The Utah Jazz are considered by many as the dark horse of the Western Conference, after a solid start to the season. They have pleasantly surprised their loyal fans by beating the likes of the San Antonio Spurs and Cleveland Cavaliers, earning themselves fifth place in the West with a 24-16 record.
Much of their success has been credited to the stellar play of Gordon Hayward, averaging 22.2 points, 5.9 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.0 steals per game. This certainly makes him a strong candidate to be named an All-Star for the first time in his career.
Jazz starting point guard George Hill spoke highly about the 26-year-old Butler product and believes he deserves to be an All-Star. He even went as far as saying it will be a “disgrace” if Hayward will not be named one.
“It’ll be a disgrace if he’s not an All-Star this year. I feel like he deserves it with the numbers he’s put up this year and winning a little bit. That should be a no-brainer for him.”
“Who knows? Sometimes it’s about stats, sometimes it’s about winning. In his case, he’s got stats and he’s winning.”
When asked about his strong case for making it to New Orleans next month, Hayward downplayed it and made it clear that he is more focused on the team winning more games.
“I feel like we’ve got to move up a little bit higher in the standings. I’m worrying about wins more than anything, and I think that stuff usually comes when you’re winning.”
He may not be one of the favorites for the starting role, but don’t count him out on the coaches vote. If named a reserve, it will make him the Utah Jazz’s first All-Star since Deron Williams in 2011.