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The Utah Jazz became the first team in the NBA to reach 10 wins on the season after a win over the Hawks on Wednesday night. In just a few weeks, the Jazz have gone from being viewed as a “rebuilding” team to being the best team in the west. Led by Lauri Markkanen, the Jazz have shown no signs of slowing down.
Offensively, the Jazz have been the best team in the league, averaging a league-leading 118.8 PPG. They also sit amongst the leaders in assists per game, averaging 27.7. Markkanen, along with Jordan Clarkson, leads their offensive game. Markkanen is averaging a career-high 22.7 PPG to go along with 8.8 RPG. The seven-footer has a true shooting percentage of 64 percent. Finally, Markkanen is having the break-out year that Bulls fans expected him to have.
Clarkson is averaging 18.6 PPG on the season, with 5.2 APG and 4.5 RPG. After a slight down-year last season, Clarkson has bounced back. His efficiency numbers have been much better, shooting over 10 percent higher from three than his previous year. He has aided the Jazz to the fourth-highest offensive rating in the league—the Jazz trail only the Celtics, Suns, and Cavaliers.
While the Jazz’s offensive play has been elite thus far, they have been just as good on the defensive side of the ball. They have the sixth-highest defensive rating in the west, with a rating of 110.6. They’re second in the league and first in the west in total steals with 112. They trail only the Toronto Raptors.
Furthermore, as if those numbers weren’t impressive enough, the Jazz also lead the west in total blocks with 71. Their elite perimeter and interior defense combination have led them to have one of the best defenses in basketball this season.
Consequently, the Jazz have been an astonishing team this season to many fans around the league. By trading away both Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert, it appeared that they would be going into a rebuilding phase. However, this would be quite the contrary as they have been able to play very well together as a team. Well enough to sit atop the Western Conference through 13 games.