After taking stock of the Jazz playoff predicament, things look a little bleak for Utah. Thanks to the schedule makers, they sat idle all weekend while the Lakers tightened the noose around their playoff hopes with a win over the Spurs, forcing the Jazz to have to win out and depend on the Rockets to force a tie for them to exercise their tiebreaker over L.A.
Jazz probable starting lineup:
PG Mo Williams
SG Randy Foye
SF Gordon Hayward
PF Paul Millsap
C Al Jefferson
The Jazz finished February and began March with a 3-12 stretch that saw them lose to Eastern squads Boston, Atlanta, Milwaukee and Cleveland and Western Playoff Contender, Dallas. With a couple solid blowouts of Charlotte and Detroit, and a squeaker with Memphis thrown in, Tyrone Corbin didn’t know what to do with his small forward spot during this stretch. DeMarre Carroll was in the starting lineup for Marvin Williams before eventually settling on Gordon Hayward, who has put up big numbers since missing 10 games with a sprained shoulder.
That poor 15-game stretch has forced the Jazz to be perfect since. They’ve gone 8-2, with no margin for error and the Grizzlies waiting for them to finish their season in Memphis, it could be done tonight if the Wolves do their part.
Wolves probable starting lineup:
PG Ricky Rubio
SG Luke Ridnour
SF Andrei Kirilenko
PF Derrick Williams
C Nikola Pekovic
The Wolves destroyed the Suns Saturday night to the tune of 105-93. Ricky Rubio had a career-high 24 points to go with 10 assists and 5 steals in an uggo-game the Wolves lottery chances didn’t even like. Sure, they reached a win total not seen without KG, but the Suns are the Suns, committing 27 turnovers to their 28 assists.
And it was brutal.
Pek is listed as day to day and could go a long way towards ruining Utah’s playoff chances if he can give it a go and throw his body on Big Al.