The worst part about last night's loss wasn't just what happened inside the ESA. In what was probably the biggest night for the NBA, this season, the Jazz had the chance to gain ground on the Nuggets and Grizzlies after both of those teams lost. Instead, the Jazz have all but sealed the fate of their playoff hopes. They have a tough remaining schedule and will now require the help from other teams to squeak their way into the postseason.
After The Jump we'll look at the current standings, what happened WYWS, and compare the remaining schedules of the 3 teams closest to the Jazz.
|Western Conference - While You Were Sleeping|
|1||Oklahoma City Thunder||@MIA||L||40||14||74.1%||--|
|2||San Antonio Spurs||@BOS||W||38||14||73.1%||1|
|3||Los Angeles Lakers||@LAC||W||35||20||63.6%||5.5|
|4||Los Angeles Clippers||LAL||L||32||22||59.3%||8|
|11||Portland Trail Blazers||NJN||W||26||29||47.3%||14.5|
|13||Golden State Warriors||@MIN||W||21||32||39.6%||18.5|
|15||New Orleans Hornets||DEN||W||14||40||25.9%||26|
While you were sleeping:
- Nuggets 92 - Hornets 94: This loss keeps the Jazz just 1 1/2 games back.
- Warriors 97 - Timberwolves 94: The Warriors are now 3 1/2 games ahead of the Kings. This is good.
The 'Meh' !
- Grizzlies 85 - Mavericks 95: No help or hurt for the Jazz.
- Suns 107 - Jazz 105: We all know about this one.
Tonight's Important Games:
- Clippers @ Kings: Clipps are trying to catch the Lakers. A Kings loss will help get that Warriors lotto pick.
Here's the remaining schedule for the Rockets, Nuggets, Suns, and Jazz:
If we use a simple rating system consisting of the number of games against "tough opponents" (ex: Jazz would score a 7 because they play that many good teams: SA 2x, Mem, Hou, Mavs, Orl, Phx), here's how each team would score: UTA- 7, PHX- 10, DEN- 8, HOU- 7. This is assuming that the other games are ones they "should" win. Therein lies the problem. First, none of these teams are very consistent, least of all the Jazz. Second, it is nearly impossible to factor in all the outside influences (injuries, resting old players (I'm looking at you Spurs), tanking).
What does this all mean? Its anyone's guess as to who will get in, but the biggest issue comes when looking at the team we know best: the Jazz. I honestly only have a sense of certainty of a win in 2 games: GS and POR at home. The @NO and Magic at home are the next closest probability, followed by maybe 50/50 chances @POR and home against the Suns.
Care to take a crack at how it all plays out?