The Utah Jazz are coming off a year no one outside there fan base could see happening. Making the playoffs with such a young team, and a brand new head coach was out of the range of possible for most. Yet the Jazz found the way to get it done. Game after game the team found a way to come together, and pulled out a must needed victory.
Making the eighth seed in the Western Conference playoffs. Although the Jazz didn’t find a win in the post season, they were still able to gain the experience the playoffs bring. Which in turn is suppose to bring great things for this upcoming season.
In a two part series I will be breaking down, and summing up the Jazz’s upcoming season. This is part one: Pre All-Star break (first 54 games)
The Jazz got no love when it comes to start of there schedule. Eight of there first eleven games are on the road. Seven being split up in a three and four game road trip. In fact, the Jazz don’t receive a 3+ home stand until December 3rd where they host the L.A. Clippers, Orlando Magic, and the Toronto Raptors.
During this pre All-Star game stretch, the Jazz receive four home stands of three games or longer. Three of which are crammed in a stretch of 12 games during the months of January and February.
This is how I broke down each month:
October/November: With 11 of the 17 games on the road, I at first glance didn’t give the Jazz much hope to get off to a good start. But then I looked at the quality of the opposition. The Jazz only have three games where they have no real shot (@San Antonio, Los Angeles Lakers, and at the Oklahoma City Thunder).
Outside of that the Jazz could find themselves in a good position going into the Christmas season. The only big If is if the Jazz can find a way to win on the road, which has been a big issue for them in the past.
December: The Jazz finally find them selves with a home series this month. But also end up with a tough stretch that involves the Lakers, Spurs, and Heat. With the month split with seven games at home and eight on the road, the Jazz could find some good luck in December.
If they can even go .500 on the road games they have a good chance of being where they want to be come January. The issue this month though is the amount of back to back games. The Jazz have four this month (one leaking from November) and have there four game road trip split between two sets of back to backs. This is where the depth of the team will be exposed for what it truly is.
For the Jazz’s sake, I hope the youth of the team can use there young legs to find some W’s during this stretch.
Prediction: 9-6 (17-15 overall)
January: This is the month the Jazz have been waiting for. They get the late Christmas gift of two home stands and zero long road trips (have two trips of two games). With the Lakers and Heat as the only real tough teams this month, the Jazz have to cash in to stay in the tough Western Conference playoff hunt. This month’s key is to win the games your supposed to win. The issue we see is that some teams play to there opponents level instead of there own. If this happens, the Jazz are in trouble.
By this time in the season, I see Tyrone Corbin having his team ready to roll through January.
Prediction 10-4 (27-19 overall)
February: This month is split due to the All Star break, so it seems much shorter than most. The Jazz have eight games to play. five at home including a three game home stand in the middle. There is only one team (OKC) that the Jazz should have an issue with. The key for this month is to finish strong, the Jazz have no reason to have a down month. With a break so close, the Jazz have to put it all on the line to be a serious threat to sustain a playoff spot.
Prediction 5-3 (32-22 overall)
If the Jazz can even come close to my prediction of 32-22, then this half of the season is a success. If not, then I guarantee they failed on one or more of my keys during each of the months. And don’t worry, I will be here to rant about it if it happens.