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Will the Utah Jazz win 50 games?

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Eclipsing the half-century mark in wins is something only two Utah teams have done in the last decade

Utah Jazz v Phoenix Suns Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

As a franchise, the Utah Jazz are responsible for 15 50-win seasons across 45 seasons of existence. Just two of those have occurred in the last decade of Jazz basketball (2009-10 and 2016-17).

With 10 games left in the regular season, Utah stands eight wins away from a 16th 50-win campaign. Reaching that mark means more than just optimizing the team’s playoff seeding. A 50-win is a mark of prestige and it commands respect.

Clearing that win plateau has also signaled at least marginal playoff success for the Jazz. Only three of the franchises 50-win teams have left the playoffs after one round and none since 2001 (Utah’s had four 50-win seasons since that early playoff exit).

With that in mind, here are the remaining games the Jazz will play.

  • March 23 at Chicago
  • March 25 vs Phoenix
  • March 27 vs Los Angeles Lakers
  • March 29 vs Washington
  • April 1 vs Charlotte
  • April 3 at Phoenix
  • April 5 vs Sacramento
  • April 7 vs Los Angeles Lakers
  • April 9 vs Denver
  • April 10 vs Los Angeles Clippers

Home Games: 6

Road Games 5

Back-to-backs: 1

That schedule is remarkably soft, much like the early season’s slate was remarkably hard for the Jazz. Only two of the teams remaining are currently playoff teams, Denver and the Clippers. Utah will have to close their season out in a back-to-back against those two, but by then it’s possible for the Jazz to have already reached 50 since they’ll play eight non-playoff and/or tanking teams before then.

Prior to the Atlanta game, FiveThirtyEight pegged the Jazz to get 51 wins with its CARMELO projections. That remains a very possible goal. Utah will likely go into each of its next eight matchups as the favorite and with health, they should win most. Win either or both of the Nuggets/Clippers back-to-back and the odds go even higher.

At this point, it’s not so much about whether or not the Jazz can win any of these games, it’s whether or not they’ll take care of business against teams they should be objectively better than. Utah’s shown they don’t always do that, but they are 12-3 against these last 10 opponents. The Jazz are poised for sweeps against Chicago, Phoenix, Washington, Charlotte, and Los Angeles Clippers.

So where would 50 wins put the Jazz playoff seeding-wise? FiveThirtyEight’s projection slots Utah as the five seed behind the Warriors, Nuggets, Rockets and Trail Blazers. Were that to happen, it would be the third consecutive year the Jazz finished at 5th (and hopefully the third straight first round win as the underdog team in the 4/5 matchup).

Poll

Will the Jazz win 50 games this year?

This poll is closed

  • 70%
    Yes
    (406 votes)
  • 29%
    No
    (166 votes)
572 votes total Vote Now