That's why the team has even higher hopes for the second semester.
"I think that we have done a good job," Jefferson said. "I think there's a lot more room for improvement. It's going to get even better when Memo continues to get back and get his groove back and bring that vet leadership out there.
"I think it's going to get better for the next 42 games."
Sloan likes that his work-in-progress squad, which has seen multiple contributors step up at various junctures, from Paul Millsap's explosive games in Miami (46 points) and Houston (23 points in the fourth quarter and OT), to the pizazz added off the bench by Watson, Ronnie Price & Co., to MVP-esque moments by Deron Williams.
"I think we're in a good spot. We had some struggles a couple of weeks ago, but we've since rebounded," Bell said. "I think coming back against Houston gave us a nice springboard into these two home games, which were big for us to get before we get on the road trip."
Most importantly, he added, "We're tied for first. ... I'll take that."
Quite frankly, so will Sloan, even if he admits his pupils' essays could have been written sharper and their aptitude tests left room for improvement.
"We still have to learn how to play with each other," Sloan said. "I'd hope that our team will get stronger and come together even more as we go forward."
Meaning, of course, an A is still within reach for the year.
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