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Utah Jazz Betting Outlook
Western Conference Odds: +1400
Preseason NBA Championship Odds: +2800
The Utah Jazz liked how they played last season so much they made almost no changes to their team for 2020-21.The biggest move was bringing back forward Derrick Favors, who spent almost nine seasons in Utah before spending last season with New Orleans.
The continued development of Donovan Mitchell, as well as the chemistry forged by last season’s first-round loss to Denver, is expected to help the Jazz move forward. Having Bojan Bogdanovic healthy again will help as well, after he missed the return to action in Orlando.
Utah should again be a postseason team, but in a loaded Western Conference, the Jazz are going to have a hard time moving up into the top four. If it can stay healthy, Utah will be a contender come playoff time.
Jazz 2021 Predictions
Regular Season Record: 41-31
Conference Standing: Fifth
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Mitchell is the team leader for Utah, both on and off the floor. Mitchell is an exciting scorer who continues to develop entering his fourth NBA season. His scoring, rebounding, assist and shooting numbers have gone up each of his first three campaigns, and there’s no reason to think they won’t again. Mitchell is the go-to scorer for the Jazz, but he doesn’t force shots when they’re not there.
If Mitchell is the Utah engine on the offensive end, Rudy Gobert is the catalyst on the defensive end. The two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year is a superior shot-blocker and rebounder, ranking in the league’s top five last season with 2.0 blocks and 13.5 rebounds. Gobert upped his offensive output in the postseason, averaging 16.9 points in the first-round loss to Denver.
Utah Jazz Injuries
Utah Jazz Team History
The Utah Jazz have been in the NBA since joining the league as an expansion franchise in 1974. The team started in New Orleans, hence the Jazz nickname, which it has stayed with after the move to Salt Lake City in 1979.
The early days of the franchise focused on “Pistol” Pete Maravich, the former LSU star, who the team traded for to draw fans in the early years. Maravich was a star, leading the NBA in scoring in 1976-77, but the team failed to reach .500 before the move to Utah.
Things started to turn for the franchise after Frank Layden was made the head coach early in the 1981-82 season. The team improved in record the next couple of years, then won its first division title and made the playoffs for the first time in 1983-84. The 1984 draft brought point guard John Stockton to the franchise, followed in 1985 by forward Karl Malone.
Those two picks, along with center Mark Eaton, Bailey and guard Bobby Hansen, continued to make the playoffs without much success, then broke through in 1988. The Jazz beat Portland in the first round, then took the defending NBA champion Lakers to seven games before falling.
Layden stepped down 17 games into the 1988-89 season, with Jerry Sloan replacing him.The team continued to make the postseason but was unable to make it out of the Western Conference, despite the presence of perennial All-Stars Malone and Stockton. The duo was each considered one of the top players at their positions, and both were named to the USA Dream Team in 1992.
The Jazz finally made the next step in 1996-97, defeating the Houston Rockets in the Western Conference finals to advance to their first NBA Finals, where they fell to the Chicago Bulls in six games. Malone won the NBA’s MVP award, beating out Michael Jordan for the honor.
Utah advanced to the NBA Finals for a second straight season but again faced the Bulls, who defeated the Jazz in six games again. It was the closest the Jazz would come to winning an NBA title.
Utah continued to make the playoffs but couldn’t get out of the West. Following the 2002-03 season, Stockton retired, and Malone left as a free agent to the Lakers. The next season, despite a 42-40 record, the Jazz’s 20-year string of playoff appearances came to an end, as Utah came up a game short in the standings.
After a three-year absence from the postseason, the Jazz, led by Carlos Boozer, Deron Williams and Mehmet Okur, advanced to the Western Conference Finals in 2006-07, falling to the Spurs. Utah hasn’t been past the second round of the postseason since.
Malone and Stockton lead a group of nine Hall of Famers who have spent time with the Jazz franchise, including Maravich, Adrian Dantley and Sloan.
The Jazz were optimistic heading into the 2019-20 season after making their third straight playoff appearance in 2018-19. Utah acquired Bojan Bogdanovic from Indiana and veteran point guard Mike Conley from Memphis prior to the season, hoping to add to the All-Star duo of guard Donovan Mitchell and center Rudy Gobert.
The combination started a little slow, as Utah was 13-11 early in December, but then the Jazz went on a 19-2 stretch to sit at 32-13 late in January. Utah went 9-10 over its next 19 games before the season — and the sports world — changed thanks to Gobert.
The 27-year-old had been very flippant about the coronavirus, jokingly touching every microphone at a press conference on purpose, but two days later, he became the first professional athlete to test positive for the virus. That led to the NBA postponing the season, which was followed by every other sports league.
When the NBA returned to action in the NBA bubble, the Jazz didn’t have Bogdanovic, who opted for wrist surgery during the break, ending his season. Utah struggled in its return to action, going 3-5 in its final regular-season contests and finishing sixth in the West.
That set up a first-round series with the Denver Nuggets and a memorable individual battle between Mitchell and Denver’s Jamal Murray. Mitchell averaged 36.3 points in the series, and Utah took a 3-1 lead, but the Nuggets rallied behind Murray, who averaged 31.5 points, and won the series in seven games.
Quin Snyder was named the Jazz head coach prior to the 2014-15 season, his first head coaching job in the NBA. Utah failed to make the postseason in Snyder’s first two seasons at the helm, but the Jazz have made the playoffs the last four years.
A former player for Mike Krzyzewski at Duke, Snyder spent six seasons as an assistant for the Blue Devils before being named the head coach at Missouri in 1999. Snyder had a 126-91 record with the Tigers but resigned midway through the 2005-06 season. Following multiple coaching stops, including stints as an assistant coach with the 76ers, Lakers and Hawks, Snyder earned the job with Utah.
Snyder went 271-211 in his first six seasons with Utah, never finishing lower than third in the Northwest Division.
Derrick Favors, forward, New Orleans Pelicans
Udoka Azubuike, center, Kansas
Trent Forrest, guard, Florida State
Elijah Hughes, forward, Syracuse
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