The Utah Jazz take on the Sacramento Kings tonight in the regular season finale for both teams. Even though the Kings are facing yet another long offseason after not making the playoffs this year and they have several key players out for this game, don’t expect them to just rollover and not play hard. The Jazz are looking to wrap up the #1 seed in the west tonight and I’m sure that the Kings would like nothing more than to spoil the Jazz’s run at the top of the standings this year. Also, the last time that these two teams played the Jazz put up historically great offensive numbers and the Kings will no doubt be looking to prevent that from happening again. Hopefully the Jazz don’t have any trouble and can secure the win so that they can go into the playoffs with home court advantage throughout.
The Kings come into this game after recently being eliminated from any hope of making the playoffs or the play in games. The last time the Kings made it to the playoffs was the 2005-2006 season, making it 15 years since the franchise has made it to the postseason. After their elimination was made official, the Kings decided to shut down the core that they are trying to build around. De’Aaron Fox, Tyrese Haliburton, Harrison Barnes, Marvin Bagley III and Richaun Holmes will all be out today. Even though this game might seem like a foregone conclusion, the Jazz should not overlook whoever does play tonight because for some it will be a chance to audition for 29 other teams. Little known Kings reserve Louis King scored a game high 27 points on Friday in the Kings narrow loss to the Grizzlies. “A lot of people don’t get this chance……not everyone in the NBA can say they got the opportunity to play a lot of big minutes…….”. The Jazz have to be careful not to overlook players who are trying to make a big impression.
Utah will enter this game knowing whether or not they need to pick up the win because if the Phoenix Suns lose to the San Antonio Spurs earlier Sunday then this game becomes meaningless in terms of seeding. I’m sure that Mike Conley will still play some minutes but if the Jazz already have the #1 seed wrapped up by tipoff, then look for most of the starters to play no more than the 1st half. With Sacramento announcing that most of their regular rotation guys are out today there is not much that can be said other than the Jazz have to get this win. Even if the game is meaningless, let’s hope that the competitive fire of seldom used Jazz players overpowers the competitiveness of the seldom used Kings players and we can get win #52. This really just comes down to pride and the Jazz having the desire to put an exclamation mark on one of the greatest seasons in franchise history.
Even though the Jazz still have (hopefully)a long playoff run ahead of them it is always kind of bittersweet when the regular season comes to a close. It’s fun to think back to all the highlights of the regular season while still looking forward to the playoffs. Let’s hope that the Jazz give us one more highlight tonight and give us even more reason to be excited for the postseason.
What To Watch For:
The Jazz put the Oklahoma City Thunder away quickly in their last game. We will be watching this game to see if they can put the game out of reach by halftime for two reasons. One for the regular rotation players to play less and thus avoid a potentially devastating injury and two so that the Jazz and their fans can enjoy a stress free win and avoid losing by a fluke buzzer beater or something like what happened in 2019.
We will also be scoreboard watching today to see how the final standings shake out and who gets to face off in the play in games for the chance to be 7th and 8th seed. Answer in the comments who you would rather face if the Jazz do get the #1 seed; the Trail Blazers, Lakers, Warriors, Grizzlies or Spurs?
When: Sunday, May 16th 7:00PM MDT
Where: Golden 1 Center, Sacramento, CA
TV: AT&T SportsNet-Rocky Mountain
Radio: 97.5 FM/1280 AM