The Utah Jazz were never coming close to hoisting a championship trophy this season, and that’s no hot take.

Many fans inside the confines of the beehive state however, likely expected an improved team from last seasons first effort in the “rebuild era”.

Last Year’s 37-45 squad also dealt with a team that was ravaged by the trade deadline (even worse than this year’s iteration) and dealt with “bad injury luck” post All-Star break, just like this year’s team is.

Last years after deadline team finished the year 10-17, and never won more than two straight games.

Utah was the sorry owner of three sperate 4 game losing streaks in that span. It wasn’t win one, lose two. It was win one, lose 4.

This year’s team for all the hope and anticipation of watching them take the next step, seems to be in worse shape.

With a record of 28-35, the Jazz have gone 2-9 since the deadline hit.

They already have a losing streak of 5 consecutive games, besting last year and with two wins, you can certainly bet they weren’t consecutive.

The two wins have come over the San Antonio Spurs and Washington Wizards, both of which were home games.

The Spurs and Wizards have a combined record of 22-102 this season.

Now, I’m not faulting Utah for dropping games in Phoenix or Miami. Even losses to the Warriors X2, the Lakers and even in Orlando are acceptable by expectation standards.

The main issue is Utah’s inability to handle mediocre teams.

The Hawks, Hornets and the Chicago Bulls are all teams below .500 this season. In the Hornets case, 32 games below .500.

As of last night, these teams have all beaten down the Utah Jazz since the deadline.

Out of those three contests, it shouldn’t be too much to expect at least one Jazz victory.

I am aware that Utah was running a skeleton crew last night in the 119-117 loss to the Bulls, without Lauri Markkanen, Taylor Hendricks, Keyonte George or Walker Kessler.

With Johnny Juzang and Luka Samanic getting 19 plus minutes, 28th overall pick in this year’s draft, Brice Sensabaugh, getting his first start (15 pts on 63 %, 12 rebounds) and heavy Talen Horton-Tucker minutes, Jazz fans could be proud of the fight.

Collin Sexton even had an opportunity to give Utah a home win before watching his three clank off the back iron.

Even if the Bulls aren’t the best example, the lack of any quality wins in 11 games should raise a red flag.

Many of us Jazz fans considered this team at least of a mid-tier variety a couple weeks ago, in line with a Chicago or Atlanta.

Not necessarily good, but fun, frisky and competent enough to scare higher end teams now and again.

Nothing Utah has accomplished since the trade deadline backs that up.

Last year’s team finished below middle of the pack, yet this year has work to do to finish even at that level.

Utah’s 2-8 record in the last ten is worse than Houston, Memphis and San Antonio, all teams currently behind the Jazz in the west.

That same 2-8 record is only better than Detroit’s 1-9 stretch and Washington’s 0-10 stretch. It is aligned precisely with the Portland Trailblazers, also 2-8 in their last ten.

If you’ve been following the NBA this year, that should paint an accurate picture of who the Jazz are in this moment.

If you haven’t, the Jazz have fallen from a borderline mid-tier team, to a couple spots above worst teams in the Association.

With 19 games left on the schedule, Jazz fans may want to buckle up. Not in the fun Craig Bolerjack kind of way, but in the “I just hopped into a 1-star Uber kind of way.”

If you thought last years end of the season was difficult, this one may surpass it.


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