The Utah Jazz have been one of the surprises of this NBA season, with the team currently boasting a league-leading 29-10 record.
There had been questions surrounding whether they could maintain their early-to-mid season form, however, after they picked up just one win in their first four games in March.
But an impressive 117-109 victory over the Boston Celtics at TD Garden on Tuesday night got the Jazz back on track and showed us why this team needs to be taken seriously.
In Rudy Gobert, Utah have the two-time Defensive Player of the Year and his presence has the capability of helping them out of a tough spot.
Against the Celtics, Gobert made four blocks in addition to a double-double of 16 points and 12 rebounds, with Boston’s bigs unable to handle the Frenchman.
Gobert was one of six Jazz players to put up double figures for points in Boston, indicative of the team’s depth and ability to share offensive responsibility.
That share of scoring is par for the course for Utah, with Gobert, Donovan Mitchell, Bojan Bogdanovic, Joe Ingles, Mike Conley and Jordan Clarkson all averaging over 10 points across the season.
The Jazz are getting recognition for their performances too, with Conley earning a first-time All-Star selection in addition to Mitchell and Gobert making their second appearances in the All-Star Game.
Clarkson, meanwhile, is averaging 18 points off the bench and being tipped as a contender to win the Sixth Man of the Year award.
Depth like this means that the Jazz have insurance and flexibility: if one of their go-to scorers isn’t on it, someone else can step up and the burden of scoring doesn’t fall too heavily on any individual.
With three All-Stars, Gobert’s defensive presence, a possible Sixth Man of the Year and six reliable scorers, plus a fearless scorer in Mitchell, we can expect the Jazz to kick on from the win over their Celtics and show us all that this recent slump is well and truly behind them.
Time will tell if they can maintain the best record in the league, but there are plenty of reasons to keep an eye on Utah for the remainder of the regular season.