Raise your hand if you had the Utah Jazz leading the NBA with a 25-6 record in late-February. They're on pace for what would be 66 wins in an 82-game season. They're top-three in both offensive and defensive rating, and are destroying opponents left and right. They're 21-2 since January 7th, 19 of those wins coming by double-digits and 10 wins by seventeen or more.
Their dominance was relatively unpredictable heading into the season, and really isn't due to having one overwhelmingly impactful offensive player. Their top threat is Donovan Mitchell (24.5 points, 5.2 assists, 43% from the field) but he isn't doing anything mind-boggling on offense to carry the Jazz to such heights. Instead, the Jazz use a team-based approach, filled with ball movement and extra passing, belief in their identity and shooting at four perimeter positions to surround All-Star center Rudy Gobert.
For my money, the Jazz ascent to the top of the West is due to their embrace of a team-first approach on offense. Watching them is eerily reminiscent of one of the most beloved teams in NBA history with how they move the ball, play tough defense and unassumingly dismantle their foes: the 2014 NBA Champion San Antonio Spurs.
Head Boys Basketball Coach, Boys' Latin School (MD).