The Utah Jazz had a respectable season last year, but they just can’t get over the hump when they play the Los Angeles Lakers. Still, any team that finishes 53-29 has to consider their season quite successful. Deron Williams had a terrific postseason, and the Jazz greatly improved their play on the road, which has been a big problem for them in the past. A team coached by Jerry Sloan is always going to be fundamentally sound, and they will definitely run the pick-and-roll as well as anyone in the league.
Utah Jazz Offseason Moves
The Jazz were involved in all kinds of offseason moves this year. At the beginning of the free agent period, the Jazz lost Carlos Boozer and Kyle Korver to the Bulls. Wesley Matthews received a $34 million five-year deal from Portland, and the Jazz chose not to match that offer.
Jazz fans were starting to wonder who would be around in 2010-11 to help Deron Williams. The help is definitely on the way, as the Jazz were able to bring in Al Jefferson as well as Raja Bell. Butler Bulldogs star Gordon Hayward was their first round draft choice, and I expect him to see quite a bit of action. The Jazz were very active this offseason, so there will definitely be plenty of new faces going into this year.
2010-11 Utah Jazz Outlook
While the loss of Boozer could hurt, I think the Jazz have done a tremendous job replacing him with Al Jefferson. Jefferson is a very talented young player who has never played on a contending team before, and I fully expect him to be hungry and on top of his game this year.
Paul Millsap is also a beast on the boards, and he’ll get more playing time this year. Raja Bell gives this team a defensive attitude that they have been missing the last few years, which could help them when it gets down to crunch time in the playoffs. C.J. Miles has shown signs of improving quite drastically over the past year, and he could also be a playmaker for this team.
Don’t overlook the fact that Andrei Kirilenko is going into a contract year, so he’ll be extra hungry to return to his old form. Deron Williams is absolutely one of the best point guards in the league, and as long as he stays healthy, this team will be one of the top squads in the West.
The Utah Jazz schedule for 2010-11 is packed with plenty of interesting matchups to keep an eye on. The Jazz will open the season at home against a new-look Phoenix Suns team on Oct. 28. I love the game on Feb. 9 in Salt Lake City against the Chicago Bulls. It will be Boozer and Korver’s first trip back to Utah, so the environment should be great.
2010-11 Utah Jazz NBA Odds
The sportsbooks aren’t giving the Utah Jazz too much respect at this point, probably because they are a little unsure of how the new players will fit into the system. The Jazz are listed at +5500 to win the NBA Championship this year. The Jazz are also listed at +1200 to win the Western Conference on 5dimes. What about the team total for wins this year? Right now, the ‘over/under’ for total wins is set at 50.5 for the Jazz.
2010-11 Utah Jazz NBA Predictions
The Jazz play in what is probably the most difficult division in the NBA, so it’s never easy. Oklahoma City, Portland, and Denver are definitely tough, and when you add in this Utah team—you get a very stacked division.
I think the Jazz have a shot at winning the Northwest Division, but I think a finish of second is more likely. This team is definitely capable of producing a similar amount of wins as last year. An educated guess would be 52 or 53 wins for this team in 2010-2011.
Are the Jazz worth putting some of your money to work? This is a team in transition, so I think it’s unlikely they’ll win the Western Conference or the NBA Championship. I do think ‘over’ 50.5 wins is a solid play on a team that is as deep and talented as this Utah squad.