Where do we start with the Utah Jazz and their dismal 2013-2014 month of March? Even me, the "Negative Nancy of the Universe", felt like the Jazz would leave March with 7 wins (predicted back in March 2nd). I was wrong. I wasn't the only one. Only 8% of voters got it right that the Jazz would win between 0 and 3 games. The team went 2-15, which is pretty bad.
It started off with that horrendous Eastern Conference road trip where the team dropped games to the Indiana Pacers, Milwaukee Bucks, Washington Wizards, and New York Knicks. The Jazz salvaged the trip by beating the Philadelphia 76ers on the last night, but let's not forget that the trip started at the end of February and the Jazz dropped that one game against the Cleveland Cavaliers too. The Jazz would then lose the next six straight games (three at home, three on the road) before beating the Orlando Magic at home. The Jazz then lost the next five in a row after that.
So March was: beating 2 of the 3 teams with fewer wins than us (PHI, ORL, losing to MIL), and then losing every single game on the schedule.
If you were a coach trying to get another coaching job, obviously, you try to pretend that March didn't happen. If you are the Mr. Smithers of an organization you do the same.
If you are a franchise doing what it needs to do in order to get a great player in the NBA Draft -- this is what you wanted. Regardless of the way it looks. (
It looks like a homer sexual)
A day ago I predicted that the "worst case scenario" was for the Jazz to finish these last seven games by going 3-4. But is that likely how Utah finishes?
Hopefully not that likely:
|4||Friday||April||4||vs||11||New Orleans Pelicans||32||-||42||43.20%||6||-||4||60.00%|
|6||Sunday||April||6||@||6||Golden State Warriors||46||-||28||62.20%||6||-||4||60.00%|
The Jazz have three nights off between the Knicks game and the Pelicans game -- both in Utah. So no travel. The team even had April 1st off, no practice or anything. The Pellies are a team we lost to a few games back, and back then they were hella injured. (Can I say "hella?" Can I say it only if I am drinking Mountain Dew?) They will still be without Jrue Holiday (starter), Ryan Anderson (starter), and Jason Smith (first big off the bench). Furthermore, Eric Gordon, who missed the Jazz game, was kept out of their last game (against the Kings). They are shutting him down maybe? It's hard to lose to the same team twice. And I'm sure the Jazz don't want to drop another home game. I think the Jazz win this one, after all, we'll be
The next game, against the Warriors, is going to be a loss. There is nearly nothing we can do. The Warriors have treated us harshly all season long since we beat them back in the preseason with a starting line-up of Trey Burke, Alec Burks, Gordon Hayward, Enes Kanter, and Derrick Favors. We haven't seen a lot of that group since that time. We also may not be seeing three of their best bigmen: David Lee and Andrew Bogut are currently shut down (temporarily). Festus Ezeli is out for the season. We have the size advantage, so we'll probably start Marvin Williams. We'll lose either way.
|11||Friday||April||11||vs||5||Portland Trail Blazers||49||-||27||64.50%||6||-||4||60.00%|
|14||Monday||April||14||vs||14||Los Angeles Lakers||25||-||49||33.80%||3||-||7||30.00%|
There's no game on Monday, and the Jazz start Week 2 off by hosting the Mavs. They are out for any wins they can get, and this is the second 'lock for a loss' of this month. The Jazz have two days off then face the Trail Blazers, this is the third loss you can lock in.
The next night, the second of a back to back, the Jazz visit the Denver Nuggets. I don't know how good we'll be playing by then -- but Denver is a hard place to win in. They are an interesting team on paper, but have so many injuries: Nate Robinson, Danilo Gallinari, J.J. Hickson, and JaVale McGee are all out for the season. Wilson Chandler is also hurt right now. That means they'll be running around with Ty Lawson, Aaron Brooks, Randy Foye, Kenneth Faried, Jan Vesely, and Timofey Mozgov. We can beat that team right? Even on the road on the second night of a back to back? Hopefully not, but I call this a Jazz win. Because maybe Richard Jefferson will be really hot.
The last game this week, the third in four nights, is hosting the Lakers. It's the last home game too, and fan appreciation night. The Jazz are trying to sell a lot of tickets for this. (It would be a "no brainer" according to some people in the org) The Jazz win this one too, because the Lakers are more committed to doing what they need to do to get a star than we are. They're more successful than us. Smarter than us. And continue to show it every year. The short term play, the Jazz play, is going to do us in here. They'll get Exum and we'll get chopped liver. Probably because of this game, an ego stroking win in a sub-30 win season that serves no purpose other than to make it harder on the franchise next year.
The Jazz will lose, but do so while trying to win.
Jazz go 3-4 in their last seven. Because that is the Jazzy thing to do.