Ben AndersonSportsUtah Jazz

Previewing The Close To The Season For The Jazz And Suns

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Utah Jazz will travel to face the Phoenix Suns tonight in a battle between the top two teams in the Western Conference.

The Jazz currently own a one-game lead over the Suns, but by way of a tie-breaker, whoever wins tonight’s game will emerge as the top team in the West heading into the final nine games of the season.

In the latest episode of the Jazz Notes Podcast, Gina Mizell of Suns.com joined Ben Anderson from KSL Sports to preview the game, and looked at what lies ahead for both teams as they prepare to close the season.

You can listen to the full episode in the player below.

Resetting The Jazz And Suns

On April 19, the Jazz held a 1.5 game lead over the Suns with five upcoming games against the Los Angeles Lakers, the Houston Rockets, the Timberwolves twice, and the Kings.

The Suns meanwhile faced an intimidating gauntlet against the Milwaukee Bucks, Philadelphia 76ers, Boston Celtics, Brooklyn Nets, New York Knicks, and Los Angeles Clippers.

The Jazz managed to go 3-2 in the stretch which isn’t bad considering they didn’t have Donovan Mitchell for any of the five games and lost Mike Conley before facing the Kings. However, it wasn’t enough to extend their lead over the red hot Suns.

Phoenix went a surprising 4-2 during one of the toughest stretches of games any team will face this season and actually made up a half-game against the Jazz during the streak.

Now, the two teams will face off tonight in Phoenix with a chance for the Suns to pass the Jazz for the best record in the NBA.

The Jazz will be without Mitchell and Conley once again, so it seems likely the Jazz will return to Utah without the best record in the NBA for the first time since February 1.

What Do Jazz And Suns Have Left

All hope for the top spot in the NBA at the season’s end isn’t lost for the Jazz, however. Here’s how the final nine games shake out for each team after they face one another tonight.

Jazz: 

vs. Toronto (Fighting for play-in tournament)

vs. San Antonio (Fighting for play-in tournament)

vs. San Antonio (Fighting for play-in tournament)

vs. Denver (Fighting for playoff seeding)

vs. Houston (Tanking)

@ Golden State (Fighting for play-in tournament)

vs. Portland (Fighting for play-in tournament)

@ Oklahoma City (Tanking)

@ Sacramento (No Playoff Hope)

Suns:

@ Oklahoma City (Tanking)

@ Cleveland (Tanking)

@ Atlanta (Fighting for playoff seeding)

vs. New York (Fighting for playoff seeding)

@ Los Angeles Lakers (Fighting for playoff seeding)

@ Golden State (Fighting for play-in tournament)

vs. Portland (Fighting for play-in tournament)

@ San Antonio (Fighting for play-in tournament)

@ San Antonio (Fighting for play-in tournament)

In total, the Jazz will play six of their nine games against teams vying for a playoff spot, though only one of those games (Denver) is against a team that will guarantee themselves a spot in a seven-game first-round series.

Their games against Toronto, San Antonio, Golden State, and Portland will come against teams that could make the playoffs but will have to win games in the play-in tournament to qualify for a first-round playoff series.

Two of the teams the Jazz will face are tanking (Thunder and Rockets) while they’ll face the Kings in the final game of the season who have nothing to play for.

Of the final nine games, six will be played in Salt Lake City.

The Suns’ final stretch features several of the same teams as the Jazz, though seven of their nine games will be played away from home.

Phoenix will play three teams fighting for actual playoff seeding (Hawks, Knicks, Lakers) and four games against teams jockeying to earn a spot in the play-in tournament (Warriors, Trail Blazers, and Spurs 2x).

If the Jazz can surprise the Suns and win in Phoenix it would go a long way towards clinching the top spot in the West, otherwise, they’re in for a dog fight over the final nine games of the season.

You can subscribe to the Jazz Notes Podcast here

Show More

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker