The Utah Jazz play tonight for game one of their six game road trip. Here's how it will all break down:
|1||Fri||Feb||28||2014||Utah Jazz (21-36)||@||Cleveland Cavaliers (23-36)||10th Seed||Quicken Loans Arena|
|3||Sun||Mar||2||2014||Utah Jazz (21-36)||@||Indiana Pacers (44-13)||1st Seed||Bankers Life Fieldhouse|
|4||Mon||Mar||3||2014||Utah Jazz (21-36)||@||Milwaukee Bucks (11-46)||15th Seed||B2B||3in4||BMO Harris Bradley Center|
|6||Wed||Mar||5||2014||Utah Jazz (21-36)||@||Washington Wizards (30-28)||5th Seed||3in4||Verizon Center|
|8||Fri||Mar||7||2014||Utah Jazz (21-36)||@||New York Knicks (21-37)||11th Seed||Madison Square Garden|
|9||Sat||Mar||8||2014||Utah Jazz (21-36)||@||Philadelphia 76ers (15-43)||14th Seed||B2B||3in4||Wells Fargo Center|
Game 1: @ CLE (23-36, 14-15 at home)
This is the Trey Burke return game to his home state. The last time he had a 'return' game had him whooping on the Detroit Pistons in front of a crowd that cheered loudest for him. That's not going to be the case tonight as he faces off against NBA All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving. Irving is playing okay for him, but the main problem here for the Cavaliers is that they have a ton of injuries. Anderson Varejao, Dion Waiters, C.J. Miles, and Carrick Felix are out for tonight. If you look at their depth chart that means their bigman "rotation" is Spencer Hawes, Tyler Zeller, and two Canadians (Tristan Thompson and Anthony Bennett). More pressing is their big hole at shooting guard. Right now Kyrie Irving and Jarrett Jack both start -- and Waiters, Miles, and Felix are all SGs who are injured. The wing spot isn't completely anemic, they do have Luol Deng there, but Alonzo Gee can't do much. If you haven't noticed two of our top five players are shooting guards in Gordon Hayward and Alec Burks. This could be a novelty for Jazz fans -- a situation where our high impact non-point guards take over a game for us.
Still, this should be Trey Burke's most important game of the season. He's going up against an All-Star and will have plenty of supporters in the crowd. Cleveland isn't good at home, but in their last game they did beat the Oklahoma City Thunder. That's pretty good, right? In OKC? They were deadly from the line and played defense without fouling. Cleveland isn't supposed to be tanking, but they are only 1.0 game away from us in the tank rank. Jazz should fight hard in this game, but so should the Cavs.
The injury situation seems to be in our favor. A good coach would have us winning this one.Even a bad one should. But the Cavs are 7-3 in their last 10, and at home. I say that they win tonight.
Game 2: @ IND (44-13, 28-3 at home)
The Pacers are the best team in the East, have the best record in the entire NBA, and also have the best home court record in the entire NBA. George Hill is day to day, but they are, seriously, going to pound on us. This is a "home town" game for Gordon Hayward too, but he's going to be seeing a lot of losses coming home for a while with how well the Pacers are built. I don't need to get too deep into this. This should be another loss.
Game 3: @ MIL (11-45, 6-23 at home)
The Bucks are the worst team in the East, and the League. And we play them right after facing the best. The Bucks don't want to win, but it will be our second game of a back to back set, and the third game in four nights. We'll be tired, but should put up a fight and win this one. Milwaukee is without Carlos Delfino, Larry Sanders, and Ekpe Udoh. I'm not afraid of their bigmen who are left (Zaza Pachulia and Ersan Ilyasova don't do it for me). But they still have a ton of guards in Brandon Knight, Ramon Sessions, Nate Wolters, O.J. Mayo, and there's always Giannis Antetokounmpo to deal with. But they are a really, really, bad team. Especially at home.
We should win, but as Zaza said:
Game 4: @ WAS (30-28, 15-14 at home)
I can't explain how good the Wizards are playing right now. John Wall is a wrecking ball. Or, like, Gandalf or something right now. Nene is out, Kevin Seraphin is banged up, but Marcin Gortat (now no longer a member of the Phoenix Suns) should be tough enough to bang, unless he still has PTSD.
Wizards are playing well, and I don't seem them screwing up at home.
Game 5: @ NYK (21-37, 12-19 at home)
Man, the Knicks are a mess. They are in "win now" mode, but they need to hit the reset switch it something. Carmelo Anthony is balling, and playing the four. Why? Well, because Kenyon Martin and Andrea Bargnani are out, and Amare Stoudemire now has the athleticism of Greg Ostertag. Raymond Felton ("boom boom" Felton?) isn't scary, but Tim Hardaway Jr. has been playing very well. It's always fun to play in MSG, and we rarely seem to play well there. But this Knicks team doesn't even play with pride. If we lose this game we should be upset with our team.
I'd be happy to be wrong though, as the Jazz and Knicks are very close in the Tank standings. We should do them a favor and lose this game. So, because that's what I think, I guess the Jazz win this one.
Game 6: @ PHI (15-42, 8-22 at home)
A team cannot lose to the Sixers at this point in the season. They just won't let it happen. Sure, it'll be the second game in a back to back set, the third game in four nights, and the sixth game in nine . . . but still. They are the Sixers. One of their best bigs this year is Brandon Davies. They traded for Eric Maynor. Byron Mullens starts for them. You cannot lose to this team.
So . . . . ?
So the big, bad, road trip could be a 3-3 trip because half the teams we're playing are really bad right now. Keep on climbing for that 10th seed in the West, Jazz!