Get ready Utah Jazz fans, the most important part of the 82 game schedule is starting. So we look into it. Also, a trip down memory lane for Gordon Hayward, some math-magic from Andy Blarsen, and a Boris Diaw take over. (Bring your own crepes.)
It’s now March. This is going to be the “make or break” month for the team. So here’s some quick details:
- 16 games in 31 days
- 7 at home / 9 on the road
- Longest home stand: 2 games (1st to 3rd): vs. Timberowlves, vs. Nets
- Longest road trip: 4 games in 6 nights (15th to 20th): @ Pistons, @ Cavaliers, @ Bulls, @ Pacers
- Weird Schedule thingy: pair of consecutive games against Pelicans and Kings. @SAC/vsNOP on 5th and 6th, vsNOP/@SAC on 27th and 29th
- One of those games is on NBA TV, another is on TNT
- Why bring it up? Because those teams had a blockbuster trade at the deadline - but the team that traded for DeMarcus Cousins has yet to win a game
- Number of West Playoff Teams played: 4 (@ Rockets, @ Thunder, vs Clippers, @ Clippers)
- Number of East Playoff Teams played: 5 (@ Pistons, @ Cavaliers, @ Bulls, @ Pacers, vs Wizards)
If the Jazz are “for reals” on the road March should go well. If they aren’t for reals, we’ll all find out quickly. Seven of the 16 games are against the Eastern Conference. The Jazz have a win % of .6957 against the East this year. It’s .8421 if you remove the games against the Celtics and Raptors (shoot first point guards surrounded by four three point shooters).
If the Jazz can take care of the East (BKN, CHI, CLE, DET, IND, NYK, WAS), and handle their stuff against the bad West (MIN, SAC, NOP, NOP, SAC) the team should be okay. These teams comprise 12 of the 16 games in the month. Winning at least 8 of those 12 games should be paramount. The remaining four games (HOU, OKC, LAC, LAC) could go 1-3 for the Jazz and the month could be a success.
Fluff? On YOUR Utah Jazz fan website? Sure. Why not. Here’s some info on Gordon Hayward from Alex Kennedy.
10 things you didn't know about Gordon Hayward: pic.twitter.com/WZri1nTr4j— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) March 1, 2017
How many of these things did you know about him? Probably at least 5 or 6, right?
It kind of sucks to lose to the Oklahoma City Thunder, again, in pretty much the same way. I do take solace that they hit a lot of threes. And it was remarkable.
Approximate odds of a 32 percent 3-point shooting team making 12 3s in a row: 867361 to 1. The Thunder just did it.— Andy Larsen (@andyblarsen) March 1, 2017
Last night was ridiculous. It’s fine. Let’s move on. It’s not likely to ever happen again to the Jazz defense.
Speaking of moving on, the Jazz now play 22 more games this regular season. The amazing Ed Kupfer broke down the remaining schedules for all 30 NBA Teams.
NBA 2016-17 Opponent strength, until today and for rest of the season (HCA adjusted) pic.twitter.com/PNUL0dtwGQ— Ed Küpfer (@EdKupfer) March 1, 2017
NBA 2016-17 Summary of Opponent strength, until today and for rest of the season (HCA adjusted). pic.twitter.com/z6Wh1pkEjq— Ed Küpfer (@EdKupfer) March 1, 2017
What does it mean? Well, the Jazz have the 8th “toughest” remaining schedule. For what it is worth, the San Antonio Spurs (2nd seed), Houston Rockets (3rd seed), and Memphis Grizzlies (6th seed) all have harder remaining schedules. The Los Angeles Clippers (5th seed) is right ahead of the Jazz with the 9th “toughest” remaining schedule. The only team that seems to have any advantage out there out of the Western powers will be the Oklahoma City Thunder, who 15th “easiest” remaining schedule. Big whoop. They still have to play the games and win them.
As for the Jazz, the ace up their sleeve is that they play the Golden State Warriors in Game 81 and the San Antonio Spurs in Game 82. Those two teams, and their great regular season records, unfairly skews how difficult the Jazz finishing schedule will be. Let’s not forget that the #1 and #2 seeds in the West will probably be sitting guys out so close to the Playoffs — especially with their seeds locked in.
Utah will play good teams who aren’t trying to do anything but not get injured. It should work out. I still expect a 50 win season this year. You should too.
Oh yeah, this Boris Diaw takeover is happening.