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What’s Next for the Utah Jazz?

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The Home Stretch Begins on Friday

NBA: Utah Jazz at Houston Rockets Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The All Star Break is nearing its end and the Utah Jazz are back in action on Friday night. For now, the guys can rest up for a few more days. Then the fun begins.

The Jazz are in the middle of an incredibly tight Western Conference playoff race. In other words, the sky is blue. Every year is a dog fight in the wild West. A night off here and there could cost you home court advantage come playoffs. Which teams will prioritize seeding and which ones will be more concerned about load management?

It hasn’t always been pretty, but if I would have told you that the Jazz would be only 1.5 games from 2nd in the West at the break you would take it right? Well here we are. In fact, it’s been more than 10 years since the Jazz had this good of a record (.667) at the All Star break. Back in 2006-2007, they were at .673. That year concluded in a Western Conference Finals playoff run. Could this be their first return to the conference finals since?

Utah has 28 games remaining on the schedule. Personally, I think getting to the 2nd or 3rd seed is huge this year. Will the Jazz get there?

Remaining Schedule

Personally, I’ve got us at 55 wins. That’s going 19-9 the rest of the way. In the last 10 years, 55 wins in the West would have put you in 2nd, 3rd, 3rd, 3rd, 4th, 4th, 6th, 3rd, 4th, and 2nd. That averages out to 3.4. So the Jazz are absolutely in the mix for home court advantage and avoiding the Lakers in the 2nd round depending on how this home stretch goes.

After a rough patch, the Jazz have been trending in the right direction. Let’s hope that momentum continues during their longest home stretch of the season. Currently, Utah is one of 6 teams with a top 10 offense and a top 10 defense. Those are the Utah Jazz, Milwaukee Bucks, Boston Celtics, LA Lakers, Denver Nuggets, and LA Clippers.

Since the Jordan Clarkson trade, the Utah Jazz own the league’s #1 offense at a rating of 118.0. That’s right, the league’s #1 offense. That’s something we are not accustomed to from such a defensive-minded team. That has come at a cost, however, as during that same timespan the defense ranks as just the 12th best. But the offense has been so good that their net rating is 2nd only to the Milwaukee Bucks.

What say you all? How many wins do the Jazz finish the season with and where will they place in the Wild, Wild West?