Every afternoon at 4 o’clock “The Big Show” is joined by a premier NBA writer for the “NBA Daily Assist,” and Monday is always Chris Mannix’s turn, senior writer and reporter for Yahoo! Sports’ “The Vertical,” as well as host of “The Chris Mannix Show” on NBC Sports Radio.
Spence and Gordon asked Mannix about the Jazz, particularly the home-heavy schedule in December, and if Mannix feels Utah is primed to string some important wins together around the holidays.
“They are, and I was looking through their game notes and when all these guys are on the floor they’re really good,” said Mannix. “They’re exactly what you expected them to be coming into the season.
“The problem’s been the Hayward injury early on, the Favors stuff, George Hill being banged up at times…the month of November hasn’t been what they hoped it would be but it’s starting to come together as these guys get healthy.
Mannix then said he expects December to be a big month for the Jazz.
“I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see the Jazz rattle off eight, nine wins in a row…ten of twelve, something like that…because the talent is too good there.”
Mannix then made every Jazz fan’s heart skip a beat with the cap to his Jazz comments, answering as to who he feels is the fourth best team in the Western Conference.
“I think Utah is, honestly. It’s probably neck and neck with Portland but I think Utah has the highest upside.
“he way they’ve started this season has been average, because of injuries, but as they get guys back, they’re going to be great. The other teams aren’t dealing with many injuries.
“The Thunder [will only go] as far as Russell Westbrook’s going to take them…Houston’s eventually going to tail off when the burden on James Harden becomes almost too much for them to bear.
“I think the Jazz have a great chance over the next few months to solidify themselves as that fourth best team, and really I think they’ll do it.”
Utah plays at Minnesota on Monday before hosting Houston on Tuesday, the first of eight home games over the final twelve games this calendar year.