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 12 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 31st:
No one flipped any spots, but Memphis officially earned their playoff spot.
-  Golden State Warriors beat the  Houston Rockets, 107-98: James Harden had a big game, but the Dubs are pretty good themselves.
-  San Antonio Spurs beat the  Oklahoma City Thunder, 100-95: Russell Westbrook had another monster triple-double in a loss. Probably not the last time in my life I’ll write that sentence.
-  Utah Jazz beat the [East 4] Washington Wizards, 95-88: Bradley Beal got hot late, but John Wall didn’t, and the good guys got a big win at home.
Golden State winning is good because hopefully they have enough wins by the time the Jazz play them on April 10th for them to shut things down. It’s also GREAT because they beat Houston. Suck it, Houston! Houston losing is great because it continues to support the idea that Houston can’t catch San Antonio. Usually we want Golden State to win and San Antonio to lose. But tonight San Antonio was playing Oklahoma City, and beating Oklahoma City helps Utah more than any possible long-term GSW-SAS-HOU separation. Oklahoma City has an easy finishing schedule and the tie-breaker against Utah. Whatever losses they can sustain the better. Last, but most obvious, when Utah wins it is good. Utah needs wins.
This was a big game for these two clubs, moreso for New Orleans bigman DeMarcus Cousins because he was playing against the club he played for since they drafted him Top 5 back in 2010. For what it is worth, New Orleans wants to win to hurt the pick they have to give to Sacramento this year. And for what it is worth, part two, Sacramento won the season series against New Orleans 2-1. So in a strange way, Boogie won three times this season in this head-to-head, but ended up on the team that lost the series. The NBA be strange like that sometimes, cuz.
-  Memphis Grizzlies beat the  Dallas Mavericks, 99-90: When your leading scorer is Wesley Matthews, and that score is only 13 points, you’re not going to win a lot.
-  Denver Nuggets lost to the [East 10] Charlotte Hornets, 122-114: Nikola Jokic had another triple double, but his team was trounced in the fourth by 16th.
Memphis winning sucks because they are kinda still around Utah in the standings; however, with only 12 nights left it may be hard for them to catch Utah. Whatever, it still sucks that they won because Memphis does hold the tie-breaker against Utah. Denver losing is bad because how do you lose to a bad East team (that Utah also lost to this year, but whatever)? Denver needs to win if they want to catch and replace Portland in the NBA Playoffs. Jusuf Nurkic is hurt as well, the time to strike is now! Or, I guess more likely, never for these Nuggets.
-  Los Angeles Clippers vs.  Los Angeles Lakers: Yeah, we’re not going to get any help here tonight.
-  Portland Trail Blazers vs.  Phoenix Suns: Hope this game goes to 2OT at least, maybe Devin Booker heats up? Oh wait, that usually means his team is going to lose. Never mind.
-  Minnesota Timberwolves vs.  Sacramento Kings: Hooray for Ping-Pong Balls!
Utah’s not going to get much help tonight, and there really isn’t anything to watch or root for as Jazz fans. I guess this is the time where we look at ourselves, and not so much the other teams?
Naaah. We’re always going to scoreboard watch around this time of the year.