Sorry I couldn't be a part of last night's game thread. It looks like I saved myself a few grey hairs. Deron stated to the Trib that he didn't get to sleep until about 5 because of the late night game and trip. Sure looked like it showed. I recorded the game but haven't had a chance to watch it. I don't know if I will either
Last night went about just as a bad as you could hope for as a Jazz fan. Dallas, Phoenix, and Denver all won which puts us 1/2 game back of them.
The Jazz have played one more game than all of them and now have an extra loss to show for it. That means we're no longer in control an need help to move up. We do play Phoenix on the last day of the season but for everyone else we're going to have to have multiple losses. Remember, we need to finish at least one game ahead of Denver to get a better spot than them. I'll have a breakdown coming in a bit.
A little trip in the Onion time machine (1996). I think it's appropriate given the Dream Team's and Malone's induction to the HOF,
ATLANTA-The U.S. men's basketball "Dream Team" took home a small soft drink from McDonald's yesterday, making its players big winners and quenching their Olympic-sized thirsts. "We win when the USA wins," said power forward Karl Malone, taking a sip from the Dream Team's 12-ounce Coke. "This refreshing beverage is ice-cold proof of that." The Dream Team won the food prize Sunday, when U.S. fencer Dana Owens took gold in the individual women's epee, defeating Qatar's Faizla Hourani 15-11, 15-9. Nine of the eleven Dream Teamers shared the drink, the exceptions being center Shaquille O'Neal, who is signed to a long-term exclusive contract with Pepsi, and reserve point guard John Stockton, who wanted a Mello-Yello.
So, as of now, the Jazz are sitting at #5 while OKC is #8. Just goes to show how quick things change. Obviously the Jazz want to move up to at least the 4 minimum to get home-court in the first round.
However, if your goal is to progress as far as possible in the playoffs, would you rather have the 6 or 7 seed? YOu lose home-court right off the bat. The advantage there though is that you're out of the Lakers' bracket.
So which give the Jazz a better shot at going the furthest? Having home court in the first round but then having to advance and play LA? Or does going on the road against other teams give you the best shot at going the deepest?
Great tweet from Hollinger last night,
How much has having AK out cost the Jazz? I think it might have cost them last night's game. I'm not talking about if he played last night. What if he had played against OKC? I think the Jazz not only win that one but that it doesn't go into OT. He would have had to have slowed down Durant just a little bit, right? Even if he could have "held" Durant to 38 points, the Jazz might have been a bit fresher for last night's game.
The other thing besides defense that the Jazz miss when AK isn't playing is his spot in the rotation. It weakens the bench and limits Sloan's 5-man units that he can put on the floor. Would it have been enough to get a win last night? I don't know, but having him over the past few games would have given us a much, much better chance.
An early season loss counts just as much as the one last night in the standings, but if that's the loss that puts us in the 4/5 seed, not having AK could cost us a lot more.