the identical record they had last year at this time.

So are Jazz fans being sold a load of goods by team management?

The complicated thing is that the Jazz do seem better. But the bottom line is the bottom line. In the place where it matters the standings its the same Jazz.

Deseret News photoYeah, so well see what next 30 games bring and we feel very good about our arc and our ability to go forward, general manager Dennis Lindsey said. And Quins (Snyder) job is to win games; were not in the nonsense of trying to manipulate a better lottery pick or anything like that. We want to move the group forward, and right now that means internally, with internal growth and development. And while the defense has improved, it needs to improve some more, and we all know that, and thats our charge.

Lindsey continued, And while the offense is improved, the turnovers are up and guys need to understand while Quins system is dynamic and at times can be complex, were not going to dumb it down for you; youre gonna have to get it, and have to play mistake-free basketball if you want to play. And thats a goal.

But, again, same record after 53 games.

Im very confident in this group, moving forward. You can look at it from an analytical standpoint, and on a points differential weve played second-toughest schedule in the league so far and will continue play a tough schedule, he said. I know a lot of you say you wish we were in the East, but I feel Im exact opposite. I like the challenge of West, because once we overcome the challenges of the West, well know we have a contender, not a pseudo-contender.

He has some points. Im willing to concede the Jazz schedule has been tough in the first half. But without Enes Kanters scoring, its debatable whether the team will exceed last years 25-win season, even as other players improve. I expect the Jazz to do slightly better than last year 28 or 29 wins. Then I expect them to remain far out of the playoffs for the foreseeable future, unless they land a top free agent.

Then theyd be back in the playoffs.

Jazz management continues to believe star power could develop from within the current team. I think they have nice parts but no true star. As improved as Rudy Gobert, Gordon Hayward and Derrick Favors are, Im not convinced they are enough to bring the Jazz back to respectability.

They need an All-Star in his prime -- but not a 1-time All-Star like Andrei Kirilenko was; a consistent All-Star.

Then we'll talk.

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