Jazz Guaranteed .500 Record After Thrashing Blazers

Mar 9, 2022, 11:01 PM | Updated: Mar 14, 2022, 3:28 pm
Utah Jazz forward Bojan Bogdanovic drives against the Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by Alex Goodlet...
Utah Jazz forward Bojan Bogdanovic drives against the Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)
(Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Jazz got their easiest victory of the season as they crushed the undermanned Portland Trail Blazers 123-85.

Quin Snyder rested his starters for the entire fourth quarter as no Jazz player recorded more than 24 minutes in the blowout win.

With the victory, the Jazz moved to 41-24 on the season, guaranteeing themselves a record of .500 or better for the sixth consecutive season.

Most Lopsided Game Of The Year

Portland has been historically bad over the last six games, with five of their six losses now coming by at least 30 points.

The Trail Blazers’ average margin of loss was 31.2 points per game heading into Utah as they’d been outscored by a combined 156 points over their last five games, and the Jazz only added to their woes.

Quin Snyder easily could have pulled his starters earlier in the game, but with one month remaining in the season, and the full roster having spent such little time together throughout while healthy, every minute on the floor before the playoffs is a chance to build more chemistry.

Snyder played his normal rotation for the first three quarters of the game, and the Jazz thoroughly dismantled the inexperienced Portland lineup.

The Jazz led 96-49 after three quarters, limiting the Blazers to 29 percent shooting from the floor, 16 percent from the free-throw line while doubling Portland in the rebounding category 34-17.

While the win doesn’t say much about the direction the Jazz are headed to close the season, it did give the team a chance to build chemistry after a string of injuries has limited Snyder’s ability to use his preferred rotation.

The Jazz have been looking to get Mike Conley and Rudy Gay into a rhythm heading into the playoffs, though neither had particularly strong games against Portland.

Conley continued his poor shooting stretch, turning in another outing where he knocked down fewer than 30 percent of his shots. The guard shot just 1-5 against the Blazers, marking the seventh time in his last 11 games.

Conley finished with five points and five assists in 20 minutes on the floor.

Gay performed better as the veteran knocked down 3-6 field goal attempts for nine points.

The Jazz will need both players to be as close to full strength as possible as they head into the playoffs, and they have a little over four weeks to get there.

Snyder Continues Record of .500 Basketball

With the win over Portland, the Jazz recorded their 41st victory of the season, and are guaranteed to finish with a record of at least .500 or better.

This marks the sixth consecutive season the Jazz have reached the .500 mark after falling short in both of Quin Snyder’s first two seasons overseeing the team.

While a .500 record has become so common or Jazz that it’s no longer celebrated, fans shouldn’t be so quick to dismiss the accomplishment.

Recently Josh Dubow of the Associated Press tweeted out a great stat regarding the Sacramento Kings and their struggles as a franchise historically.

The Kings have existed for 37 years, they’ve had just eight winning seasons in that stretch, all of which came under Rick Adelman.

Assuming nothing unexpected happens this offseason, Snyder will be back with the team next season and will match Adelman’s run in Sacramento.

“Getting a win in an NBA game is hard,” Snyder said after the game. “So to the extent that that’s where we are is a credited to the guys, not just this year, but in the past years with how hard they worked and improved.”

In addition to his run of winning records, Snyder is currently the fourth-longest tenured coach in the NBA behind Gregg Popovich, Erik Spoelstra, and Steve Kerr.

Popovich is currently tied with Don Nelson for the most wins by a coach in NBA history and will look to break the record on Friday when they face the Jazz in San Antonio.

It’s worth noting, Snyder is the only coach among the four longest-tenured who has never coached any player on the NBA’s 75th Anniversary team, much less two at the same time.

Popovich had Tim Duncan and David Robinson together for six seasons, Spoelstra had LeBron James and Dwyane Wade together for four seasons, while Kerr had Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant together for three seasons.

The Jazz haven’t reached the promised land under Snyder, and ultimately his legacy in Utah will be closely tied to expectation. But while fans have their eyes on lofty goals, they shouldn’t overlook his success over the last six years.

Jazz Get Help From Knicks

Not only did the Jazz take care of business they also got help from New York Knicks who stunned the Dallas Mavericks with a blowout win.

Dallas beat the Jazz on Monday and trimmed their lead for the fourth seed in the west to just a half game, but promptly gave it back to a Knicks team that has struggled this season.

The Mavericks were down 50-25 late in the first half and never truly got back in the game, ultimately falling 107-77.

The Jazz and Mavericks will play again on March 27, and with a win, the Jazz would take the season series 3-1 and avoid any awkward tiebreaker scenarios at the end of the regular season.

But if the Jazz were unable to win at Dallas, the more breathing room they get from Dallas blowing these winnable games is a bonus.

It’s also a good reminder for the Jazz who have a handful of games that look like they should be victories on paper, but may be tougher than one would expect.

Of the Jazz final 17 games, seven are against teams that aren’t currently in the top eight of the playoff rankings in their conference. If the Jazz can win those games, they will put significant pressure on Dallas to close their season strong.

Like the Jazz, the Mavericks have 17 games left on their schedule, nine of which will come against likely playoff teams, and every loss will help the Jazz inch closer to home-court advantage in the first round.

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Jazz Guaranteed .500 Record After Thrashing Blazers