Much like the Indiana Pacers in the Eastern Conference, the Utah Jazz shocked so many people last season, just in a much better Western Conference. They finished the 2017-18 regular season with a 48-34 record, which granted them the fifth seed in the West.
They would go on to beat the Oklahoma City Thunder in six games, and then they were over-matched against the top-seeded Houston Rockets, a series in which they lost in five games. Going into a year in which they lost franchise wing Gordon Hayward (who signed with the Boston Celtics in free agency), it was understandable for Utah to finish with a significantly worse record than the season prior.
They didn’t go full-rebuild, though, as head coach Quin Snyder let rookie combo guard Donovan Mitchell be the primary playmaker. Mitchell responded with a season few likely saw coming, as he had 20.5 points, 3.7 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game. He finished as the runner-up for the Rookie of the Year, losing out to a stellar player in Ben Simmons of the Philadelphia 76ers.
The Jazz have a great system on both ends of the floor, as Snyder has done a tremendous job at getting the best out of his players in a variety of ways the last few years. Going into next season, the third goal for Utah should be to take care of the ball better.
Next Up: Goal #3