Although they still have work to do to secure a spot, the Utah Jazz have solidified themselves as a major contender for a postseason berth.
But could they actually put a scare into one of the Western Conference's top teams if they make it?
It's a question posed by USA Today's Sam Amick, who wrote that he thinks the Jazz and Portland Trail Blazers could be capable of making life interesting for the juggernaut Houston Rockets and Golden State Warriors.
"They landed rookie sensation Donovan Mitchell in a draft-night trade with Denver, made key free agent signings and trades, continued to focus on player development, and now find themselves looking as dangerous as any team around," Amick wrote of Utah.
Jazz star center Rudy Gobert is also quoted in the piece as saying, "A lot of teams are very good doing skill work, strength work. But if you want to win, you have to teach a player how to win. That's why I don't believe in tanking, all that stuff. I believe you learn how to win by winning. You don't learn how to win by losing on purpose to get a 19-year-old who you've never seen."
Danny Ainge says he misspoke when discussing Gordon Hayward's 'setback'
Last week, former BYU star and current Boston Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge appeared on a Boston radio show and indicated that former Utah Jazz All-Star Gordon Hayward had a "setback" in his rehab from the ankle injury that has kept him out for all but a few minutes of the season, his first with the Celtics.
Ainge then walked back his comments a few days later.
In a story by Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald, Ainge is quoted as saying, "I used the word 'setback,' and it became a headline. Like, 'Oh, setback.' It got blown out of proportion. It's my fault. I'm not blaming anybody. 'Setback' was probably too strong of a word."
The Celtics, who are currently ravaged by injuries, will come to Salt Lake City to play the Jazz on March 28 at Vivint Arena.
- The Jazz have been dominating the defensive glass
- Delon Wright makes appearance on podcast
- Naz Mitrou-Long stays motivated with Jazz organization
Last week, former UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen posted a picture on Instagram of himself training with Green Bay Packers signal caller Aaron Rodgers in preparation for next month's NFL draft.
What does this have to do with Utah? Well, zoom in on the photo, and you'll see that Rodgers is wearing a shirt paying homage to former Jazz great Mark Eaton, who played collegiately for the Bruins like Rosen did (Rodgers played at another Pac-12 school, Cal).