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:
- Madison Square Garden, 1968
- The Palace at Auburn Hills, 1988
- The Bradley Center, 1988
- Target Center, 1990
- EnergySolutions Arena (Delta Center), 1991