Tomorrow, the Phoenix Suns will be visiting the Utah Jazz. The Suns enter this game with the worst record in the Western Conference, 17-57, and a league worst seven road victories. The Suns have lost five of their last six games and including a 112-103 to the Kings last night. Last night, the Jazz beat the Bulls 114-83 in Chicago. They have a record of 43-30 and are sitting in the seventh spot in the Western Conference and are half a game back for the fifth seed.
For the Suns, their fan base has been looking forward to the draft since December 2018. They are most likely getting a top-three pick, with the opportunity of landing the number one pick. The Suns will get a valuable asset in the draft and already have two franchise cornerstone pieces in Booker and Ayton. With a loaded free-agent class, the Suns are looking towards the future. With a young roster full of potential, the near-future could be very bright for the Suns if their draft picks pan out and they can attract a free agent or two.
For the Jazz, these last nine games will be of upmost importance. Only their last two games are against teams that are above .500. The Jazz are in a tight playoff race in the Western Conference standings, with teams five through seven separated by half a game. Utah seems poised to win this game, but their inconsistency makes this game a possible loss. The Jazz are attempting to get home-court advantage in the first round. If they want to compete for home court, the Jazz should win these critical games against below-average teams.
The unpredictability of the NBA makes this game very unnerving. Utah’s recent loss to Atlanta is a recent example of this. An Atlanta team that has twice as many losses as wins outplayed the Jazz offensively and were quicker in getting rebounds and getting out in transition. The Suns are one of the worst teams in basketball, yet have beaten the Warriors and the Bucks in the last three weeks. Utah has to make sure they do not fall asleep at the wheel. These two teams played on March 14th in Phoenix and the Jazz let the Suns hang around for way to long. The Jazz were trailing by two with ten minutes left in the fourth quarter. Although the Jazz eventually pulled away to a 114-97 victory, they have a notoriously bad habit of letting teams stick around and be competitive. The Jazz need to take advantage of the below-average competition remaining in their schedule, including two more games against the Suns. As long as the Jazz contain Devin Booker, they should be able to win this game. The Jazz have won both previous meetings and are looking to win at home, where they are 23-12. Considering Phoenix has one of the worst defensive ratings in the NBA and are the worst road teams in the NBA, I see the Jazz winning this game 105-92.