One game out of 8th place in the West, 3 games out of 6th and one crazy hard schedule to finish. The Lakers were supposed to lose last night in Indiana but shot lights out from 3 and came away with probably their most impressive win of the season. Houston came back from a 17 point hole to Minnesota and Golden State laid an egg at home against the Bulls.
17 games left with 10 of them at home make it a possibility for the Jazz to still get in. The key will be getting all of the tough games at home especially these next two against Memphis and the Knicks. Jazz lose these and my guess is they will lose any competition left in them for the rest of the season. A win against Memphis tonight would go a long way in giving confidence back to this deflated team. The magic number for the Jazz I believe will be 11, not impossible but very difficult. Jazz will have to most likely pull off wins against Memphis, New York, 1 of 3 on the Texas road trip, Brooklyn, Denver, OKC and one other road game (preferably @ Golden State). Luckily the key is at home where the Jazz have a 23-8 record. Win all the home games and the pressure is back on the Lakers or possibly even on Golden State or Houston.
If the Jazz go 6-3 to finish off March (should be done), expect the Jazz to be tied or a game out with 8 to go where they have a pretty reasonable schedule in April. Understandably that is a lot to ask for when they recently showed no fight against NYK and OKC, but I believe in this team at home and when they are playing together this team can be hard to beat. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still an outside shot of getting in but every night should feel like a playoff type atmosphere. In two weeks we might look back at that road trip and wonder what if the Jazz would’ve won 2 or three of those games OR we could be looking at the past 2 weeks realizing that we just beat some solid teams and have an equal chance to get in the playoffs as any of the other three teams.