This is it, Utah Jazz fans. Our guys have climbed that mountain and are going to be in the 2017 NBA Playoffs. But they still have a chance to make their own destiny with who they end up facing in the first round. The Jazz can into Playoffs, but that #PlayoffPush is still going on as there are only 17 more nights in the 2016-2017 NBA Regular season. There were a bunch of games last night, and a bunch more tonight. So let’s look at what happened “While you were sleeping,” on March 26th:
DEN and POR flip-flopped while all the teams directly behind UTA lost. That’s not a bad night!
-  Golden State Warriors beat the  Memphis Grizzlies, 106-94: Mike Conley had himself quite a game, but it’s very hard to beat the Warriors when they are up after three quarters on their home court. A two point lead after three became a 12 point lead after four.
-  Houston Rockets beat the  Oklahoma City Thunder, 137-125: Defense? Not tonight. Russell Westbrook got another triple-double, but it seems like James Harden is the real MVP this year.
-  Los Angeles Clippers lost to the  Sacramento Kings, 98-97: Hey, if we can’t beat ‘em, glad someone else can.
Utah is at #4, so having the #5, #6, and #7 teams all lose on the same night is a good night, if you ask me.
-  Phoenix Suns lost to the [East 11] Charlotte Hornets, 120-106: Kemba Walker had 31 points and 9 assists in a thoroughly uncontested game. Star shooting guard Devin Booker scored 47 fewer points in this game than he did in his last outing. #Scrub
Phoenix has now lost eight games in a row. It’s something to make fun of right now, but if they are a contender in two years because of who they draft this summer I’ll remember this.
-  Portland Trail Blazers beat the  Los Angeles Lakers, 97-81: In a vacuum this isn’t bad, but we don’t live in a vacuum. Lakers aren’t trying to win right now, and Damian Lillard and his boys are heating up right now. This was their third win in a row, and 7th in their last 10.
-  Denver Nuggets lost to the  New Orleans Pelicans, 115-90: They could have at least taken the Pelicans to 2OT right? Oh well. Anthony Davis, without DeMarcus Cousins playing, continues to be a beast. He finished with 31 points and 15 rebounds in the blowout win. Only one of New Orleans’ starters played 30+ minutes: Tim Frazier. They’re not going to be tired for tonight’s #NOPatUTA game. Sadly.
What sucks here is that POR won and DEN lost and the teams with identical records flip-flopped in the West standings. Why does this suck? It sucks because UTA plays POR twice more this season, in April. If POR is in the playoff hunt they will try to win those games, instead of stealth-tanking them. They are in the game now, and will try to win as many as possible. And that means they will give the Jazz some trouble on April 4th and April 8th. I’d rather them be in Ping-Pong ball mode, myself.
-  San Antonio Spurs host the [East 1] Cleveland Cavaliers: You know a SAS loss here wouldn’t be bad as HOU really can’t catch them, but CLE is just as likely to rest players as SAS is at this point.
-  Utah Jazz host the  New Orleans Pelicans: UTA has to win as many games as they can, especially with this brutal schedule. So tonight just another #MustWin game for a team that’s trying to figure itself out still.
-  Oklahoma City Thunder visit the  Dallas Mavericks: Does DAL have another spoiler game up their sleeve?
-  Memphis Grizzlies visit the  Sacramento Kings: Heck, does SAC have another one? They took out LAC last night, but emotion can only carry you so far.
The only thing that can be really clarified a little bit tonight is that middle order of the West, #4, #6, #7 are all still in flux. A Jazz win tonight coupled with Thunder and Grizzlies losses could give our guys a little bit more breathing room. I still hold to the idea that the Warriors will pull away from the Spurs at some point, but that means the Spurs actually have to lose some games. I don’t know if that’s going to happen but I really want it to - the Jazz play them twice in April. I’d love it if they weren’t going full force by then.
Regardless, it’s nice to have the Jazz back in the playoffs. And it’s nice to do one of these again.