Monday, December 1, 2008

December Schedule Overview

Just to refresh everyone's memories . . . last season Utah played 16 games in December and managed to go 5-11over that span. The main reasons why the Jazz lost so many games happened to be a mixture of injuries, off-court drama (thanks Giricek!) and the fact that teams learned to just play zone defense against Utah. This season we have a slew of injuries and go into December looking to play 15 games.

The first three games are an away game @ Sacramento on Tuesday, quickly followed by a home game the very next night against the Miami Heat. I've never flown from Sacramento to Salt Lake City before, but that doesn't seem to be too bad -- weather permitting. The Jazz do not play again until Friday, with a game on TV (ESPN) hosting the Toronto Raptors.

After the two game home stand the Jazz face off with a pair of road games -- the first @ Phoenix (the 2nd night of a back-to-back) on Saturday, and then @ Minnesota on Tuesday.

Again, alternating between home games and road games the Jazz return to Salt Lake City for games against Portland (also on TV, this time TNT) and then two days later, against Orlando. Then the fun starts . . .

Fun being our 2nd 5 game Eastern Conference Road trip in two months. Thankfully it appears to be a bit more spaced out than last time. On the 15th the Jazz play @ Boston, on the 17th the Jazz play @ New Jersey, on the 19th the Jazz play @ Detroit. The next night the Jazz play @ Chicago -- this is not only the 2nd night in a back-to-back set but also the 3rd game in 4 nights. The Jazz's last stop is against the Milwaukee Bucks on the 23rd. On paper playing against Boston, Detroit and Chicago should be harder than playing against the Wizards, Bobcats and Knicks -- but the Jazz lost all three of those games too, so who is to say how Utah will fare this time around?

After Christmas the Jazz play Dallas on boxing day, then visit Houston the very next night. Utah finishes the month with a home game against Philadelphia.

For those keeping score at home that's 6 games against the West, and 9 games against the East. (We've only lost once all season against the West so far, and 6 times against Eastern foes) Furthermore, the Jazz play 6 home games and 9 road games.

There are only four back-to-back sets (@ Sac, vs. Mia; vs. Tor., @ Phoe; @ Det, @ Chi; and vs. Dal, @ Hou) this month, so that's one good thing from this mess that we can look forward to.

There are a number of 3rd game in 4 nights: the Toronto game is one, so will be the game @ Phoenix, the game @ Chicago and the game at home vs. Philadelphia.

It's not easy, but December is very rarely easy for the Jazz. Anything less than going 7 - 8 would be horrible.