Five Remaining Games That Will Determine Jazz Season
SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Jazz currently sit in the 11th seed in the Western Conference with 13 games left to play in the regular season.
Sitting just one game back of the eighth-seeded Dallas Mavericks, the playoffs are still very much in play for the Jazz entering the stretch run.
With that in mind, let’s look at the five remaining games most likely to determine the Jazz’s final standings.
50 wins and an #NBAPlayoffs spot for the Bucks.
Tuesday night's updated standings are here.
📲 https://t.co/02ml5YIBRq pic.twitter.com/Hb1gTJ29yv
— NBA (@NBA) March 15, 2023
Five Most Important Games On Jazz Schedule
5. Portland Trail Blazers: At Home – March 22
The Jazz will host the Trail Blazers on Wednesday, March 22 at Vivint Arena in what could make or break Portland’s season.
The Trail Blazers sit two games back of the Jazz in the Western Conference standings and have collapsed after the All-Star break, having lost eight of their last 11.
Portland just began a crucial stretch playing eight out of nine games at home, with the lone road contest coming in Salt Lake City next week.
If the Jazz take down the Trail Blazers, you can safely count Portland out of the Western Conference playoff race.
4. San Antonio Spurs: On Road – March 29
Traditionally, a game against one of the bottom three teams in the NBA wouldn’t be viewed as crucial, but the Jazz don’t have that luxury.
The Jazz own the toughest remaining schedule in the NBA so easy wins are a must-have.
The @utahjazz have the most difficult remaining schedule according to @tankathon.
The teams have a combined win percentage of .560 over the final 13 games. pic.twitter.com/9pyNBJ3VhP
— Ben Anderson (@BensHoops) March 14, 2023
Unfortunately, the Jazz have had anything but an easy time with the Spurs this year, losing two of their three matchups so far in the season series.
This game will be played in San Antonio to open a three-game road stretch with follow-up stops in Boston and Brooklyn.
3. Los Angeles Lakers: At Home – April 4
The Jazz currently sit just one game back of the surging Lakers in the Western Conference Standings as the two teams are likely to be competing for the final few playoff spots entering the last week of the season.
So far this season the Jazz own a blemish-free 2-0 record against the Lakers with two games left in the season series.
A victory on April 4 in Salt Lake City would give the Jazz the ultra-important tiebreaker over the Lakers regardless of what happens in the final game of the season.
2. Oklahoma City Thunder: At Home – April 6
The Oklahoma City Thunder, along with the Lakers and the Dallas Mavericks all sit one game ahead of the Jazz the Western Conference standings.
With the sixth-easiest schedule remaining, Oklahoma City may be able to distance itself enough from the Jazz that this game won’t have a major impact on the standings.
Stayed the course! 😤 pic.twitter.com/7Mr37w3JVI
— OKC THUNDER (@okcthunder) March 15, 2023
But, with a difficult next six games, the Thunder could realistically collapse, setting up a critical matchup in Utah against the Jazz in the third-to-final game of the season.
Over the next 11 days, the Thunder will face the Raptors in Toronto, the Phoenix Suns at home, then head out on a four-game road trip with two matchups against the Los Angeles Clippers, a matchup against the Lakers, and a final stop in Portland against the Trail Blazers.
1. Los Angeles Lakers: On Road – April 9
With the easiest record remaining in the league, the Lakers are going to be fighting for the best possible playoff spot over the final three weeks of the season.
Sitting just two games back of the sixth-seeded Clippers, don’t expect the Lakers to rest players at any point for the remainder of the season.
That means even if the Jazz and Lakers aren’t fighting for position head-to-head, both teams could be jockeying for critical seeding on the final night of the NBA season.
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Ben Anderson is the Utah Jazz insider for KSL Sports and the co-host of Jake and Ben from 10-12p with Jake Scott on 97.5 The KSL Sports Zone. Find Ben on Twitter at @BensHoops or on Instagram @BensHoops.
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