When I try to estimate how many games the Jazz will win, I like to take it month by month, and more accurately, week by week. I think it is easier to say that in a 4 game stretch or a 5 game stretch, the Jazz will go 2 and 2 or 3 and 1 or 3 and 2, depending on the stretch. The law of averages usually helps me stay pretty close. So let’s take a look at the season schedule and estimate how many games the Jazz are likely to win, shall we?
The first three games gives me the perfect place to prove my thinking. Rather than say, the Jazz will beat Denver and lose to Phoenix or vice versa, I like to say, the Jazz will go 1-1 on the first two games. If they beat Denver, then Phoenix might catch them celebrating. If they lose to Denver, they will get up for Phoenix. At least, that’s my thinking. And I think, or am maybe hoping, they find a way to win in OKC on 2 full days rest.. Either way you cut it…
October record: 2-1
The Jazz are winning those first 3 games of the month. Toronto and the Clippers at home and Golden State on the road. The Jazz can win AT Golden State. Then the fun begins. @Miami, Orlando, Atlanta, and Charlotte. One and three even seems generous on those four games, but it’s what I’m going with. Then they are going to win 5 of their remaining 7 home games in the month, while winning 1 of the two remaining road games at either Portland or LAC. The two home losses are coming to some combo of San Antonio, OKC, or the Lakers. Are you with me?
November record: 10-6; 12-7 overall
December is actually one of the more kind months with a handful of poor teams. The Jazz will lose at home to 2 of Miami, Orlando and Dallas and win their other two home games. Then they will win 4 of their 7 road games, since at Minnesota, the Clippers and at Cleveland are all very winnable games. That’s pretty optimistic for the Jazz to have a winning record on the road in a given month.
December: 9-5; 21-12 overall
The Jazz have 8 home games in January and I am guessing that they only lose one of them. And it will be to Charlotte. The Jazz get lucky and catch Atlanta and SA on the end of 3 game road trips. They will go 1-1 on the road in Memphis and Houston and will win @ Golden State. It’s a pretty tough 5 game road trip and @LAL and @Bos are almost guaranteed losses. Throw in another unpredicted loss to make up for their good home record in January and you have 2-3 road trip.
January: 11-5; 32-17 overall
Fairly tough month with Phoenix, OKC, Denver and Dallas all in there. Jazz will lose two of their 6 home games, but will decimate the Boozerless Bulls in Salt Lake City. They will go 3-3 in their road games, both losing and winning an unexpected game.
February: 7-5; 39-22 overall
I see the Jazz at least going 6-1 in their 7 home games in March. It’s going to be hard to win that game in Chicago on a back to back game at the end of the trip, but they should win the other 3. They will go 1-2 in the other road trip.
March: 10-4; 49-26 overall
I see them only winning 1 of their 4 road games. At the Lakers is almost a guaranteed loss and I don’t see them sweeping the Hornets, even if Deron dominates Chris Paul all the time. I’ll give them 2-1 in the home games to balance the poor road games in April.
April: 3-4; 52-30 overall
If you had asked me to pick the amount of games the Jazz would win without looking closely at the schedule, I would have said 55. But they have some tough matchups at tough times and I think even with a fairly healthy team, the Jazz will struggle to win 54+ games. So I’m sticking with 52. It seems low, but it’s 5 more games than the ESPN "experts" gave us.