Dec 18, 2013; Orlando, FL, USA; Utah Jazz point guard Trey Burke (3) drives to the basket as Orlando Magic power forward Andrew Nicholson (44) attempts to defend during the second half at Amway Center. Utah Jazz defeated the Orlando Magic 86-82. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Road Warriors

 

Last night, the Utah Jazz got a career night out of their young rookie point guard, Trey Burke. Burke finished the game with 30 points, 8 assists, 7 rebounds, and only 2 turnovers, as the Jazz went on to beat the Orlando Magic 86-82.

With the win, the Jazz are now 4-11 on the road this season. The wins have been very recently. The Jazz, after last night, have now won 4 of their last 6 games on the road. A pretty rare occasion for the Jazz.

 

 

The road wins have come against the Phoenix Suns, Sacramento Kings, Denver Nuggets, and now the Orlando Magic. During these games 6 games, the Jazz have averaged 102.5 points per game. Their season average on the road, prior to last night, has been 93.1 points per game. To add to that, the point differential in those 4 wins, is + 10.8. On the season, the Jazz’s point differential is -8.4.

Another impressive stat to look at during the last 3 road games, the Jazz have had at least one player score 30 points. In Denver, it was Gordon Hayward who got to 30. Then against the two-time defending champion Miami Heat, it was Alec Burks who finished with 31. Then last night, the Jazz got 30 from Trey Burke. Scoring 30 points or more in an NBA game is already a tough thing. To do it on the road is usually a tougher task. For the Jazz to have 3 guys do it in 3 games is an amazing thing for this young team.

So what does this mean? Are the Jazz now really good and are going to win a lot of road games? Probably not. As impressive as the 4 out of 6 wins are, the 2 losses really said a lot about this team. The 2 losses came against the Portland Trail Blazers, who are the best team in the Western Conference, and against the Miami Heat, which their track record is self-explanatory. Against Portland, the Jazz gave up 19 made 3 point shots, at the time was a new NBA-record for made 3’s in a game. The Blazers have since broken their own record set that night. Against the Heat, they seen 2nd half breakdowns that saw a close game and a halftime lead, fall apart and get blown out. In the 2 losses, the average margin of defeat for the Jazz was 27.5 points.

The Jazz are getting a lot better every game, especially with Trey Burke in the lineup. However, the 2 losses speak volumes about where this team stands as a team. They are improving, but against playoff-caliber teams, the Jazz get beaten up. It is exciting, though, to see this team’s improvement on a game-to-game basis. The Jazz are currently 1-1 on their 5 game road trip, with their remaining games coming against the Atlanta Hawks, who are 1 game over .500, the Charlotte Bobcats and Memphis Grizzlies, who both have a losing record. The games are winnable, but which track record do you look at more? The 4 out of the last 6 road wins? Or the Jazz’s terrible road record in the past? However you look at it, one thing is for sure. The future is very bright in Utah.

What record will the Jazz finish with on their current 5-game road trip?

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