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Evaluating the Utah Jazz at the All-Star Break

We examine the Jazz going into the All-Star Break, looking at some futures betting lines, injuries and one player to watch in fantasy basketball.

NBA: Miami Heat at Utah Jazz Russell Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA Trade Deadline and All-Star Weekend have come and gone, so that means we’re in the home stretch of the 2019-20 NBA season. In this serious post-All-Star Break, we’ll go over the outlook for every team in the NBA. Here, we’ll provide a short glimpse at championship odds and playoff chances for each team on DraftKings Sportsbook. Also highlighted are key injuries to note and a fantasy basketball player to watch the rest of the season.

Where do the Utah Jazz stand at the All-Star Break?

Record: 36-18
Playoff Chances: 100%
Championship Odds: +1800
Division Odds: +120
Conference Championship winner: +1000
MVP odds: Donovan Mitchell (+15000)

The Jazz have been a frustrating team entering the break, going from one of the hottest teams in the NBA to losing a couple of the most embarrassing games of the season. Utah suffered a home loss as 14-point favorites to the Rockets, who were playing without James Harden, Russell Westbrook and Clint Capela towards the end of January. That sparked a five-game losing streak, with a pair of losses to the Nuggets, who are the top competition in the division. That said, the Jazz turned things around, winning four in a row prior to the break. They now sit as the 4-seed in the Western Conference, 5.5 games behind the Lakers in the conference, and 1.5 games behind the Nuggets in the division. Winning the West feels pretty unrealistic, but if you like the Jazz to pass the Nuggets, the plus odds for the division are enticing. My personal take is that Denver winds up atop the division.

Prediction: The Jazz finish with a top four or five seed in the Western Conference, and are favored in their first-round matchup.

Key Injuries for Utah Jazz

Mike Conley, PG (hamstring/illness/rest) — DTD
Ed Davis, PF/C (ankle) — TBD

Conley missed a handful of games with a hamstring injury before the break, but did return to the lineup in a more limited role. Unrelated, he rested in the second to last game before the break, and then missed the final one with an illness. Assuming he’s no longer sick, there’s no reason Conley shouldn’t be back in the lineup Friday against the Spurs. The real question is just how effective he can be the rest of the season. Conley’s been a disappointment in Utah, but getting something from the veteran the rest of the way out will be crucial. Davis is a nice depth piece, but shouldn’t play any role in how far Utah gets this season. Davis could be healthy out of the break, pending ankle and back injuries.

Fantasy basketball spotlight: Rudy Gobert

Mitchell is the “best player” on the team from the MVP odds above. Obviously, he has zero shot of realistically winning the award. But Gobert is the player I want to focus on more from a fantasy perspective. Mitchell did get a little bit of a fantasy boost from the time Conley missed or was limited. With Conley’s role likely growing the rest of the season, it takes away usage and on-ball opportunities for Mitchell. Meanwhile, Gobert’s been a monster in the paint for Utah. He’s a double-double on a nightly basis, and has shown a high fantasy ceiling at some pretty reasonable price points this season.

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