Here’s a brief update on the playoff rankings as of tonight (11:14 p.m. Utah time to be exact):
Dallas lost 94-89 to Memphis, dropping them into the eighth and final playoff spot.
Phoenix defeated LA 125-105 (suddenly EVERYONE can beat LA) and have once again tied with Utah – except they own the tie breaker.
The Nuggets lost to Golden State 112-97, but remain tied with Dallas and Houston for the sixth, seventh and eighth positions.
Utah and Phoenix are both 1 1/2 games out of playoff contention – but because of Phoenix’s tiebreaker, the Jazz are actually two games out.
The really bad news: Utah faces current number one seed San Antonio (winners of 10 straight) back-to-back, in Texas on Sunday and then in Utah on Monday. These are big games for both teams, as San Antonio is tied with OKC for the numero uno position in the west (the Spurs won the season series 2-1, so own the tiebreaker), and could possibly make a run at Chicago’s league best record (or at least put some distance between themselves and Miami).
If Utah loses both of these games, I have a feeling all hope is, unfortunately, lost. Sure they’d still have nine more games remaining – a miracle COULD happen – but Phoenix, Denver, or Houston, or Dallas needs to lose a number of games for the Jazz to squeeze in (suddenly, those recent losses against Atlanta, Boston, Sacramento, and Phoenix feel that more painful).