Posted by: Adam on April 17th, 2012The author's views are entirely his or her own and may not reflect the views of the Utah Jazz.
Upon looking at the schedule, I noticed that all five teams we have been watching closely for several weeks are playing tomorrow. Those teams are the Utah Jazz (obviously), the Houston Rockets, the Denver Nuggets, the Phoenix Suns, and most recently the Dallas Mavericks. With such a close race between these teams for the seventh and eighth spots in the Western Conference Playoffs, tomorrow is a very important, out-come deciding day. Whichever teams lose and win will inevitably decide the odds of each team making the Playoffs.
The match ups for each of these teams are very interesting and I would even dare say they give us Jazz fans some great hope if everything goes our way! Here’s the schedule:
Houston Rockets @ Dallas Mavericks, 8:30 p.m. ET
So far the record between these two teams is 2-0 in favor of Dallas. Houston has lost their last 4 games and now stand at a record of 32-29 on the season. Dallas has lost their last 2 games and is sitting at a record of 34-28. Dallas is at home and I see them having the edge over the less experienced Houston team, yet don’t be surprised if Houston pulls it out. Whoever wins, it is a win-win for the Jazz. Dallas is 2.0 games ahead of the Jazz and Houston is just .5 games ahead.
Los Angeles Clippers @ Denver Nuggets, 9:00 p.m. ET
Up until this point, the record between these two teams is 2-1 in favor of L.A.. Right now Denver has won their last 2 games and has a record of 34-27. L.A. has won their last 4 games and is 38-23. I’d put my money on L.A. to pull it out but Denver is full of surprises. Let’s hope L.A. wins it, but I’m not sure if we could even catch up to Denver. They are currently 2.5 games ahead of the Jazz.
Oklahoma City Thunder @ Phoenix Suns, 10:00 p.m. ET
At this point in the season, the OKC leads Phoenix 2-0. OKC is 44-17, while Phoenix is 32-29. I definitely expect Oklahoma City to beat Phoenix even on the road. I firmly believe they are just too good and too powerful even though Phoenix has been hot of late. Phoenix is only .5 games ahead of us too!
Utah Jazz @ Portland Trailblazers, 10:00 p.m. ET
So far Utah has the lead on Portland, leading 2-0. Utah is 32-30 and Portland is 28-34. Utah has won their last game (the Dallas thriller!), while Portland has lost their last 3 games. With LaMarcus Aldridge out and their team tanking into the Lottery, I am very confident we can will. We have to play hard and give them no chances to beat us, but I think it’s well within our reach.
So there’s the schedule. Dallas and Denver both are pretty far ahead of us and would have to lose several games with us winning just as much in order to catch and overtake them. However, both Houston and Phoenix are within half a game from us. Here are the current standings:
6: Denver, 10.0 (games behind)
7: Dallas, 10.5
8: Phoenix 12.0
9: Houston 12.0
10: Utah 12.5
Now, if my predictions come to pass (if Houston, Denver, Phoenix, and Portland lose) then here would be the standings:
6: Dallas, 10.0
7: Denver, 10.5
8: Utah, 12.0
9: Phoenix, 12.5
10: Houston, 12.5
Now I am not the best at computing standings and figuring out the tie-breakers and all that goes into predictions like these, but correct me if I’m wrong, the Utah Jazz should move ahead .5 games of Phoenix and Houston while climbing to 1.5 games behind Denver for the seventh spot. Truly tomorrow will be crucial for us to either move up into the Playoff spots or to keep us in the running.
It is imperative that we win all the games in the remainder of the season. We need to provide as much insurance for our team as possible and not give the teams ahead of us any room to breathe or rest. Here is the schedule for the rest of the year as it pertains to the Jazz:
Utah @ Portland, prediction: W
Orlando @ Utah, prediction: W
Phoenix @ Utah, prediction: W
Portland @ Utah, prediction: W
Looking at our schedule, I predict that we can win every game. I see two very winnable games, those being both the games against Portland. They’re tanking and have nothing to gain by beating any teams. Plus, one of the games is at home. The game against Orlando I predict as a win because there is no Dwight Howard and it is at home. The game against Phoenix will be the toughest but I believe we can win because, again, it is at home. Now realize these are just my predictions and my analytic assumptions, I’m not saying any of these games are a sure-fire win. It all depends how we come to play.
So in closing, tomorrow is going to be an intense day. We will certainly see a shift in the odds of who will make the playoffs. Also, if we can finish out this season on a winning streak, it not only puts us in a great position to make the playoffs, but it will also give us some great momentum going in to play some big-time teams who have home court advantage. Let’s hope our Jazz can pull out the rest of these games!
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