After steadily increasing their win total for a few years, the Jazz broke through in a big way in 2016/17, winning the Northwest division with a 51-31 record. However, the club’s hopes of taking yet another step forward this season likely dissipated around the time that Gordon Hayward published his Players’ Tribune piece on July 4.
The Jazz are still a talented team, but Hayward was the club’s top scorer and its only All-Star. With both Hayward and George Hill gone, Utah may struggle to put the ball in the net — the team’s other best player, Rudy Gobert, is more of a force on the defensive end than on offense, and new point guard Ricky Rubio is very much a pass-first player.
Besides Hayward, Gobert, and Hill, the only other Jazz player to average double-digit points last season was Rodney Hood, and he’ll have to improve significantly on his 12.7 PPG to help fill the gap left by Hayward’s departure. Joe Ingles, Derrick Favors, and Alec Burks may be asked to do more on offense too, with newcomers like Thabo Sefolosha and rookie Donovan Mitchell also chipping in.
The Jazz still look like a playoff contender, but they’re no longer a lock for the postseason, and oddsmakers’ projections for the team reflect that. Offshore betting site Bovada currently has Utah’s over/under for 2017/18 at 41 wins. Since we prefer to avoid whole numbers in these polls, and action on the over has been heavy so far on Bovada, we’ll bump that number to 41.5.
What do you think? Does this Jazz roster still have enough talent to finish above .500, or is a dip of 10 games or more in the cards without Hayward or Hill around anymore? Vote below and jump into the comment section to share your thoughts!
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Previous over/under voting results:
- Golden State Warriors: Over 67.5 (53.57%)
- Boston Celtics: Over 55.5 (63.5%)
- Houston Rockets: Over 55.5 (65.57%)
- San Antonio Spurs: Over 54.5 (67.74%)
- Cleveland Cavaliers: Over 53.5 (68.82%)
- Oklahoma City Thunder: Over 50.5 (71.77%)
- Minnesota Timberwolves: Over 48.5 (55.69%)
- Toronto Raptors: Over 48.5 (64.21%)
- Washington Wizards: Over 47.5 (71.29%)
- Milwaukee Bucks: Over 47.5 (63.88%)
- Denver Nuggets: Under 45.5 (50.44%)
- Los Angeles Clippers: Over 43.5 (60.7%)
- Miami Heat: Over 43.5 (55.39%)
- Charlotte Hornets: Over 42.5 (51.07%)
- Portland Trail Blazers: Over 42.5 (56.3%)
- Philadelphia 76ers: Under 41.5 (53.37%)