With Deron Williams sidelined by a sprained ankle, the Utah Jazz got off to a modest start this season. When Carlos Boozer landed awkwardly on his left knee, fans began to worry, and now that Andrei Kirilenko has been sidelined with injury, the season appears to be lost.

With football season officially in the books (unless you count the Pro Bowl) it’s time to shift attention to the NBA and specifically the Utah Jazz. However, as the Jazz struggle to find a playoff spot, the season, with the loss of Boozer and Kirilenko, may not pan out the way Jazz fans had hoped.

After falling to the Lakers in last year’s playoffs, the Jazz wanted nothing more than to come back better than ever and make another playoff run. Currently the Jazz are on the outside looking in at the playoff party, but are hoping the anticipated return of Boozer after knee surgery could spur on Utah’s playoff push.

Boozer underwent surgery just after the New Year and hopes to be back by the All-Star break. That would leave Utah less than half the season to stake its claim as a playoff team. That is if Boozer comes back as expected. Considering his history, it’s known that Boozer is a slow healer and will also need to get back into game shape in a hurry for Utah to have a chance.

In his absence, reserve power forward Paul Millsap has made a name for himself, having been thrust into the starting role. Millsap has put up sensational numbers, averaging just over 15 points and nearly 10 boards a game to keep the Jazz afloat. Williams and Jazz big man Mehmet Okur have also been doing their best to keep the Jazz competitive. However, merely being competitive is not good enough for a team with the history and tradition of the Utah Jazz.