We’re down to the final weekend of regular season NBA basketball. Kinda wild to think of how fast this season went by. I mean, it was a shortened season, but still. As happens quite frequently, it’s going to come down to the last weekend to determine playoff seeding in the Western Conference. Currently the Jazz have a one game lead over the Phoenix Suns for the 1 seed. Jazz take on the 21-49 Thunder (without several key players) on the road tonight, and the 31-39 Kings on Sunday (who were just recently eliminated from playoff contention. If the Jazz win both games, they will finish the season and enter the playoffs as the 1 seed. Suns hold the tiebreaker over the Jazz, so if the Jazz lose one game the Suns could takeover if they win both of their remaining games, which are both against the San Antonio Spurs. Needless to say, the Jazz need to win this one tonight, it’s big.
When: Friday, May 14th 6:00PM MDT
Where: Chesapeake Arena, Oklahoma City, OK
TV: AT&T SportsNet-Rocky Mountain, NBC Sports Northwest
Radio: KZNS/KTUB, KPOJ
What to watch for
Mike Conley’s Return
Yesterday the Jazz announced that Mike Conley was upgraded from OUT to QUESTIONABLE, who has been recovering from a reaggravated hamstring a few weeks ago. As of 20 minutes ago today, Eric Walden tweeted that Mike Conley will indeed be playing tonight, but on a minutes restriction.
Mike Conley, on why he's playing these last 2 regular season games: "No better way of getting back into a rhythm and getting back into game shape than playing in games." Said he'll be on a minutes restriction, but doesn't know what it'll be.— Eric Walden (@tribjazz) May 14, 2021
This is some great news. Getting Conley back in any format before the playoffs start next week is a good sign. It will be good for him to get some run, and hopefully find a bit of rhythm before stuff gets real next week.
Who will score for the Thunder?
The Thunder are absolutely riddled with injuries right now. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Lu Dort, Ty Jerome, Mike Muscala and Al Horford are all OUT tonight. Who does that leave them with? In Tuesdays loss to the Kings, the Thunder sported a starting lineup of Darius Bazely, Aleksej Pokusevski, Kenrich Williams, Isaiah Roby, and Moses Brown. We can probably expect a similar lineup tonight against the Jazz. Who of this lineup is most-likely to pop off for 30+ against the Jazz? My bet is Kenrich Williams, but we shall see.
Joe Ingles 1,000 career threes
Joe Ingles has had an insane season, and he is nearing an awesome milestone. Right now he is 10 three-pointers away from 1,000 career threes made in the regular season. He would need to have some pretty great games in these last two to hit it this season, but it could definitely happen. If he can knock down 5 or 6 tonight, or heck, maybe even 10, that would be pretty special.
Tony Bradley Revenge game
Watch out for the TB revenge game tonight. Bradley’s been having a solid season this year, and has scored in double-digits 2 of the last 4 games. Seems like something that would happen to the Jazz in a game they need to win, against a injured lottery team in the second-to-last game of the season. But maybe that’s just me being hyper paranoid in these types of situations.