One big reason the Jazz might have a tougher season than you think
There's a lot of optimism surrounding the Utah Jazz, and that's understandable. The team was ferociously dominant on the defensive end in the second half of last season, and the offense showed flashes of what it can do when Gordon Hayward, Derrick Favors and the Jazz backcourt were all clicking together.
That optimism has many NBA observers considering the possibility that Utah will make its way into the playoffs in the Western Conference. But it's something of a double-edged sword. As expectations have increased for the Jazz, so has the attention. And that, in turn, could make things difficult for Utah in 2015-16.
It's something Favors is aware of, as he told reporters on Thursday that the Jazz won't sneak up on any teams this year:
And Utah definitely had the element of surprise last season. It's an especially pressing consideration given that the Jazz were so successful in the second half of the year; while some teams were hitting their stride after the new year, many Utah opponents were either coasting to the finish line or resting starters.
That's not to demean the Jazz's success last year or their potential for this year. It's just important to consider that teams will be ready for Utah.
Derrick Favors mentioned something we've touched on a lot – Jazz aren't sneaking up on anyone this year. Teams are scouting them more.
— Ben Dowsett (@Ben_Dowsett) October 22, 2015