Preview - Sacramento Kings @ Utah Jazz

Both teams come in to tonight's matchup with only three wins over their last fourteen games.  The Jazz have beaten the Nuggets, Pacers, and Kings.   Sacramento had notched wins against the Suns, Magic, and Clippers.  The teams are also 18th and 19th in the league in defense with both giving up 109 points per 100 possessions.

So while the Kings have been out of the playoff picture for a while, the Jazz still have a shot.  They're 1 1/2 games back of the Grizzlies who lost last night for the 8th spot and 1 game back of the Suns for 9th.  While they have four of the next five games on the road, they play Sacramento, Toronto, and Minnesota in that stretch.  Those are winnable games.  Of course the Jazz have a had winnable games lately and have yet to put up a W in over a week.  Tonight would be an excellent night to get over the hump and get back in this thing.

Unfortunately, this could be the last time we see the Kings in the SLC as the Sacramento Kings.  As most of you know, they haven't been able to get a deal done on a new arena and are in the process of applying to move the team to Anaheim.  I can't tell you how much this blows.  From everything I've read, it's not a done deal, but it's likely to happen.  Tom Ziller, who runs Sactown Royalty and a writer for the NBA in general, lists 19 reasons why moving to Anaheim is not a good idea.

All of this hinges on getting a new arena to replace Arco or whatever they just renamed it to.  It doesn't sound like there has been much of an effort by the Maloofs to get something done.  They seem bent on moving the team regardless.

This should concern you as Jazz fans.  Here's a list of the oldest arenas still being used by NBA teams and their date built:

 

  1. Madison Square Garden, 1968
  2. The Palace at Auburn Hills, 1988
  3. The Bradley Center, 1988
  4. Target Center, 1990
  5. EnergySolutions Arena (Delta Center), 1991
Remember the ground-breaking for the Delta Center and its new shininess?  It will turn 20 this year and is on the downside of its life cycle.  Randy Rigby stated in an interview with KFAN last year that the ESA had about another 10 years left.  The Jazz though have made improvements to the ESA over the years including a new locker room and other renovations this season.

While that may seem a ways off, the talk of a new building is coming.  Despite my conspiracy tweet, I don't think the Jazz are going anywhere.  Still, it has to concern you given the recent moves around the league.  Let's hope the Kings are able to get a last-minute deal done.

In the meantime, let's just focus on making the playoffs, okay?  The Jazz can get right back into this thing with a win tonight.  "Easy" games left in the season are few and far between.

The Kings will be without Tyreke Evans tonight as he continues to recover from plantar fasciitis in his left foot.  He appears to have been dealing with it all season.  It seems to have affected his game as most of his numbers are down this season from his Rookie of the Year campaign.

We'll see plenty of DeMarcus Cousins.  I'm anxious to see if he and Favors (who will return) play against each other much.  Sacramento also landed Marcus Thornton from the Hornets at the trade deadline who has come in and played well from them.  That trade sent Carl Landry to New Orleans.

The Jazz will have the talent advantage tonight but can they finally put things together and get a win?

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