The Utah Jazz are off to an unexpected hot start to the season

NBA Utah Jazz Lauri Markkanen (Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports)
NBA Utah Jazz Lauri Markkanen (Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Utah Jazz has gotten off to an unexpected (and almost unprecedented) hot start to the season. 

The Utah Jazz has been the biggest surprise of the NBA season so far. No one ever expected a dominant start to begin the year since the Jazz traded their all-stars Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell. Everyone believed the Utah Jazz would be in the stakes for the first overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft, but their newest additions and the fresh overall look have fans thinking otherwise.

The Jazz added former Chicago Bull, Cleveland Cavalier big man, and sharpshooter Lauri Markkanen. After not living up to expectations, Markkanen looks like a much-improved player after a busy summer. The Jazz has done what the Bulls couldn’t and are reaping the benefits.

Markkanen is averaging 22 points, nine rebounds, and three assists a game. It looks like he has flipped a switch that hasn’t been touched and has now unlocked his full potential. Albeit, it’s only been four games. But Markkanen has looked good.

How the Utah Jazz has pulled it off

The  Jazz is a very deep roster. They have an underrated team full of solid players from top to bottom who play their roles well. Jarred Vanderbilt, Mike Conley Jr., Jordan Clarkson, Kelly Olynyk, and others have considerably impacted this team. Even though the Jazz is without a superstar, they play like they have been together for many years. It is beyond impressive how they have performed against the top teams in the league.

The Jazz is 3-1; they took down the Denver Nuggets to begin the season, then went on and got the win against their former teammate Rudy Gobert in his new home. The Jazz went on and beat Zion Williamson and the red-hot New Orleans Pelicans in an exciting back-and-forth game ending in overtime.

The fun stopped when the Jazz lost to the Houston Rockets Monday night, but Utah has been mightily impressive through the first week of the season.

The Jazz is ranked fourth in the league in points scored, ranked second in steals per game, and third in steals. They also rank in the top 10 in the league in offensive rating and net rating.

It’s quite impressive what the Jazz has been able to do to start the season, especially after entering the new year with such low expectations. The team’s chemistry and new head coach Will Hardy are off to a great start.

If the Jazz can remain competitive for the remainder of the season, there’s no question that Hardy will jump into the conversation to possibly win the NBA’s Coach of the Year award.

Next. NBA: 9 unnecessary overreactions after the first week of the season. dark

With Gobert and Mitchell no longer in the picture, one question remains for the Jazz. Can a team without a bonafide superstar continue to make waves across the league as the Jazz has throughout the first week of the season?