Here we are. Tonight is the last home Jazz game of the season. The Jazz are slight favorites to win, and with Dallas already locked into the 7th seed, there's nothing for them to play for, seeding wise. Surprisingly enough, this didn't stop Rick Carlisle from playing Rondo, Ellis, Chandler, and even Nowitzki last night against the Lakers.
If you believe in symbolic victories, tonight could be considered one of those. A win tonight would put the Jazz at a winning record at home (21-20), which they obviously didn't accomplish last season. (Fun fact: the 12-13 team missed the playoffs by 2 games. They went 30-11 at home, but just 13-28 on the road. This year's team, chuck full of rookies and ten-dayer's, went 17-23 away from SLC.)
Our other beat writer friend, Aaron Falk (sometimes I call him Not Jody), had a great article over at the SL Trib. He talked to some Jazz fans about the optimism surrounding the team, and there's some great stuff in it.
"I always said I'd keep coming as long as it was fun," the Utah Jazz super fan says.
But by the end of last year, his 34th as a season-ticket holder, Sudbury was having his doubts. As losses mounted, he wondered how much winning meant to the players on his beloved team. His wife ultimately stopped coming to games because of it.
"It wasn't any fun," he said.
I know many of you Dunkers have had this sentiment. It was easy to turn off a game last year, but this year, especially post-All-Star break has been different. I've mentioned expectations throughout the season, but it will be interesting to see what those are going into next season. Surely a lot will have to do with what happens this offseason with free agent signings and the draft.
Has anyone bought season tickets for next year? Considering it?
Here's a great post from Dan Feldman of NBC Sports' Pro Basketball Talk on the youth of the Jazz and Sixers. These two teams are a full year younger than the average age of the 3rd youngest team, the Magic (click here for a nifty chart). There's some really great banter between Joe Ingles and Elijah Millsap (The two oldest on the teams; also, both rookies). Here's my favorite:
Do they know which player is the oldest on Utah’s roster?
"Joe Ingles," Elijah Millsap said.
"We’re tied," Ingles said. "We’re kind of tied."
"I’ll take Joe Ingles," Millsap said. "He looks older."
LOL. Classic Elijah.
Did you guys catch the spot about Rudy on NBA Inside Stuff, on Saturday? They went with our guy to the Hogle Zoo, presumably so they can shoot some adorable pictures of him with a giraffe.
Here's the link because the NBA is awesome and STILL doesn't let you embed. Inside Stuff: Loose at the Zoo
It's short, but there's an extra with Rudy and his favorite Rhino, George.
How do you feel about Coach Q "resting" players the last few games?
This practice has become so widespread that I even get alerts from the NBA Game Time app saying things like "[Team] will rest starters for tonight's game against [opposing team]" but yeah, the season isn't too long.