Make no mistake, the Utah Jazz are one of, if not the absolute worst team in the NBA this season. After a loss to the San Antonio Spurs on Friday night, the Jazz now sit at only 6-20 on the year, the second worst record in the league and making them the team with the most losses on the season thus far.
As it became clear over the first month of the season that the Jazz were going to be one of the league’s worst, it was almost unbearable. Not only were the Jazz obviously a team that’s not ready to make an impact on this league, but they were also playing without rookie Trey Burke and were watching arguably their brightest star in Gordon Hayward struggle mightily.
In November, a month in which the Jazz went only 3-14, Hayward averaged 16.5 points, 5.6 rebounds, 5.1 assists and 1.2 steals in 37.2 minutes per game while shooting only 38.7 percent from the field and only 28.6 percent from three. However, through eight games in December, Hayward has shown that he’s starting to turn things around individually. Thus far, he’s averaging 19.4 points, 5.1 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 1.3 steals per game while shooting 46 percent from the field and also dropping his turnovers by 1.2 per game. His three-point shooting still hasn’t come around, but he’s having much more efficient offensive success, much like we expected for him to do this season.
Though the Jazz chose not to extend Hayward coming into this season, it’s clear that he’s one of the bright young talents in this league. He has the ability to affect the game in a number of ways off of the wing because of his versatility on both ends of the floor. For a Jazz team that’s likely going to continue to be dreadful this season, it’s nice to see Hayward starting to give their fans a bit of something to cling to.