ESPN Projects Jazz To Finish Fourth In West

Jul 22, 2020, 12:43 PM | Updated: 10:41 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – ESPN projected that the Utah Jazz will finish with the fourth-best record in the West ahead of the NBA’s restart in Orlando. Using the site’s basketball power index, ESPN projects the Jazz having favorable odds of winning six of their final eight games before beginning the postseason. The projection would leave the Jazz with a record of 47-25 to finish the season.

According to ESPN, the Jazz have a 31 percent chance of finishing with the West’s fourth seed. The site lists the Jazz as having 22.2 percent chance of finishing fifth, a 22 percent chance of finishing third, a 14.8 percent chance of finishing sixth, a 7.7 percent chance of finishing seventh, and a 2.3 percent chance of finishing the second. Due to current standings, the Jazz are unable to finish with the Wests’s top seed, or fall further than seventh.

Ahead of the restart, the Jazz hold the West’s fourth-best record with a record of 41-13. The Jazz are one game ahead of both the Oklahoma City Thunder and Houston Rockets. The team trails the Denver Nuggets by 1.5 games.

Projected Playoff Matchup

Due to the Rockets and Thunder having equal records heading into the NBA restart, neither team’s best odds project them to finish with the fifth record in the West. However, the Thunder hold a slight edge to earn the fifth spot to close the season. The Thunder have a 28.9 percent chance of finishing fifth and a 29.4 percent chance of finishing sixth. Meanwhile, the Rockets have a 23.1 percent chance of finishing fifth, and a 27.5 percent chance of finishing sixth.

The Jazz have the fifth easiest remaining schedule, though ESPN’s easiest projected wins may be surprising. Though rosters have been finalized for teams returning to the Orlando bubble, how teams will approach each game remains in question. With limited games remaining, some teams may prefer to rest starters in anticipation of their playoff run. Likewise, some teams will be eliminated from playoff contention early in the season’s restart. Those teams may opt to play younger players in preparation for next season.

ESPN projects the Jazz of having the best odds to defeat the Memphis Grizzlies in game four of their schedule. The Grizzlies hold the eighth seed in the West and will be trying to hold off several teams vying for the final playoff spot. The Jazz have a 67.3 percent chance of winning their matchup with the Grizzlies.

Unsurprisingly, the site projects the Jazz to have their struggle earning a win over the Los Angeles Lakers. The Jazz face the Lakers in the third game of their schedule, and just a 39 percent chance of winning of beating the West’s top seed.

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