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Rough December ahead for Utah Jazz

Christmastime may not be so merry for the Jazz.

Utah Jazz v Chicago Bulls Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Every week is seems as though a new tone is being set for the Jazz. One week they’re on top of the world, the next the sky is falling. Right now the feeling is the latter. There’s definitely hope for the future, but right now it’s best that everyone brace themselves for the next few weeks.

So December is usually the month defined by holiday cheer. The snow is enough of a novelty that it brings a few smiles (for those not driving) and the full-on Christmas music blasting from all sides fills everyone’s soul with gladness. It’s safe to say the Jazz won’t be whistling a cheery holiday tune this holiday season though.

Quin Snyder calling December “miserable” might be the understatement of the year. Utah will not play a single team that isn’t currently sitting in a playoff spot the rest of the month. And they will play the top two teams in both conferences. For visual learners like myself, here’s the breakdown.

Today - @ Boston

Dec. 16 (tomorrow) - @ Cleveland

Dec. 18 - @ Houston

Dec. 20 - @ Oklahoma City

Dec. 21 - vs San Antonio

Dec. 23 - vs Oklahoma City

Dec. 26 - @ Denver

Dec. 27 - @ Golden State

Dec 30. - vs Cleveland

It is very possible that the Jazz will not win another game the rest of the calendar year. With a four-game losing streak already under way, Utah could find themselves on a 13-game skid and a 13-24 record come January.

That may be a little pessimistic. But what games on that schedule are wins?

The Jazz are playing the Celtics tonight. You may have forgotten (probably not) since with Gordon Hayward sidelined for the year the game is not quite as heavily circled on the calendar. But for Hayward, it’s still a momentous occasion to be seeing his old team again — even if he’ll be wearing street clothes.

In an interview, Hayward suggested he might meet up with some members of his former squad.

I hope that obliterating his ankle somehow caused Hayward to forget the entire summer and the painful breakup with the Jazz because otherwise this is complete bovine excrement. Maybe I’m crazy, but I don’t get the feeling that anyone on Utah’s roster feels like buddy-ing up with Hayward right about now.

Speaking of former Jazz players, Trey Burke had essentially his basketball life story told in a first-person telling (though written by Alex Busch). It’s a good read and I’d recommend it no matter your opinion of Burke and his time in the Beehive State.

There’s a lot to the story and having read it I feel I understand the former lottery pick. He’s still got a massive chip on his shoulder, though, as evidenced by what he said at the end.

I deserve to be in the NBA because I respect the game and I’m an ultimate competitor. I’m going to play at 110 percent every night. I think that everyone that comes to our games can see that, the love that I have for the game. At the same time, I believe that I have a great competitive nature – anyone wants to play with that.

I’m 25-years old and have a lot of basketball left in me. I still believe that I am one of the best scorers in the world, and that has to be my mentality. Everybody is entitled to their own opinion, but I believe that given the opportunity I could help a team win at the NBA level. I knew it wasn’t going to just be given to me, but I know that where I’m at in my career.

This attitude is admirable and delusional at the same time (mostly due to the “one of the best scorers” part). But it was this mental fortitude that got him quite a bit of praise during his rookie year in Utah.

A previously little-known fact about Jazz power forward Jonas Jerebko is that he owns an eSports franchise.

The Renegades, based in Detroit, fields competitive teams in Counter-Strike, Overwatch, Paladins, Rocket League and Super Smash Bros.

In case you missed it, the Utah Jazz’s Nike City jersey got leaked on NBA 2k, along with basically everyone else’s.

Love it or hate it, you’re going to see the Jazz suit up in that at some point this season.