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 15 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 28th:
MIN and SAC flip-flopped for what seems like a third straight night, while UTA didn’t play. But some bad things did happen.
-  Golden State Warriors beat the  Houston Rockets, 113-106: This is good because we are hoping that the #1 and #2 seeds are figured out by the time Utah plays Golden State and San Antonio in April. This game helps Golden State get closer to securing the top spot while making it much harder for Houston to get close to San Antonio - thus making it more reasonable for both teams to relax on the last week of the regular season.
This was the only “good” news of the night. As it stands the Spurs are 2.5 games behind the Warriors, and the Rockets are now 6.5 games behind the Spurs. There should be enough space between the three to help GSW and SAS shut things down enough so that UTA has a chance to beat them when they do play. UTA is not in shut anything down mode at all!
-  Minnesota Timberwolves beat the [East] Indiana Pacers, 115-114: Karl-Anthony Towns and Paul George both finished with 37 points in this come-from-behind road win. Ridiculous.
-  Phoenix Suns lost to the [East] Atlanta Hawks, 95-91: Dennis Schroder continues to look a little better than Trey Burke if you just watch the box scores.
We don’t care about this one way or another. East Playoff teams gonna try to win games too, I guess?
-  Portland Trail Blazers beat the  Denver Nuggets, 122-113: Nikola Jokic is amazing (17/8/8) but Jusuf Nurkic is the Bosnian Beast (33/16/2).
-  Los Angeles Lakers lost to the [East] Washington Wizards, 119-108: The #Tank is strong with this Lakers group that got outscored 37-13 in the fourth quarter.
The Blazers now own the 3-1 season series against their division opponents, and it’s going to be really, really hard for Denver to leapfrog them in the standings. This means that Portland is in super duper ‘win now’ mode. And as a result, they’ll be tough to beat twice in the last month of the season as they continue to play better and better - now having won four in a row! The Lakers game info, losing to an East Playoff team, is listed as “Bad” news here because it’s the result Lakers fans wanted. So we should be against that. Also, the game didn’t go into 7OT, so the Wizards will only be a normal level of tired when they play the Jazz on Friday - it will be the end of a road trip and the 3rd game in 4 nights for them.
-  Golden State Warriors @  San Antonio Spurs: The Spurs can screw things up by winning this game, so it’s likely that they will. They are excellent at home.
-  Utah Jazz @  Sacramento Kings: Just win, baby!
-  Los Angeles Clippers vs. [East] Washington Wizards: This game should go to 12OT. Or at least, I hope it does.
-  Oklahoma City Thunder @ [East] Orlando Magic: Hard to expect the Magic to win games when we need them to.
-  Memphis Grizzlies vs. [East] Indiana Pacers: Ditto for the Pacers, who just somehow lost to the Pesky (TM) Timberwolves last night.
-  Dallas Mavericks @  New Orleans Pelicans: The old guard against the new guard? Bring your mouth guard? How the hell is Yogi Ferrell killing guards in the NBA? I may actually watch this game just to find some answers.
Every West playoff team except for Houston and Portland is in action tonight. May the teams that help the Jazz win, and all others lose!