Let’s be honest last night went how we thought it would with the Jazz losing to the Thunder and the Lakers winning against New Orleans. Before the games were played most Jazz fans were talking playoffs and how they thought the Jazz would get in. Most media was the same way after the impressive road win against the Warriors.
After the Jazz fell to the Thunder by ten 90-80, and Kobe went off for 23 in the 4th quarter to escape the Hornets now everything has changed again. Fans all over Twitter and Facebook are saying the Jazz aren’t getting in and the media has now changed to the Lakers are too much of a powerhouse to falter. A poll on ESPN was done before the games yesterday and 54% said the Jazz would make it. After last night a new poll was posted and the Lakers are at a 63% chance of making the playoffs. Why? The games went as planned. Sure it would have been great for the Jazz to win that game with the Thunder lobbying for 1st in the West, but it didn’t happen and now there is more pressure to win the next 3.
First of all I was at ESA last night and that was the quietest crowd for a big game as I’ve ever heard. Was it because it seemed like the Jazz weren’t putting forth effort? A couple threes drop from Foye or Mo or Hayward and we are singing a different tune. The effort (at least defensively) was there. The Jazz held the Thunder to 90 points!?! That’s only the 4th time all season the Thunder have scored that low. The problem was, as it has been all year, that the Jazz started slow again.
Three games left and I don’t care what you hear, but if the Jazz win out they are in. The Lakers will lose at least one game if not two in their last four against Portland, Golden State, San Antonio and Houston. The Warriors are only a game up on the Rockets so the Lakers should have the Warriors playing all out to avoid having to play OKC or San Antonio in the first round. Also the Spurs will be playing to keep the one seed in the West and have home court against the Thunder which would be huge. Plus in the mind of the Spurs it’s a win-win situation because they would knock LA out of the playoffs and get the Jazz who nobody (except some Jazz fans) is thinking can contend and they get home court.
The Rockets game is up in the air to whether they will be playing on the last night or resting their starters. As for the Jazz a back to back with any team is difficult and Minnesota is no different. If somehow they can pull off both of those wins the Jazz play at Memphis, who in my opinion is the team the Jazz match up best against. If Memphis can beat the Clippers on Saturday then almost certainly they won’t be playing for anything on the last night of the season either.
I see the Jazz winning easy in Salt Lake then going to Minnesota and hopefully pulling off a win but I’m guessing it will be closer than we would hope. Then on the last night beating Memphis either way. Likely finishing 2-1
The Lakers will handle the Jr. Blazers tonight who will be most likely starting 4 rookies. Then with three home games I see the Lakers losing to the Warriors and San Antonio if they are both playing at full speed. The Rockets either way I think will lose to the Lakers. Likely finish 2-2
We’ll most likely know by Sunday night if the Jazz are in the Playoffs or not because the Lakers play 3 games by then and the Jazz only play one.