Just last month, it looked like the Utah Jazz were destined for another trip to the NBA Draft Lottery. 

Head coach Will Hardy seemed to struggle with figuring out the best line-up combinations for this team that is filled with several good but not great players. Last year’s heroes Lauri Markkanen and Jordan Clarkson saw their numbers dip from their career-high seasons while Collin Sexton, Walker Kessler, and the newly-acquired John Collins struggled to find a consistent rhythm. 

After a few weeks of tinkering though, things finally began to click for Utah in late December. 

The most noticeable spark came from Sexton and Clarkson who both thrived after switching places, with the former moving into the starting line-up and the latter returning to his long-held role as the team’s top scorer off the bench. These two high-scoring guards, along with a rejuvenated Markkanen, have been key to this Jazz revival and they will have to remain consistent if this team is to maintain its form. 


The defensive-minded Kris Dunn also got the nod to become Utah’s new starter and he has turned out to be the exact kind of point guard, given his defensive and playmaking abilities, that they sorely need. Hardy also decided to make Collins the Jazz’s sole big man in their starting group which opened up the floor and added a dynamic aspect to their offense.

Now, Utah’s depth has become their greatest weapon as they have, at long last, found some line-up equilibrium. The Jazz’s first group–Markkanen, Sexton, Collins, Dunn, and Simone Fontecchio–and their reserve unit–Clarkson, Walker Kessler, Kelly Olynyk, Keyonte George, and Ochai Agbaji–are quite balanced and allow them to constantly put pressure on their opponents. 

This team is currently on a five-game winning streak and they have now won 11 of their last 12 games. They are 7-1 since the calendar flipped to 2024 and over this stretch, Utah has taken their seven wins by an average margin of 17.8 points. To further emphasize the Jazz’s dominance, two of their wins this month, one versus the Dallas Mavericks and another over the Toronto Raptors, were by 30 or more points.

After sitting in 12th place for most of the first two months of this campaign, this stretch has pushed Utah back into the playoff picture in the Western Conference. They are now in ninth place and only trail the sixth place New Orleans Pelicans for the sixth seed–and the final guaranteed first round berth–by 3.5 games with more than half of the season still remaining on the schedule.

This team still has a long way to go in terms of roster moves before becoming a legitimate playoff contender. However they have all of the tools to be that kind of underdog regular season team that catches opponents off-guard and shakes up the standings. 

This Utah team may still be far from a finished product, yet the beautiful music that this mismash of undervalued and underappreciated players has been playing for the past three weeks–and hopefully many more–is truly a sight to behold.