24 March 2009

Rested, the Jazz begin a telling stretch of games

This story that B. shared with me helped me finally get over the horrible El Heat loss, and I am going to give the Jazz another chance to prove to the world that they are worth something.

The team has had a lot of rest since the road trip failures (two games in eight days) and only have three games this week. Three winnable games. Three should-be wins. They play Houston at home tonight, at Phoenix on Wednesday, and after two full days rest, Phoenix back at The Larry. Anything other than 3-0 would point to this year's team not having much of a playoff future. If they go 2-1, with the loss likely coming tomorrow, when the Jazz face both of their usual stumbling blocks (a road and back-to-back games) in one night, then this team is as it always has been. If they go 1-2, then, barring a late-season about-face, the team might as well be in the lottery, because they don't have what it takes to win a playoff series.

By the way, as a look at the standings will show, the #2 seed in the Western Conference playoffs is up for grabs. Houston just passed San Antonio, and the Rockets have only one less loss than Utah does (four more wins, though). The Spurs have two more wins and two less losses, for a two-game lead over the Jazz. Denver has two more wins and equal losses and New Orleans is one better than Utah in both the win and the loss columns. Portland is also in the hunt, being tied with the Jazz with one more win and one more loss. The Jazz have more games left than all of the contenders, giving them a lot of control over where they finish out.

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