If there’s one word that can describe this Utah Jazz team, it’s grit.
Tonight will be their 26th game of the season. That’s more games played than anyone in the league. They’ve played 1210 minutes as a team, more than anyone in the league. They’ve been without Mike Conley now for 7 games and will likely be without him tonight. They did have a 5-game slide without him but have adjusted and are now looking as strong as ever. All that adversity and they still sit at #6 in the NBA. They have won with a relentless style of crashing the glass, passing the ball, shooting efficient shots and never relenting. With that tenacity they have the #3 offense in the league and it doesn’t appear it will slow down at any point.
The other side of the coin is they have the #22 defense in the league. That may improve since the Jazz have had one of the hardest schedules in the league. In fact, it almost has to. With the rest of their schedule loosening up, it’s more likely than anything that the Jazz will see their defense jump to the upper teens? Regardless, and barring any more significant injuries, the Jazz will be a playoff team this season. And that’s something to celebrate. For a team that was left for dead by the media and former players looking to make their way to a bigger market, it’s one of the best stories in the league.
Tonight, the Jazz will go up against the Portland Trail Blazers who have been struggling with the loss of their lead guard, Damian Lillard. It’s no surprise that missing one of the best guards in the league is hurting the Blazers, this gives the Jazz an opportunity to add another win to their total. With the struggles they’ve overcome this season, what’s another back-to-back at home? They’ve certainly overcome worse.
When: 7:00 p.m. MT
Where: Vivint Arena | Salt Lake City, Utah
Radio: 97.5/1280 The Zone