14 April 2012
A road trip that the Jazz needed to win, at the very least two, has them instead returning home losers of two straight. You can talk about which one hurt more all you want. Doesn’t matter. Jazz came away empty handed and in a deep hole.
They now sit two games back of the coveted 8th seed in the Western Conference. With just four games remaining, the Jazz need to finish 4-1 or 5-0. That’s a tough road for a team who still has to face Phoenix and Dallas. Granted those two games are at home. But those are two teams the Jazz have yet to notch a win against this season.
On a night after a disappointing loss against the Hornets the Jazz needed to come out with some fire and grit. And it was there early. They fought and battled through three quarters. And then with the game on the line in the 4th quarter, on a second night of a back to back, Memphis sucked the life right out of the Jazz with pick and roll after pick and roll. And it didn’t help that OJ Mayo hit three 4th quarter daggers from downtown.
When it comes down to it, you can blame injury, you can blame youth, you can put blame just about anywhere. But the Jazz have fought all season. They look like they have just run out of gas down the stretch. A tough, grinding, compressed 66 game season has taken its toll. They have had to fight to get every win this year.
There is still a chance for the playoffs. But it’s slim.
But regardless of what happens, Jazz fans should be proud. We’ve watched a team that was expected to be a bottom dweller fight its way into playoff contention. And we’ve watched a young team grow and mature.
That’s been remarkable and exciting. Something worth cheering about.
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