Jazz could crack playoff picture if they sweep next 5 games
The results are in and they pretty much as we always expected. Playing in the Western Conference is brutal for any team looking to be competitive. It’s an insurmountable fact that the 15 conference team will always end the season with a slug out, and some deserving team will end up missing out due to high competition.
There is a large enough sample of games to see that the war is on, and the Utah Jazz are a perfect case of how tough it is just to make the playoffs.
Sunday night, the Jazz won a tough matchup against a red-hot New Orleans Pelicans led by Anthony Davis on the road. Not only was the tie-breaker on the line, but Utah had a streak going which was on the line in that game.
Utah defeated the Pelicans 116-99, advancing its road win streak to 11 in a row. The team has also won eight of its last 10 games. Without question, the Jazz are on an incredible run at the right time, which brought their record to 37-30, which currently sets them at 10th place in the Western Conference.
Here is where we find the problem in playing in such a hard to win in conference. As great as the Jazz winning streaks are, they aren’t out of the woods by a mile. The Clippers, Spurs, and Jazz all have nearly identical or better records and can dash the Jazz playoff hopes on any given day.
So what would it take for the Jazz to give themselves the best shot to qualify for the playoffs if the other bottom half contenders are struggling to get wins?
Utah's next 5 games: home vs DET, PHX, SAC, ATL, @ DAL. Clips, Spurs, Thunder (kinda) all w/ tough stretches during that same span. Go 5-0, Utah should jump into top-8.
— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) March 12, 2018
Even with a monstrous amount of wins to boot, they have to at least win the next 5 games as well to reach the 8th spot. This also takes into account other teams not doing so well, and there are no guarantees.
While the rest of the schedule will be a dogfight, that’s what makes the games so intriguing, no one can hold back at this point.