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Jazz seek important win against Lakers to avoid play-in tournament

It has come to this

Utah Jazz v Los Angeles Lakers Photo by Chris Elise/NBAE via Getty Images

With just six games left before the playoffs the Utah Jazz are doing everything they can to avoid the play-in tournament. They’ll face the Lakers tonight who will likely be without LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

This is a lot different than what Jazz fans expected from this team at this point in the season. Last year, the Jazz had the #1 record in the entire NBA by the end of the season. This season, they’re looking at just hoping to hold on to the #6 seed. And this was only after giving up a 25-point lead in their last game against Paul George and the Clippers. Side note: it’s almost bizarre how similar that last loss was to the Clippers.

And so we find ourselves here, as fans, not quite knowing how to feel. If you look at this season in a vacuum, it’s not all that bad. The Jazz are going to very likely to make the playoffs, and it’s looking like they will have some nice matchups when they get there. If they land the 6-seed, that could mean Dallas in the first round and avoiding the Phoenix Suns till a potential Western Conference Finals matchup. Not a bad setup at all.

But when you add the context to this season, it’s looking like an absolute free fall right now. In the short term, the Jazz are on a 5-game losing streak heading into the playoffs. If you go to social media and read quotes after the game, it’s a collection players taking shots at each other. If you go and look at player’s “likes” on twitter, well, it’s bad. When you look at this season as a whole, it’s also hard not to feel huge disappointment. The Jazz team, Jazz-owned media sold the fan base a team that was better than last year. Continuity, plus Hassan Whiteside and Rudy Gay would make this team even better. The result? A fan base that is as apathetic going into the playoffs as I’ve ever seen.

Now, the Jazz should get a win tonight. A Lakers team without LeBron James and Anthony Davis should be a relatively easy win. But they still have Russell Westbrook. And I know Westbrook has had a bad year, but against the Jazz he finds a way to take things to another level. A reminder.

Let’s see what happens.


Game Info

When: 8:00 PM MT

Where: Vivent Arena, Salt Lake City, UT

TV: TNT

Radio: 95.9/1280 The Zone, Utah Jazz App