Every year Sports Illustrated releases a list of the Top 100 players in the NBA for the upcoming year. With hundreds of players in the league, only the best of the best make the list. That being said, the Utah Jazz a proud to have five players listed within the 2019 Top 100 list, with all five ranking within the Top 60.
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It’s not surprising that Ricky Rubio (#57), Joe Ingles (#56), Derrick Favors (#51), Donovan Mitchell (#34), and Rudy Gobert (#14) made the list. The Jazz had a fantastic 2017-2018 season, with a run to the semifinals of the Western Conference and each of these players were key contributors on the court.
Here’s a look at some of the reasons each of these players deserve their spot on Sports Illustrated’s Top 100 list:
Ricky Rubio, ranked #57— Rubio is the kind of player where when he’s on fire, he makes plays happen. In last year’s season, he averaged 13.1 PPG (his highest average for any season) and was 86.6% from the free throw line. He also averaged 5.3 APG. We’re excited to see what kind of growth our favorite Spaniard exhibits in the upcoming season.
Joe Ingles, ranked #56 — Ingles brings a different kind of pacing for the Jazz. Despite his slow style of play, which has earned him the nickname Slow-Mo Joe, he managed to average 11.5 PPG, 4.8 APG, and 4.2 RPG, making him a reliable player on both sides of the court.
Derrick Favors, ranked #51 — Like Gobert, Favors is a heavy hitter on defense, and when both players are together, they make a pretty intimidating pair. Last season, Favors had 12.3 PPG and 7.2 RPG. We’re excited to see him help anchor the defense in the upcoming season.
Donovan Mitchell, ranked #34 — Though Mitchell lost out to Philadelphia 76ers’ Ben Simmons for NBA Rookie of the Year, other players recognized his amazing season by voting to name him as the NBA Players Association Rookie of the Year. With a phenomenal rookie season under his belt, fans expect a lot out of Mitchell in the coming year. Mitchell played 79 games during the season, averaging 20.5 points, 2.4 3-pointers made, and 3.7 assists per game. During the playoffs, he was averaging 24.4 points per game. We can only wait with bated breath to see what kind of numbers he pulls off in the the 2018-19 season.
Rudy Gobert, ranked #14 — Gobert was the highest on the list, which is no surprise. At a height of 7’1”, Gobert is a force to be reckoned with on both sides of the court. He was named the NBA Defensive Player of the Year despite only playing 56 games during the season due to a left knee injury. Gobert averaged 13.5 PPG during the regular season, along with a 62.2 FG%. Defensively he had an average of 10.7 RPG and averaged 2.3 blocks per game. He was also 68.2 percent from the free throw line. It will be interesting to see what kind of numbers he puts up this year when in optimum health.
You can see all of your favorite Jazz players in action in their first preseason game against the Perth Wildcats on Sept. 29 at the Vivint Smart Home Arena at 7 p.m. Be sure to stop by the Utah Jazz Team Store inside the arena for all your jersey and merchandise needs before the game starts.