There are still 17 games left to play in the NBA season, but based on the tension in the Western Conference playoff race, you’d think there were only five. Playoff projections are all over the place, but most have the Jazz slipping into the playoffs. Not sure whether that’s good or not with jinxes and whatnot, but we’ll call it good for now.
There are plenty of playoff projections out there, with FiveThirtyEight being a popular one. Basketball Reference also released one and it had the Jazz coming in eighth in the Western Conference.
Looking at these projections, you can see just how little wiggle-room there is. Rounding the win/loss totals, the Jazz would finish at 45-37, just one game behind the Oklahoma City Thunder and San Antonio Spurs (46-36) but just one game ahead of the Denver Nuggets and Los Angeles Clippers (44-38)
To clarify, that means one game could put the Jazz out of the playoffs completely or skyrockets them into the middle of the playoff standings.
This whole playoff scramble started to develop right around when the Jazz started their 11-game winning streak as you can see in this graph.
I’m not sure if the Jazz caused all of this, but there has been a convergence of all the teams 3-10 in the last month or so and now they’re all within a handful of games.
Before he was drafted, Rudy Gobert did an interview and one question was about his goals for when he turned 25. The French bigman turned 25 early last summer (he’ll be 26 this year) but let’s hear what he had to say
Pre-draft interview with a young @rudygobert27 on his goal at age 25 (he's 25 now) #TakeFnNote pic.twitter.com/qYOcytZl7o— Adam (@prodigyJF) March 9, 2018
Rudy Gobert didn’t get super detailed in terms of his goals, but did say he’d like to be one of the “best players, best something, in the NBA.” And I think it’s safe to say he is definitely the best rim-protector in the NBA and he’s on his way to being the best center in the league.
Louisville basketball fans have needed something to keep their minds off the FBI investigation and the fallout from it. Donovan Mitchell has been there to help them just as much as he’s helped Jazz fans get over Gordon Hayward.
In Utah’s most recent game, a win over the Indiana Pacers, some Louisville fans made the trip to see the former Cardinal as reported by Eric Woodyard of the Deseret News.
“At least 150 supporters from the University of Louisville made the two-hour drive to see the slam dunk champion lead the Jazz to a 104-84 win against the Pacers live. He would end with 20 points, six assists and three rebounds in Utah’s ninth consecutive road victory. It also marked his rookie-best 33rd game with 20-plus points.”
It’s worth noting that in 65 games over two years at Louisville, Mitchell had nine games of 20 or more points. He has 33 in 62 games with the Jazz.
On a bit of a side-note, a lot of kids who learn to play basketball will often get early coaching from their dad, but Royce O’Neale said he learned his jumpshot thanks to his mom.
Turns out @BucketsONeale00's mom taught him everything he knows. #NBAVoices #IWD2018 pic.twitter.com/VC4amRtuMX— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) March 8, 2018
Good to see that moms are getting credit for coaching advice along with the moral support they give.