Posted by: Steven on February 7th, 2013The author's views are entirely his or her own and may not reflect the views of the Utah Jazz.
After all those away games early on in the season calendar I was looking forward to seeing what the Jazz achieve this past month at home, largely against poorer quality opposition at home. Then Mo went down before Christmas and I thought there was a possibility that the Jazz might lose a few close games they should have otherwise have won and that those results might hurt the team later on in the year. However the Jazz came through the other end of this month with pretty much the results that the team should have expected to achieve before the the injury of Mo and the added injury of Hayward. Before their injuries Hayward and Mo were the 3rd and 4th highest scoring players in the team, so to come out with the results that this squad has in the absence means some players have had to step up.
Now though comes the tricky part, the upcoming schedule for the rest of February doesn’t involve too many trips away from ESA, which is going to help, but the caliber of the competition is getting steeper.
It begins with Chicago at home. The Bulls are doing a fine job of coping without key players all season long.
Followed then by a trip to Sacramento, a winnable away game but a team that the Jazz struggle to beat convincingly considering the win/loss record of the Kings.
Then back home against Oklahoma.
Minnesota at home should be winnable.
The Jazz need to make amends for the last result against Golden State. Can home advantage help?
By the 23rd the Clippers will either have Chris Paul back on the floor or Eric Bledsoe will be much more at ease running the floor in his absence.
By the 25th you don’t know which Boston is going to show up. The one that is on a winning streak, or a losing streak.
A return to home court should give the team an advantage over the Hawks.
The team currently sits 6 games above 500, but that is thanks to a favourable January, and a couple of players stepping up. Can the team continue to pick up wins at home against the likes of Chicago, Oklahoma, Minnesota, Golden State and Atlanta? Hayward should be back soon so that should help somewhat. However up until now Burks has had the luxury of learning the point against weaker opposition, now he’s going to have a harder time of it. The team has done a decent job of taking care of the teams it had in front of it in January but those six games only amount to a couple of games above 9th position. Hopefully the winning habit will mean that players who have stepped up can keep their performances up against the better teams that they are going to face.
What are your predictions for the upcoming games and where the Jazz may sit by the time the Jazz play Charlotte on March 1st?
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