04 March 2009
The Utah Jazz have been enjoying a rare gift from the schedule gods that will slowly come to an end this Sunday the 8th. The Jazz had their best February ever at 11-1 where Deron Williams was nominated and took second in the player of the month votes and Jerry Sloan was voted coach of the month, great job guys! The Jazz should be preparing for one of the toughest stretch’s on their schedule. After Friday’s home game they will have 20 games left where they will face 13 of those 20 on the road. As many know, the Jazz have not had the best road record in the NBA. In fact, it is one of the poorest at 11-17 for projected playoff teams. They must take this opportunity they have been given by the NBA scheduling committee and prove they deserve not only to be in the playoffs, but one of the west’s elite. If the Jazz can go 13-9 for their last 22 games, they will most likely make the playoffs with 50 wins. If they go 16-6, which is very conceivable based on their balanced play of late, they will end the season with 53 wins and most likely go into the playoffs with home court advantage for at least the first round of the playoffs. So, cross your fingers, put on your Jazz gear, and buckle up for these last 22 games!
To get us going on our final stretch we have the Houston Rockets. The Jazz have been able to get reacquainted with their full team over the past 6 games and it will need to pay off tonight against the Rockets who are coming off a win last night at home against the Toronto Raptors. They are getting major contributions from Luis Scola and of course, Yao Ming. They are 8-1 since losing Tracy McGrady for the season and are playing some of the best defense in the league with contributions from Ron Artest and Shane Battier. The Rockets match up with the Jazz fairly well which should give us a great game tonight. The player to watch is D – Will! Deron will be going against second year guard Aaron Brooks who has been playing well since receiving the starting position after the Rafer Alston trade, but will be no match for Deron because of his size and strength. Look for Deron to have a great game tonight with a 30 point 12 assist night. Also, the Jazz are 8-1 when teams come to Utah on the back end of a back to back. The only loss came from the Cleveland Cavaliers and Lebron James. The spread is 7 points in favor of the Jazz so all things considered, we are calling this a Jazz win, 101 to 92. -BB
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