Predicting the Utah Jazz’s Regular Season

The Utah Jazz were in the midst of tipping off a game against the Oklahoma City Thunder before what would go down as the most unique occurrence took place. Right as one of the referees was about to toss the ball up to start the game, a Jazz representative came running to another referee. Then, with nobody knowing what was happening, league officials at the game began to huddle up.

The officials would call the game before it even started as Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19. This game ultimately put the NBA into a three-month hiatus.

With that said, the Jazz are back in Orlando and ready to make a deep playoff run. 

July 30 vs. New Orleans Pelicans: Loss

The relationship between players in the locker room has come out as rocky. Some players are reportedly uncomfortable with how Gobert treated the pandemic and joked around too much in the locker room prior to being diagnosed. This caused a rift between him and some players. Thus, in the team’s first game back, tension may be present and a win is just not feasible.

Aug. 1 vs. Oklahoma City Thunder: Win

The game that was canceled will be set for a rematch on Aug. 1. The Jazz are among the best three-point shooting teams this year and are always a defensive-minded squad. 

Aug. 3 vs. Los Angeles Lakers: Loss

The Jazz are not good enough to compete against both LeBron James and Anthony Davis, especially when dealing with internal struggles. Donovan Mitchell will struggle while being guarded by James. 

Aug. 5 vs. Memphis Grizzlies: Loss

Ja Morant is something special and Mitchell will struggle while defending him. Mike Conley was a gritty defender in his time in Memphis but with his prime nearing its end, he will be watching his successor take the victory this time around. 

Aug. 7 vs. San Antonio Spurs: Loss

With the team in shambles and question marks surrounding every player on the roster, the Jazz will fall into a slump. It is unclear how motivated this team will be after what occurred in early March. 

Aug. 8 vs. Denver Nuggets: Loss

The slump will continue as a mix of health and team concerns give the Nuggets the victory over Utah.

Aug. 10 vs. Dallas Mavericks: Loss

Comparing rosters, the Dallas Mavericks are a much better team. Utah has some bright spots but lacks superstars and wild cards. Dallas has Luka Doncic and their bench is riddled with players who can drop 20 points on any given night. The Jazz’s bench, meanwhile, does not have players that will outperform expectations too often.

Aug. 13 vs. San Antonio Spurs: Win

There is nothing better for a team than winning the last game of the season before heading into the playoffs. The Jazz will feel better after breaking their losing streak and regain confidence as they roll into the playoffs. 

The Utah Jazz are an interesting team. It is unclear what their goals for this year’s playoffs are. Plus, if the season ends in disaster, it will be interesting to see how they handle the Gobert incident during the offseason. The Jazz will finish the final set of bubble games with a 2-6 record but had already clinched a playoff spot prior to the seasons’ suspension.

Ultimately, with uncertainties filling the cloud above them, the Jazz’s chances of winning the title or making it out of the first round seem shady.

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