Operation 82: February

As the jazz continue to slack off on the court, I appear to be emulating the team I follow with my sparse input here. Last month was not so hot. The Jazz ended up winning 7 of 16 games. That's pretty bad. The schedule wasn't that bad either last month. This month? Well . . . take a look for yourself.

We haven’t really started this month off so hot either. Yes, we lost by 1 point against the Houston Rockets. Yes, C.J. Miles had a tough shot. You know what else? Remember that botched 3 on zero fast break in the 4th quarter? Yeah – we make that and we maybe win this game. Thanks Ronnie Price. To look at the rest of this month’s games, click on loyal Jazz fan!

Last Month Review:

We fans were somehow deluded into thinking that our team wouldn’t crash and burn on an easy road trip. And we fans somehow thought that we’d win a healthy number of games. In the vote for January, 26% of us felt like the Jazz would win 8-9 games last month; and a whopping 60^ thought we’d win 10-12 games. I was one of those bold few who thought that the Jazz would win 10 last month. Only 2 voters were clairvoyant enough to pick 6-7 wins. Yup. We won 7 games total last month. That was with 3 wins in the bank by the time of posting. That’s pretty bad. Yes, we’ve had injuries and played some good teams. Still, a division champion (I’m stopped holding out for calling us a contender) doesn’t go 7-9 in a month.

The Jazz had five "Big Games" last month and went 2-3 in them. We won at home in a shootout against the New York Knicks (who couldn’t miss from deep), and against the Charlotte Bobcats without Deron Williams. (In their gym we needed a last second Williams score to pull a win out there). The rest of the games did not end well for us. We were blown out in Boston, and the Lakers were putting up circus shots and blowing dunks on us in a laugher. Those two losses hurt us so much that we, fans on the internet, applauded losing to the Spurs on our homecourt because we didn’t lose by 40. How the mighty have fallen . . .

Overview:

  • Total Games: 12
  • Home Games: 6
  • Road Games: 6
  • vs. Western Conference: 8
  • vs. West Playoff Teams (from last season): 4 (Denver Nuggets, Oklahoma City Thunder, Phoenix Suns x2, Dallas Mavericks)
  • Back to Back sets: 3 (@DEN/vs OKC; @PHX/vs GSW; @IND/@DET)
  • 3rd Game in four nights: 5 (vs HOU – already played (L); vs OKC; @ SAC; @ DET; vs BOS)
  • Longest Home Stretch: 2 games in 7 nights; though with the All-Star Break there is 1 games in 7 nights
  • Longest Road Trip: 3 games in four nights
  • Nationally Televised Games: 3 (@DEN – Tonight; vs PHX, vs BOS)

Big Games:

Friday, February 4th: @ Denver Nuggets

Tonight’s game is a big one. It is against our long held rivals in this Division / Mountain Region. I hate the Nuggets. I can proudly say that they are among the teams I really do not care for at all. It makes me happy to see bad things happen to them (within reason – happy about their whole Melo-drama; didn’t jump for joy when George Karl had to leave team for health reasons, obviously). Beating them in the playoffs without two starters was great. Are we equal to the task in this game? We shall see. (I’m calling Mehmet Okur a starter, as that was his job before injury and Jerry Sloan says you can’t lose your starting spot to Injury – and he’s still injured) A win here would go a long way towards restoring some confidence in our team. We haven’t beaten a good team in forever. How long is forever? We haven’t beaten a good team since December 10th, 2010 (the Orlando Magic). It’s February now. Let’s get it together Jazz, starting tonight. Deron Williams needs to play like an All-Star tonight; btw, sometimes it’s nice for our leader to actually lead the team in more than sullen pouts on the bench.

Saturday, February 5th: vs. Oklahoma City Thunder

We only play this team four times this regular season, so each win is important. What’s also important is that we play this team as the 3rd game in four nights only three of those four times this season. Tonight’s game is yet another one of those ‘schedule’ games where weariness may help sink us. It’s at home, where we used to be good in. They won in Utah last time they played us (earlier this season), and we let Serge Ibaka turn into Carlos Boozer on us (a great jump shooting bigman from midrange). It was a solid game, but our inability to defend hurt us. This is a big game, and if our team is serious about winning our Division for the first time since the good old days, this game would be a good place to start. (Or build on the momentum of tonight if we, God forbid, win a game.)

Wednesday, February 9th: vs. Chicago Bulls

Carlos Boozer. Kyle Korver. Ronnie Brewer. Nuff said. Actually, there is more to say, especially since Derek Rose is considered to be an MVP candidate by some this season. He’s athletic as all get out, and has the personality of a wet sponge (yet we see him in more national ads than Deron Williams – who has been to the Conference Finals). Even if the Bulls aren’t our immediate rivals (like Denver and Oklahoma City are), this is a big game due to the players involved. I don’t know if Boozer is going to play in this one or not, but I do expect him to get a lot of boos if he makes the trip.

Friday, February 11th: vs Phoenix Suns; and Tuesday, February 15th: @ Phoenix Suns

We play this team in a home and home as the 3rd last and 2nd last games before the All-Star Break. Phoenix destroyed us in the 2nd game of the season, and they seem to have the offense that cuts our defense apart. If we are going to make the playoffs, these games will count for something when the West seeding comes out. It would be nice to win the series against this team. Whomever wins these two games will determine that.

Wednesday, February 23rd: @ Dallas Mavericks

Always a big game because two or our players went to High School there . . . don’t really know if this is also a big game for the Mavs or not; they seem to have our number this season.

Saturday, February 26th: @ Detroit Pistons

We always beat the Pistons. We better still always beat the Pistons. I’m going to this game. My seats are across from the Jazz bench, so I will try to use a mind-link to tell Jerry Sloan to put in Evans and Fesenko as much as possible. I have close enough seats for this game that if things turn sour, I may run on the court and try to tackle one of the refs.

Prediction:

I thought I was doing okay with these, but when I look back at what I wrote for October, November, December, and last month I recognize that I was way off more than I was on. I’m glad I don’t gamble. This month doesn’t look good at all. I’m going with 5 wins this month. Yes. I’m that confident. Prove me wrong, Jazz. Prove me wrong.

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