What Must Jazz Accomplish In Second Half Of Season?
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – With four games left to play and a 3.5 lead on the Los Angeles Clippers for the top seed in the Western Conference, the Utah Jazz are likely to enter the All-Star owning the top record in the NBA.
On Wednesday, the NBA released the second half of the regular season schedule, and the Jazz projected to have the easiest strength of schedule of any remaining team.
In the latest episode of the Jazz Notes Podcast, Ben Anderson of KSL Sports and Krysten Peek of Yahoo Sports discuss the Jazz and what they need to do in the second half of the season.
What Do Jazz Have To Prove This Season?
The Jazz currently sit at 26-6 and have won nine of their last 10 games, including Wednesday night’s 114-89 shellacking of the Los Angeles Lakers thanks to 22 made three-pointers.
“I don’t know how they keep this amazing three-point shooting up,” Peek said. “I would be shocked if they did for the second half and the remainder of the season.”
The Jazz currently ranks third in the NBA in three-point shooting percentage and first in threes made per game. The team set a league record connecting on 50 total three-pointers over the last two games.
“I feel like there’s always peaks and valleys in the season,” Peek said. “So how long are they going to ride this? Because you don’t want to your highest point in February.”
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The Jazz will have 37 games to play in the final half of the regular season beginning on March 12 against the Houston Rockets.
Anderson echoed Peek’s thoughts on letting regular-season success overshadow postseason goals.
“These 11-game winning streaks, these nine-game win streaks, the streaks become bigger than the overall season, it kind of overtakes the big picture,” Anderson said. “And then teams start feeling that weight.”
As result, the Jazz may want to rest players more in the second half of the season to limit roster burnout before the postseason.
“You can burn out over a 37 game stretch in the second half of the season if you’re getting caught up in the idea that you’ve got to be eight games in front of the Lakers,” Anderson said.
Otherwise, Peek is a believer in the Jazz as one of the best teams in the NBA>
“I don’t think there’s anything that they could or couldn’t do right now to not make me think that they’re a true contender in the West,” Peek said. “I’ve seen enough in the first half.”
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