Friday, February 13, 2009

Jazz looking primed to go on a run

The Jazz are going into the all-star break on a high note, after defeating the Lakers. Now, they will get some much needed rest. Millsap stands to benefit the most from the time off. Hopefully all will heal completely from their sores and bruises. Currently, it sounds like Kirilenko will be back for the next game, while Boozer hopes to be back soon after that. Here is my prediction for the next 10 games:

Feb 17 vs Memphis Win
Feb 19 vs Boston Win
Feb 21 vs New Orleans Win
Feb 23 vs Atlanta Win
Feb 25 @ Minnesota Win
Feb 28 vs Sacramento Win
Mar 1 @ Golden State Win
Mar 4 vs Houston Win
Mar 6 vs Denver Win
Mar 8 @ Toronto Win

Yes, I am predicting a 10 game win streak. The Jazz play 7 of those at home, and the three road games are against weak teams (which often spells doom for the Jazz). Maybe I should have learned from my last prediction to set the bar low and be happy when they do better than expected. But the Jazz need to make a run, and it's feeling like that time is coming now. But these predictions are only on the condition that Millsap comes back from the break at full strength, that AK comes back vs Memphis, and that Boozer comes back by the 2nd or 3rd game.

Here is how I'd rank those games in terms of difficulty for the Jazz:
1. vs Boston (if they beat LA, why not Boston?)
2. vs Denver (lots of pressure for the Jazz to win if they want to catch up)
3. @ Golden State (they already dominated us at their place this year)
4. vs Houston
5. vs Atlanta
6. @ Toronto
7. vs New Orleans (we always beat them at home)
8. @ Minnesota (would be higher if they hadn't lost Jefferson)
9. vs Sacramento
10. vs Memphis

I'm feeling confident for a lot of reasons. Williams is playing insanely good, probably as good as he ever has played. Millsap was playing amazing before his injuries, and he couldn't heal because he kept playing through them. A week of rest should revitalize him. Getting AK back is huge, he already says he has no pain.

And getting Boozer back will be just as big, it will boost the Jazz confidence, and return everyone to their normal roles. Everyone will benefit from Boozer getting back in the starting lineup. Miles won't have as much pressure on him, Williams and Okur won't have to carry the team every night, Korver should get more open looks, Millsap can dominate against other teams benches and can play with Boozer, Williams gets his favorite target back, Brewer can drive inside more, etc.

The sleeping (or better said, injured) giant has awoken. The Jazz are back. And you gotta love it baby!

1 comment:

Matt said...

Wow! What a prediction!