Well, there's two things we can learn from Operation 82: October Overview. First, there's a reason why I'm not a gambler. Second, this is a handy way to get a look at each month of the season. This *is* late, but really, did any of us think that we weren't going to beat the Toronto Raptors? Without further preamble, here's the schedule for this month:
The main components are a really crappy Eastern conference road trip where we play 4 of the top playoff teams from last season; five games that are back to back sets; and seven games that are the 3rd game in 4 nights. There are 16 games in all. (With one already finished, and wrapped up with a W. Read on for more "analysis", or just vote below for how you think we'll do.
Last Month Review:
After such a stellar pre-season I was surprised to see the Jazz get blown out two games in a row, including one game at home. That said, I'd rather the Jazz look horrible in the first 2 games of the season than in the last 2 games of the season. I think you all would agree with me here. Incorporating a slew of new guys and running as a well oiled machine just doesn't happen in the NBA. Also, this gives the team room for improvement as the season goes on. As Al Jefferson says, "I'm learning. . . "; we, as Jazz fans, are also learning that we still have a power team, we just can't expect to run the flex as well as we did in previous seasons right off the bat. Also, my overly confident 3-0 prediction was a little, well, off. (I blame Courage Wolf <-- not completely safe for work)
Total games: 16
Home / Road Split: 9 / 7
Total vs. West: 9
Total vs. West Playoff teams from last season: 4
Back-to-back sets: 5
3rd Games in 4 nights: 7
4th Game in 5 nights: 1
5th Game in 7 nights:1
Nationally Televised Games: 2
I see big games as games where the Jazz HAVE something to lose within them. At this point in the season there's nothing to lose on this East Road Trip of death. If the Jazz even win one game on this trip I'll be happy. For me none of these games on that trip are "Big Games" by my definition. The only "Big Games" are the games against Oklahoma City (Nov 15th), San Antonio (Nov 19th), Portland (Nov 20th), New Orleans (Nov 24th), and the Los Angeles Lakers (Nov 26th). One could argue about games against the Clippers (They have the next Karl Malone on their team, don'tchaknow?), and while losing to them would hurt - it's not the same thing as losing to a resurgent Chris Paul led team, or the Spurs, whom we swept last season. The Thunder game is going to be a good barometer for the Jazz. After taking an Eastern pounding how will our guys bounce back? The Thunder will be looking to avenge their 21 point drubbing at home as well. Fatigue will be against us. A Boozer led Jazz team would lose that this game. Thankfully, we're not a Boozer led Jazz team this season. There's no greater evidence of that than when we play the hated Lakers. Boozer was such a known quantity that even their bench guys could shut him down (Odom), let alone Gasol or Bynum. Al Jefferson owned Gasol last time they played. It should be an interesting game for sure
I think the Jazz go 9-7 here. Getting out of November alive is more important than winning every game right now.