The Top 10 Player Performances of 2017-18

August 21st, 2018 | by Clint Johnson

(Jeff Swinger/USA TODAY Sports)

As a lead-in to the new Utah Jazz season, each week Salt City Hoops will count down the very best games by Jazz players in 2017-18.

Rankings assessed both traditional and advanced stats but also considered the competitive importance of the game, caliber of opponent, and other such factors. Thus, rankings are holistic and not just numeric — truly the best and most important games of the year.

To prime the pump, this week recall these excellent performances that fell just short of the top ten:

Honorable Mention: Alec Burks, Jazz 126 Clippers 107 in LA, Nov. 11, 2017

28 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals, 1 block, 65% field goal, 4 of 6 from three, 2 of 2 free throws. [24.9 PIE, 25.6 GmSc]1

Take Note: While Burks’ erratic play later in the season would cost him a regular role in the rotation, early in the year he showcased how fine a basketball player he can be when healthy — the key being healthy.2

Honorable Mention: Jae Crowder, Game 5 Round 1, Jazz 99 Thunder 107 in OKC, April 25, 2018 

27 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, 47% field goal, 6 of 14 from three, 3 of 4 free throws. [19.5 PIE, 20.6 GmSc]

Take Note: Crowder’s resurrection upon donning a Jazz uniform was immediate, profound, and carried into the playoffs, where he overcame periods of poor shooting to be Utah’s leading scorer in what nearly become a playoff series closeout on the road.

Honorable Mention: Derrick Favors, Jazz 106 Nuggets 77 in SLC, November 28, 2017 

24 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 steal, 3 blocks, 75% field goal. [28.9 PIE, 26.3 GmSc]

Take Note: Favors’s long awaited return to health combined with early-season injury to Rudy Gobert combined to showcase just how important Favors is to the Jazz, both at the four or, as in this game, as the best backup center in the league, one capable of dominating Nikola Jokic.

Honorable Mention: Rudy Gobert, Jazz 104 Mavericks 89 in SLC, October 30, 2017 

17 points, 12 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 steals, 6 blocks, 67% field goal, 9 of 12 free throws. [28.4 PIE, 24.6 GmSc]

Take Note: Early in the year Gobert showcased his ability to completely dominate a game while only taking six field goal attempts — and traumatized high-flying rookie Dennis Smith Jr. in the process.

Honorable Mention: Joe Ingles, Jazz 94 Orlando 80 in SLC, March 5, 2018 

18 points, 7 rebounds, 8 assists, 3 steals, 1 block, 47% field goal, 4 of 8 from three. [20.6 PIE, 18.9 GmSc]

Take Note: Already known as one of the league’s better three-and-D players, this game marked Ingles’ blossoming into a triple-double threat, and he would post games with at least seven rebounds with seven assists three more times that month3.

Honorable Mention: Donovan Mitchell, Game 1 Round 1, Jazz 108 Thunder 116 in OKC, April 15 2018

27 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, 1 block, 50% field goal, 3 of 7 from three, 2 of 2 free throws. [20.9 PIE, 22.8 GmSc]

Take Note: Mitchell offensively led a team to the playoffs, the first time an NBA rookie had done this in a decade, and in his first playoff game cemented his fearlessness by going off for 27 on the road — while setting a career-high mark for rebounds in the process.

Not bad for appetizers. Later this week, the countdown starts in earnest when we start the list of the 10 best Jazz player performances last season. 

Clint Johnson

Clint Johnson

Clint Johnson is a professional author, writing educator, and editor. He teaches writing at Salt Lake Community College. A frequent presenter at both writing and educational conferences, he writes about the Jazz as a break from his other writing work.