The Utah Jazz are the talk of the NBA, but not for reasons anyone saw coming. Lauri Markkanen is playing like an All-Star and the Jazz are at the top of the Western Conference.

Markkanen is averaging 21.9 points, 8.8 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game for the 9-3 Jazz. He sat down with Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium to talk about the team and the shocking success it has shown.

“It definitely feeds us,” the Jazz forward said of discussions about tanking. “We hate to see that every morning when we win, we see that it’s a surprise. We use that as our motivation to try to keep this team going and stack up more wins and prove people wrong.”

The Jazz are getting a career-best performance out of Markkanen so far this season. He said that being named an All-Star is one of his personal goals and he is now closer to it than ever before. “It's definitely a goal of mine to make it and that fuels me every night I go out there,” he said.

Jordan Clarkson, Jarred Vanderbilt, Kelly Olynyk and Mike Conley are also doing well for the Jazz. They are doing well on both sides of the ball, shocking fans all over the NBA world.

There is still plenty of time for the Jazz to start losing more and/or sell high on the veterans they have. But for the time being, Utah and Lauri Markkanen are the toast of the league and no team should take them lightly.