UTAH JAZZ

Simone Fontecchio Makes Plays To Help Jazz Take Lead Over Lakers

Apr 9, 2023, 2:31 PM

SALT LAKE CITYJazz forward Simone Fontecchio helped his team to an impressive start in the second quarter of Utah’s 2022-23 season finale against the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Lakers hosted the Jazz at Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles for the regular season finale on Sunday, April 9.

During the opening seven minutes of the quarter, the Jazz went on a 23-16 run to take a one-point lead over the home team. During the first quarter, the Jazz trailed by double-digits.

With 10:14 left in the first half, Fontecchio found a wide-open Kris Dunn, who knocked down a three-pointer.

A few minutes later, the Italian forward buried a triple of his own. Fontecchio’s three-pointer helped the Jazz trim Los Angeles’ lead to a point.

After scoring only two points during the first 12 minutes of the contest, Fontecchio scored eight points during the first 10 minutes of the second quarter.

Late in the half, the forward had 10 points on 4-9 field goals. He also had six rebounds and two assists in 13 minutes on the floor.

This season, Fontecchio is averaging 6.0 points, 1.5 rebounds, 0.8 assists, 0.2 blocks, and 0.3 steals in 14.4 minutes per contest. He’s played in 52 games for the Jazz.

Utah’s game against Los Angeles is broadcast on ESPN, AT&T SportsNet, and KSL Sports Zone.

Jazz vs. Lakers

Utah’s lottery odds

With a loss against Denver, and a loss on Sunday against the Los Angeles Lakers, teamed with a Washington Wizards win over the Houston Rockets, the Jazz could have been tied for the eighth-worst record in the NBA.

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Instead, with the Jazz’s 37th win of the season, they can no longer reach the eighth-best odds of winning the draft lottery next month, costing them better odds of winning the draft lottery, and a chance of landing the eighth pick in June’s draft.

Had they finished the season tied with the Wizards in the final standings, the Jazz’s odds of winning a top-four pick in the draft would have climbed to 23.2 percent. Additionally, they would have had a 50-50 chance of jumping into the eighth pick in the draft based on a drawing from the NBA to break the tie between themselves and the Wizards.

Now, the Jazz are in danger of falling as low as the 10th pick in the draft, and further damaging their odds of winning the lottery.

As of Saturday night, the Jazz own the ninth-worst record in the NBA. At ninth, the Jazz have a 20.2 percent chance of moving into the top-four picks in the draft via the lottery, a 50.7 percent chance of drafting ninth, and a 29.1 percent chance of drafting 10th or worse.

However, if the Jazz surprise the Lakers on Sunday, just as they did the Nuggets, and the Dallas Mavericks fall to the San Antonio Spurs, they’ll find themselves in a two-way tie for the ninth-worst record in the league.

At that point, the Jazz and Mavericks would split the ninth and tenth-best odds of winning the lottery, dropping their odds of moving up from 20.2 to 17 percent.

Furthermore, the NBA would have to break the tie between the two teams via a random drawing, giving the Jazz a 50-50 chance of dropping to 10th in the draft.

With the Jazz facing a motivated Lakers team on Sunday, it’s unlikely they find themselves tied with the Mavericks at season’s end, but as we learned in the team’s win over the Nuggets, anything is possible.

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Simone Fontecchio Makes Plays To Help Jazz Take Lead Over Lakers