Wow, let me just list some of the teams the Jazz have beaten during their current streak of 11 wins in 12 games, and Seven in a row. Cleveland, Portland twice, Dallas, Sacramento, San Antonio on the road, and Phoenix. Not bad, not bad at all kid.
Utah hasn't lost a game since January 17th against division rivial Denver. Surprise surprise right in your eyes, Denver is coming up tonight. More on that in a second.
I have to talk about Utah's play last night against Portland. Utah has been playing brilliantly during the streak, but, last night was the night that everything that the Utah Jazz is about came together in one game. Last night was perfect, or as close to perfect as you can get.
Toughness, effort, unselfishness, intensity. The four keys to a Coach Jerry Sloan run team. They all came together last night. Six Jazzmen finished in double figures led by Mehmet Okur with 28 points, 8 rebounds and a Block.
Mehmet Okur finally showed up, Utah needs more game like this from Money Mehmet if they are going to go far in the playoffs. The most incredible number by Mehmet? 11 for 13 from the field, and he only shot 2 three pointers.
That's huge Jazz fans. Too often Okur has been satisfied with staying on the perimeter and just chucking up 3 balls all game long. That's a huge reason for his ineffectiveness so far this season. Something happened however and Okur was attacking, and attacking and attacking some more.
I know Portland didn't expect that from Okur and Utah needs alot more of that going forward.
Andrei Kirilenko had a great game as well, 22 points, 6 boards and a whopping 8 assists.
Quick note, Andrei Kirilenko got back into the starting lineup on January 11th, that's also when he started playing well again and that's also when the Jazz began this streak of dominance. Coincidence? I think not.
Ak-47 is averaging 12 points a game on the season, during Utah's 7 game win streak, he's averaging 18.1 points a game. I never thought I would say this but Jerry Sloan putting Kirilenko back in the starting lineup has done amazing things for his play and the overall play of the Jazz. Wow.
Portland never had a chance last night, and Utah made sure they knew that all game long never taking the foot off the pedal. 118 to 105 was the final score and after watching the game, the margin seemed much larger than that. True Portland is playing without Brandon Roy, they need him back or they are going to fall out of the Playoffs quickly.
As mentioned earlier, tonight the Jazz take on Denver Nuggets in what will be the biggest game of Utah's season so far. Utah has beaten some really good teams during their streak, but a win tonight will go a long way in placing the Jazz amoung the NBA's elite.
I already think the Jazz are the second best team in the West after the Lakers, but a win tonight will go pretty far in placing that thought in the minds of NBA fans across the country.
Really though, who's better than the Jazz right now, I guess you could say Denver but a win tonight eliminates that thought. Who else? Phoenix? No way! Dallas? Demolished them a game ago. San Antonio? Too old and Utah has beaten them twice on the road.
Utah is flying high right now and it will be interesting to see if they can come out tonight with something to prove and play with the same intensity and effort we've seen during the streak or if all the winning has made them lethargic and we see a lack in effort.
Hopefully the Jazz continue to play at a high level and bring it tonight. I know I'll be watching. Will you?
Danny Shapiro is the NBA Blogger for the Utah Jazz, the NFL Blogger for the Detroit Lions and Carolina Panthers. Danny is a sporrs fanatic and an avid Fantasy Sports player. Danny is known in many cirlcles as one of the best Fantasy players in the country. For NBA/Fantasy/NFL news and updates you can follow Danny Shapiro on Twitter at DanShap@twitter.com
About the Author
Written by Danny Shapiro
Danny Shapiro is 26 years old, married and a father to 2 boys, who he hopes one day to play MLB and support him and his wife in their old age. Danny's second love, mistress even, is sports and Danny is living his dream of being a sports writer right now, thanks to Prosportsblogging.com.