This is it. The Battle for 14th place in the Western Conference. Wait, let me re-check the standings. The Los Angeles Lakers are 16-29, the Sacramento Kings are 15-28, and the Utah Jazz are 15-29. With a Jazz win tonight the #15 seed would belong to the Sacramento Kings, and the Jazz would be in a tie with the Lakers at 16-29, and the fight for the #13 seed would be determined by the tie braking rules. The Jazz are 1-1 so far this season, so it would go onto Conference record, which would favor LA. But man, the Jazz are getting dangerously close to the seed the Jazz were a few years ago. Yeah, I did it. I am making reference to how the Jazz were the #12 seed in the Western Conference in February of 2012, and because other teams tanked, the Jazz made the playoffs.
I'm putting the cart before the horse here, because really, there's no way this Jazz team should make the playoffs. And there's really no hope for it either. In fact, most of us are hoping that we get a lot of ping pong balls this year. (We've never won the lotto before, why not us this year?) Well, standing in our way are the Sacramento Kings. The Kings are hampered by injuries right now and really playing poorly. I detailed most of it in the game preview, which you can get by clicking on the game streams link at the top, on the right hand side margin, or on this link here.
Utah is playing luke warm right now, and the Kings are playing with a foot in the injury recovery room. As of this writing there's still no new update on the cases of Rudy Gay and Derrick Williams. By talking with our main man at Sactown Royalty I found out that they are expecting both Gay and Williams to play. But nothing official yet.
@AllThatAmar Gay will probably play and I don't see why Williams wouldn't. He just had a bad cut last game, shouldn't keep him out.— Akis Yerocostas (@Aykis16) January 28, 2014
Woo! If Gay is playing that screws up so much of the scouting I did on the Kings today. Anyway, with me likely to be wrong, here's the work I did earlier:
Point Guard: Thomas vs Burke
This is going to be the big match-up in my mind. Thomas is their engine, and if Burke can derail him, we'll have a shot, no matter who is or is not playing for the Kings. Thomas is a feistier defender and a bigger part of their offense. he also plays more. Burke is a legit guy who can spot up off the ball while people like G-Time and Government Name handle things. It will be interesting. I'd call this in favor of the Kings, but we're at home.
Shooting Guard: Thornton vs. Hayward
This is in our favor for sure, though the size difference is something to worry about. Thornton does a lot of P&R and is very quick. It would be "cool" if our better than Phil Jackson coach called a play where Gordon posts up, but that's never happening. Still, this is advantage Jazz.
Small Forward: Williams vs. Jefferson
Okay, if Gay is playing then just forget this and go on. No, not just the write up but this match-up too. Gay is precisely the type of guy to terrorize our wings, if all he did was drive and shoot at the rim. If we can get Gay to be a jump shooter it may work out for us. Still, game planning for him NOT to play (reverse jinx?), and putting RJ up against Derrick is a hilarious thing. They have completely different styles of play, but Williams is bigger, a bigger defender, and way more efficient.
Power Forward: Thompson vs. Williams
Waat? Okay, it can work. This can work. Thompson is having a down year, and Marvin can do wonders at home. I'd say that this is a Jazz advantage because Thompson is on the second night of a back to back.
Center: Gray vs. Favors
This is easy. No DeMarcus Cousins = easy day.
|John Lucas III||1||2||32||15.8||4.4||1.1||1.2||0.6||2.0||0.3||0.0||5.8||16.9%||11.5%||3.9%|
Our bench plays more (on average), scores more, boards more, dimes more, and so pretty much everything better. This is really thanks to Burks and Kanter. And Evans' efficiency.
We're healthier, have a better bench, and are playing at home. They are on the second night of a back to back. We've been pretty good lately. They've been really poor. Our coach is full of surprises, but their is kind of an unknown. I'd put a push between Tyrone Corbin and Mike Malone here. This is our game to win, if a) Trey can keep up with Isaiah, and b) if Rudy Gay doesn't play.