The Weekly Run is The Salt Lake Tribune’s weekly newsletter about the Utah Jazz. Subscribe here.
That 10-game winning streak the Utah Jazz are on is a pretty cool thing. Not quite as cool, admittedly, as if they were to make it an 11-game winning streak tonight in New Orleans.
You know what would be even cooler than that? Let’s skip right past the 12-, 13-, 14-, etc. winning streaks and get right to it. A 16-game winning streak — now that would be historic.
The thing is, this is the fourth 10-game winning streak in franchise history (the others came in 1978, 1994, and 2008, respectively). Furthermore, 10 in a row is just the eighth-longest winning streak the Jazz have ever had.
That’s why 16 was the aforementioned magic number. The longest winning streak in franchise history is 15 — which, amazingly, was accomplished twice in the 1996-97 season. The first came between Nov. 13-Dec. 10, 1996, and the latter spanned from March 12-April 11, 1997.
Beyond that, the Jazz had a 14-game win streak in 1995; a dozen in a row in 2009; and 11-game spurts in ’98, ’99, and in 2018, as part of that 29-6 finish to the season.
So, yeah — 16 would be a franchise record, and thus pretty cool. Unless you wanted to be all Debbie Downer about it and point out that a franchise-record 16-game winning streak would still be only the second-longest in the NBA this season, trailing the 18 in a row the Bucks won. Don’t be that person, though.
Props for an ad campaign
My wife will tell you I occasionally bug the $#^% out of her by pointing out logical fallacies contained within television/radio advertisements and or displaying a general unwillingness to submit to willing suspension of disbelief. Guilty as charged — most commercials bug me for stupid reasons (by which I mean, they are stupid).
That said, I gotta say, Vivint Smart Home’s series of spots utilizing Jazz players continue to slay me. They haven’t all been outstanding (pop singer Ricky Rubio), and last year’s “Cat Guy” remains the GOAT for now, but the recent pair in which Rudy speaks through Donovan, and in which Donovan controls Rudy (“from anywherrrrrrrrrrrrr … rrr!”) get me laughing every single time. Nicely done, all around — though I hafta say, I give the Rudy a decisive advantage in the acting department.
In case you missed it
Lots of new stuff today: First off, a new Weekly Run podcast, this one featuring guest-host JP Chunga joining moi. Also, columnist Gordon Monson wrote about how these Jazz are playing "happy basketball right now, which is what Quin Snyder wanted all along. And Andy B. Larsen hands out some midseason awards, also known as “The Andys”!
Before Tuesday’s win in Brooklyn, Andy pointed out that while it was reasonable to assume that Bojan Bogdanovic would never be better than he was last year with the Pacers, the version the Jazz have got this year has actually been an improvement. And speaking of improvement, the Jazz have worked their way back to being a “really good” defense, but say that focusing on four specific things will make them an elite one again.
Meanwhile, you know that Jazz players’ jobs entail training and practices and shootarounds and games. But how often do they get paid? What are their 401(k) plans like? How about health insurance? Paid time off? Andy did a fascinating breakdown of the minutia in NBA contracts. And Gordon asks not whether Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell will be All-Stars, but whether they should be.
Other people’s stuff …
• Joe Ingles made an appearance on the “Lowe Post” podcast, with ESPN’s Zach Lowe, discussing the Jazz’s winning streak, starting vs. coming off the bench, trash-talking, and the wildfires burning through his native Australia. As a follow-up, Lowe then spoke with Aaron Falk of UtahJazz.com, discussing Ingles, the All-Star chances of Rudy and Donovan, and Jazz’s season at large.
• Michael Piña of SB Nation asks the question: Is Rudy or Donovan more valuable to the Jazz?
• Khristian Winfield of the New York Daily News comes right out and says what Rudy and Jazz fans want to hear: Rudy deserves to be an All-Star this season.
• At roughly the midway point of the season, The Ringer has broken the NBA’s teams into tiers: Favorites, Contenders, Playoff Locks, On the Playoff Bubble, Wish They Were On the Playoff Bubble, Bad but Not Hopeless, and This Is Bleak. Where do the Jazz ra— SPOILER ALERT: they’re in the Playoff Locks group. Sorry, not sorry, as the team doesn’t even warrant one whole sentence to itself in this massive tome. Feel free to read anyway, though, if you care to get some of that apparently coveted “national insight.”
• In the aftermath of Utah’s 10th straight win, Tony Jones of The Athletic took a not-very-big leap in writing that Rudy is playing the best basketball of his career right now.
• Tony’s Athletic cohort, Zach Harper, put together that website’s weekly NBA Power Rankings, and let’s just say he has a more favorable view of the Jazz’s present performance than The Ringer does.
• Really only tangentially basketball-related, but those cigars the LSU Tigers were smoking postgame after winning the National Championship on Monday? They came from Karl Malone’s La Aurora Cigars shop, and were provided by The Mailman’s son, LSU strength coach KJ Malone.
• Sarah Todd of the Deseret News wrote about the growing chemistry between Rudy and new addition Jordan Clarkson.
• Ryan Miller of KSL wrote a cool feature about the Wheelin’ Jazz wheelchair basketball team, and told the unique stories of the players on the team.
• Forbes contributor Ben Dowsett singled out Utah’s versatility as a key component in the team’s stellar crunch-time performances this season.
The Jazz’s three-game road trip wraps tonight in New Orleans — the spot where they pulled out a controversial last-second win on Jan. 6. After that, the team will return home for a pair of games at the Viv, against the Kings (on Saturday) and Pacers (Monday), respectively. After that, they’ve got a road one-off against the Warriors in San Francisco.