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SAN FRANCISCO -- If you play adult league basketball, you've seen it a million times. Some new squad comes in, a ragtag group of ringers who, to the naked eye, look like a juggernaut. They're taller, stronger, younger, more athletic. Yet somehow they look up at the scoreboard and they've lost to a bunch of 40-year-old lawyers and accountants whose feet didn't leave the floor the entire game.

Why? Because that team has been playing together and winning rec league titles for 20 years.

Continuity matters in sports, and especially basketball, where teamwork and chemistry are so vital. That's partly why this season's 10-3 start by the Utah Jazz was so baffling. When they traded away four of their five starters from last season -- Donovan Mitchell, Rudy Gobert, Bojan Bogdanovic and Royce O'Neale -- most expected head front office exec Danny Ainge to sell off any remaining parts and get directly into the Victor Wembanyama-Scoot Henderson sweepstakes.

The imports on the Jazz roster were mostly young, largely unproven players -- Lauri Markkanen and Collin Sexton being the most accomplished of the group. On top of that, they welcomed their new head coach, Will Hardy, who at 34 years old is younger than his starting point guard, Mike Conley.

Lo and behold, the hodgepodge transaction Frankenstein turned into a monster as Utah pounded contender after contender into dust to begin the season. Getting an entirely new group on the same page came with obvious hurdles, Hardy said, but it also had its advantages.

"I think the challenges are, there's nothing to build on. The group doesn't know each other personally or in between the lines, so you're not quite sure what to make of it," Hardy said. "But on the flip side, that's a little bit freeing. We didn't have residual things from the past that we had to address. We weren't really trying to change anything from the past. We got to start from scratch and just sort of think about the future, which I thought was really nice."

It also helped that Conley, a 15-year vet who has starred on 50-win teams with both the Jazz and the Memphis Grizzlies and has been to the Western Conference finals, came into camp with an idea of how to get the group clicking fast. The first task was instilling a sense of unselfishness and ball movement into the team. With so many players being traded from other franchises and potentially getting more opportunities in Utah, there could be a temptation to try to prove yourself by showcasing your scoring ability.

"We've got a lot of guys who, individually can win games, individually can be great. But as a unit, if we want to be a winning team, build that culture, we have to do it together," Conley told CBS Sports. "That was my first challenge, to try to implement that confidence and belief -- get guys who aren't used to passing as much and used to scoring, to get them used to making plays for other guys."

So far, so good.

Ball movement has been a Jazz trademark early in the season. They're seventh in the NBA in assists per game and second in assist-to-pass percentage, which means they're moving the ball with purpose and intent rather than just playing hot potato around the perimeter. Jordan Clarkson, one of the few holdovers from last year's roster, has modified his bucket-getting ways to include more passing, nearly doubling his assist average from last season while averaging more points on much higher efficiency.

Watch here as Clarkson draws two defenders with his penetration, kicks to the corner, and then Jarred Vanderbilt and Conley pass up good shots for great shots, resulting in a Markkanen 3-pointer.

"They move the ball beautifully. That's what jumps off the screen when you watch the tape," Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said of the Jazz. "I think it was just sort of accepted around the league that you know, without Mitchell, without Gobert, they weren't going to be that good. And then you look at their players -- they've got really good players. When you go down the list, those are pros. These are guys who have been around, who know the league, who know how to play a good, point-five basketball -- you know, shoot it, pass it, drive it right away. When you have five guys on the floor doing that, it's really tough to guard."

Kelly Olynyk and Malik Beasley have been steady veteran contributors, spacing the floor with their shooting, while Hardy has continually tweaked the rotation, trying to find the right use for young players like Talen Horton-Tucker and Nickeil Alexander-Walker along with rookies Walker Kessler and Ochai Agbaji. Meanwhile, Markkanen has come into his own as the team's main offensive force, averaging career highs in points and assists while putting up 52/37/82 shooting splits.

Recently, however, the Jazz have seen the downside of a lack of continuity. They were mired in a four-game losing streak entering Monday night, and they've allowed an unacceptable 124.8 points per 100 possessions over that stretch. Pulling yourself out of a tailspin is much easier when you've been through it before as a group. That's not the case with this team.

"You've got 15 guys, 14 of them new or 13 are new, and you're trying to figure out what they like on the court, where they like to have a ball, where they can be best used on the court, and that takes time," Conley told CBS Sports. "But we kind of crammed it in a small amount of time and learned it really quickly."

One thing you know this team will do, however, is compete. They've only lost two games by double-figures all season, and their net rating is at plus-two. It was probably somewhat ambitious to think that they could keep up the pace of their 10-3 start, but if Ainge and the front office are willing to play it out, this roster has proven it is more than capable of fighting for a playoff spot. At this point, the idea of tanking seems like a distant memory, but there are certainly going to be ups and downs for a group that is still getting to know each other on and off the court.

"We've got heart. And we're fun," Hardy said. "Not everything is super pretty all the time, but our guys' ability to dig in through tough moments, whether that's in a game or in a stretch of games, has been really impressive. They're really finding ways to enjoy it every day."