The Utah Jazz trek out East for their last long Eastern Conference Road trip of the season. As members of the tougher, more competitive Western Conference it's normal for us to shame the East (Seriously. Feel some shame.) To punctuate this point, the toughest team we'll face on this Eastern conference road trip is a team physically located in the East, but actually in the Western Conference -- the #2 seed Memphis Grizzlies. After that the Jazz will play three teams with a combined record of 61-114. That's a 34.9% winning percentage combined, which is lower than the Jazz' 39.7%.
Utah faces the toughest team tonight, then bounce over to Boston for Game 2 of a back-to-back set. You could argue that makes the meeting against their East Peers, the #11 seed, harder than it should be. But the Celtics beat the Jazz in Utah weeks ago. I hope this team didn't forget that, but evidence points to a good chance at a bounce back as Utah lost to Orlando in Utah, then beat Orlando in Orlando. The same could happen on Wednesday night.
Philly is tanking for the second straight season. A loss here would be straight up unprofessional.
Brooklyn just beat the Golden State Warriors and are fighting for their playoff lives. They made some moves and are a "new look" team with potential Jazz-killer Thaddeus Young and others. Deron Williams / Joe Johnson / Brook Lopez / Mason Plumlee are an interesting group. I am just not that sold on their wings right now, besides JJ.
Utah should go 3-1 on this trip, while 2-2 is more likely. Years ago 2-2 on an East trip would be more than acceptable, but I feel like as fans our opinions on what is now acceptable have changed.