Game 65: Phoenix Suns (33-31, Road: 14-18) @ Utah Jazz (34-30, Home: 23-8)
Just win, baby!
Tonight the Jazz play the Suns. This will be for the last time this year, and we really need this game. We have to beat them, implicitly because we want the playoffs, but also because Phoenix has won both of the previous contests this season. This is kind of a big deal.
Our brothers over at the Bright Side of the Sun already have their game preview up. Some guy there representing the Jazz predicted that we win by 4. Phoenix is expected to be without Grant Hill and Channing Frye. We'll be without C.J. Miles and Earl Watson. I guess, advantage Jazz there. The Jazz should have Josh Howard and Raja Bell back. I don't know if they will start or not, but you guys have made your voices heard on this subject. The Jazz have played well without those four guys. The lack of Hill and Frye for the Suns appears to be a bigger deal. Grant Hill can do everything, and he's their best defender. With him they have more reason to go into a zone against us. Without Frye they are down their best pick and pop man. Yes. Markieff Morris and Hakim Warrick can hit the uncontested jumper too -- but not with the same proficiency and reliability of Frye. So I guess this means we'll see more straight up pick and rolls between Nash and everyone else (look for Marcin Gortat here).
There's a lot of commentary already about this game here and elsewhere on the net so I'm going to keep this short. The Jazz need to win this game. We have the advantage of being at home, and being pretty hot lately. Big Al was recognized as player of the week -- if this gets him to the line more tonight all the better for us. Call me a homer, but I think our bigs are better than theirs. We should try to maximize our advantages. And run.
Go Jazz Go!