Last 20 games of the season

I loved reading people's predictions in the comments section of the Downbeat on 3/8/10, so I thought I'd put up a fanpost to give my own predictions on the remaining games as well as hear from everybody else.

Warning - I am not as optimistic as the rest of you. Here goes the predictions, game by game, with brief reasoning for each.

March - PREDICTION = 8 wins, 6 losses

At Chicago: LOSS (Bulls have lost 4 in a row, including a high-scoring game against the red-hot Mavs. They are too good of a team to lose 5 in a row, especially at home. I expect D-rose to penetrate at will and get D-will in foul trouble. He will find open shooters and the Bulls will hit from the perimeter all night long.)

At Detroit: WIN (As the Jazz typically do on back-to-backs, they will lose the first and win the second. This Detroit team doesn't have much to play for and the Jazz in the past few years have been invincible at the Palace.)

At Milwaukee: LOSS (The Bucks are playing fantastic ball after the All-Star break, and the Jazz have never been able to stop John Salmons from penetrating or shooting the 3-ball. Skiles will not allow the Jazz to run their offense. Another prediction - AK will go down with back spasms.)

At OKC: LOSS (Last game of a 4 game road trip against OKC in their home? Definite loss. Jazz will be weary and won't be able to keep up with the running game of the Thunder. Also, highly doubtful that anybody will be able to keep up with Durant, even if AK is available. Bigger problem = Westbrook if he decides to drive to the hoop.)

Vs Washington: WIN (We will either lose the OKC game or this Washington game. This will be a back-to-back for the Jazz, and I doubt the guys will be rested enough after the long road trip to play up to par. This will be a close one, but I expect Andray Blatche to be unstoppable and Javale McGee to have at least 5 offensive rebounds.)

Vs Minnesota: LOSS (Once again, the reality is that we struggle against the T-wolves. This one won't be any different. Kevin Love will dominate the glass and people like Gomes and Ellington will once again be hot.)

At Phx: LOSS (Phx will get their revenge, guaranteed. I just hope that somebody clocks Lopez in the mouth.)

Vs New Orleans: WIN (Sloan is going to rip into the team and as usual, the Jazz will win the 2nd game of the back-to-back)

Vs Boston: WIN (The guys will be rested and will come out with a spirited effort against a struggling Celtics team. I expect a dominating performance.)

At Toronto: LOSS (The Raptors are hot and cold, but they will be hot when we play them. Bosh is a wiry monster and is going to present all sorts of problems for our bigs. Plus, the Raptors are a great home team.)

At Indiana: WIN (This should and better be a gimme. It's not a back-to-back, so the Jazz should be able to run with this high-scoring Pacer team. Put a hand up when Troy Murphy shoots, k?)

At Washington: WIN (Despite being a b2b on the road, we should be able to take this one. Hopefully Randy Foye can be tamed by Matthews/Miles.)

Vs New York: WIN (They should not have the talent to keep up with the Jazz. Let's hope the Jazz don't overlook or underestimate the team. I also hope Eddy Curry is not playing or does not play a factor in this one.)

Vs Golden State: WIN (This one's on national TV, and both teams traditionally play better than expected when broadcasted nationally. I have to give this one to the Jazz, although I would not be surprised if GSW pulls off an upset. Give Curry a few elbow jabs in the ribs and he won't be hitting that J as easily.)



At LA Lakers: LOSS (If I am correct above, they should be carrying a 4-game win streak coming into this game, so you'd expect the Jazz to come out focused. I expect the Lakers to have locked up the #1 seed by now and only playing for homecourt in the Finals, so this should be a close one. Unfortunately, half of the Jazz players abruptly become useless after setting foot in southern CA. Doesn't matter if it's against the Clips or the Lakers)

Vs OKC: WIN (Revenge win. Hopefully it is a dominating win against a likely first round opponent.)

At Houston: Win (Houston is going to be pissed that they haven't made the playoffs. As usual, they are going to play hard and scrappy, and I think Adelman's team is going to make it a close game...but I think the Jazz should prevail)

At New Orleans: LOSS (Chris Paul might be back for this one. Either way, Darren Collison is a handful. We are either going to lose this one or the one in March against the Hornets. I choose this one because our concentration likely will be at a low given the fact that playoff seedings will probably have been determined.)

At Golden State: WIN (Golden State will be in full-out tanking mode by now.)

Vs Phx: WIN (Given the fact that we are at home, this should be a tough win against another possible 1st round opponent.)


Total record = 12-8. This will likely put us in the 4th or 5th seed, which is where you DO NOT WANT TO BE if you want to avoid the Lakers in the 1st or 2nd round. And yes, last time I checked, we qualify as one of the teams that definitely want to avoid the Lakers at all costs. Another option is to tank to the 6th or 7th....or we could win more and gun for the 3rd seed. I do not think we can overtake Dallas or Denver realistically, so unfortunately I think we might be stuck in the 4th or 5th seed.

Can't wait to see how this plays out...

All comments are the opinion of the commenter and not necessarily that of SLC Dunk or SB Nation.

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