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SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Jazz used a hot-shooting first quarter to propel a 110-79 thumping over the Detroit Pistons. The Jazz blazed to a 42-21 first-quarter lead on 81 percent shooting to easily win its 19th of 21 games — a tear that started with an overtime victory at Little Caesars Arena on Jan. 24.

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The Utah Jazz’s Playoff Push is not just special, it’s historic.

The Utah Jazz’s rise back into the playoff race has been special. It has been propelled by a league best defense, a special rookie doing things not seen since Michael Jordan, a pass first point guard turned scoring guard, a traditional big man turned modern big man, and a center looking like a clear Defensive Player of the Year. The Jazz’s turnaround on the surface feels special. It should. The Jazz are not just doing something special. They are on the verge of a turnaround that has never been done before. It’s historic. How historic?

I’ve tracked the best turnarounds by teams that have occurred in seasons. My criteria was the team had to be 8 games or worse under .500 on January 22nd of any season. In December Kevin Helin of NBCSports had an article where most of the playoff teams are set by December 26th. His conclusions was 87% of the playoff teams were set by December 26th. He only went with the past decade. I wanted to go further. I went all the way to 1975. Has there been a team in the modern in past 43 years that has done what Utah has done this season?

So I charted every team that was 8 games or more under .500 on January 22nd, and whoever improved dramatically or ended up making the playoffs, I added them to this list. This is the list of teams that have pulled off MASSIVE turnarounds.

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Instantly, you’ll see that last year one of the greatest turnarounds of all time with the Miami Heat. The Miami Heat on January...
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Paging Dante Exum

The Utah Jazz announced that Raul Neto had an MRI that revealed a fractured wrist.


Raul Neto Injury Update pic.twitter.com/PqvacVKeOs

— Utah Jazz PR (@UtahJazzPR) March 12, 2018

Neto will be reevaluated in two weeks, so it’s up in the air for how long he’ll be out.

This is a potentially tough loss for the Jazz with a bench unit that has struggled to score over the last few games. Neto’s 4.6 points and 1.8 assists were a spark plug for the team and will need to be found in other places.

In the Jazz’s next 5 games their toughest opponent will be the Detroit Pistons which means the injury may not hurt them too much, especially if Dante Exum returns soon.

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NEW ORLEANS — Midway through the third quarter in New Orleans, things weren’t looking good for the Utah Jazz.

New Orleans Pelicans big men Anthony Davis and Emeka Okafor were feasting in the paint, as Jazz players didn’t seem engaged defensively.

Okafor snagged a defensive rebound then ran the full length of the court for a two-handed dunk as the Jazz trailed 57-66 with 4:59 left in the third.

But then the flip switched.

A driving layup by Donovan Mitchell led to 15 third-quarter points.

There was a jumper here, a hanging reverse shot there, a driving dunk and an array of other finishes as the rookie guard posted 25 of his 27 points in the second half to help the Jazz beat the Pelicans, 116-99.

“The good thing about having teammates like this is Joe (Ingles) and Ricky (Rubio) just telling me to keep being aggressive and just keep going,” said Mitchell, who posted 18 straight points at one point. “In the second half, you get down, your mindset starts changing a little bit and we all understood as a team how much this game meant.

“Obviously we felt the atmosphere and the vibes, so we came out and tried to compete in the second half even though we were down.”

https://twitter.com/E_Woodyard/status/972964552139792387

Utah has now won six consecutive games, 11 straight on the road and 18 of their last 20 overall games while fighting for a playoff spot in the Wild Wild Western Conference.

Jazz point guard Ricky Rubio was also spectacular with 30 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists. It was Rubio’s fourth career 30-point night.

“I think when you think about Ricky over the course of the season and the progress he’s made as far as his comfort level before All-Star break and that two or three game period where he was out, you wonder if it’s going to affect his rhythm,” said Jazz coach Quin Snyder. “He got back into it. He almost got a triple-double. We’ve talked...
The New Orleans Pelicans are hoping All-Star forward Anthony Davis can play Sunday (March 11) against the Utah Jazz, and they'll be more than happy to add him back to the lineup. Davis sat out of the team's 116-97 thrashing by the Washington Wizards on Friday night (March 9) due to a sprained left ...

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