NBA Western Power Rankings Week 8: Clippers hang onto 4th

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December 23, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; Utah Jazz forward Derrick Favors (15) fights for the rebound against the Golden State Warriors during the fourth quarter at Oracle Arena. The Warriors defeated the Jazz 103-85. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

8th: Utah Jazz (25 points)

By Tom West

Record: 12-15

Last 10 games: 4-6

With no Rudy Gobert, the Jazz were bound to struggle. He’s the anchor that keeps their defense together with the way he holds down the paint, and without him their offense isn’t enough to get by either. However, the extent to which they’ve struggled reveals just how weak this team can be when you take away Gobert.

Since their first game without him on December 3, the Jazz have gone a mere 4-7 while ranking 27th in the NBA in blocks per game (3.3). As a result of their recent struggles without Gobert, they now rank just 17th in defensive efficiency. For a team who have relied on defense over the last year or so as the staple of their game, 17th best simply isn’t good enough if they want to finish remotely near the top of the Western Conference.

Plus, seeing as they have only surpassed 100 points scoring in one of their last seven games, it’s clear they haven’t exactly become the hottest shooting team to try and make up for Gobert’s absence either.

Next: Houston Rockets