As of tonight's win over the Clips, the Blazers are in 5th in the West, and 2.5 games ahead of Utah, which is in 9th. The game on Saturday at home against the Jazz is looming huge -- Portland could really put some distance between itself and Utah with a W.
And they really should win this game, if you look at the Jazz's record. Utah is 8-15 away from the Nuclear Waste Storage Arena, by far the worst of any of the West playoff contenders. But even more remarkable, considering that the Jazz will be playing the second night of a back-to-back, is its 1-9 record in back-to-backs.
Here are Utah's 2nd night of back-to-back results:
L @ Washington; L@ Cleveland; W @ Memphis; L vs. New Jersey; L vs. Miami; L @ Phoenix; L @ Chicago; L @ Dallas; L @ Houston; L @ Denver.
I have been pegging Phoenix to miss the playoffs and still think they are a Nash bulging back disc away from going down the toilet. But Utah's horrible record in back-to-backs has to improve greatly if they plan to play more than 82 games this season.
Note: The Jazz play 9 more back-to-backs this season. And as a bonus for us, we get them on March 31 in Portland on, you guessed it, the 2nd night of a back-to-back.
This trend warrants following as the season goes on.