December Schedule Look Ahead

November 30th, 2015 | by Lucas Falk
AP Photo/Jim Urquhart

AP Photo/Jim Urquhart

Depending on what the Utah Jazz do against the undefeated Golden State Warriors tonight, they will either be 9-7 or 8-8. The Jazz had a difficult schedule to begin the season, thanks to the unusual amount of road games they played, and they should be pleased with their record regardless of the outcome against the Warriors.

With next month’s schedule functioning as the yin to last month’s yang, the Jazz have a chance to make serious headway with their playoff aspirations. The team plays ten home games and just five on the road, with some pretty favorable matchups sprinkled in there. Let’s take a look at what the Jazz’s record could potentially be by the beginning of 2016.

vs Orlando (12/3)

It wasn’t that long ago that the Magic handed the Jazz a very humbling loss. This time I expect the outcome to be slightly different, especially since Rudy Gobert did not play last time due to an ankle injury. Gobert’s presence in this game will turn the tables on the Magic.

Prediction: Jazz win

vs Indiana (12/5)

The Pacers have been playing extremely well, particularly Paul George. Currently, Indiana ranks second in three-point shooting percentage. However, last time the Jazz played the Pacers in Indiana they beat them handily. With the Pacers likely to go small against the Jazz, look for Favors to exploit any mismatch.

Prediction: Jazz win

@ Sacramento (12/8)

Is it bad that I don’t even feel like giving an explanation as to why I think the Jazz will win? The Kings simply cannot defend anyone, and with Gordon Hayward looking more like the player we saw last year, it could be ugly.

Prediction: Jazz win

vs New York (12/9)

The Knicks are the Sacramento of offense, as they have a tough time scoring the ball. While Carmelo Anthony can still take care of business on the offensive end and Kristaps Porzingis has become a Vine sensation, the rest of the roster isn’t providing much help.

Prediction: Jazz win

vs Oklahoma City (12/11)

The Thunder simply embarrassed the Jazz the last time they played. OKC’s bench turned a small lead into a much bigger one and exposed some depth issues for Utah. But with the Thunder playing the Atlanta Hawks the night before, the Jazz will look to take advantage of a more fatigued OKC unit and avenge that hideous loss1.

Prediction: Jazz win

@ Oklahoma City (12/13)

But then Utah has to turn around and go to Oklahoma City to play an angry Thunder team they hopefully just beat. Durant and Westbrook would never allow two straight losses to the same team during the regular season.

Prediction: Thunder win

@ San Antonio (12/14)

While the Warriors are getting all of the media attention and the hype, the Spurs are quietly putting together a great season. They currently boast the top defense in the league and look like title contenders once again. Kawhi Leonard and co. could be too much to handle.

Prediction: Spurs win

vs New Orleans (12/16)

It’s hard not to pick the Jazz to win since they recently defeated the Pelicans, and did so without Derrick Favors. Utah found clutch scoring from all of their wings, which helped finish off the Pelicans. While New Orleans should be getting Tyreke Evans back from injury, the addition of Favors to this matchup definitely gives the edge to Utah.

Prediction: Jazz win

vs Denver (12/18)

The Nuggets aren’t exactly in a good place. They rank towards the bottom of the league in rebounds, points allowed, and points scored. Only one of their players, Kostas Papanikolaou, has a positive plus/minus. With no one to matchup defensively against Gordon Hayward, it could be a long night for the Nuggets.

Prediction: Jazz win

vs Phoenix (12/21)

I’m still not sure who the Phoenix Suns really are, but they are definitely getting some great guard play from Brandon Knight as of late. I see the Jazz employing a lot of triple wing offense in this game and having the size to switch any and all pick and rolls to slow down Knight and Eric Bledsoe. The Suns will also be playing the second night of a back to back, after playing the Milwaukee Bucks the night before.

Prediction: Jazz win

@ Golden State (12/23)

Beating the Warriors on their home court is nearly impossible, and the Jazz shouldn’t feel bad if they can’t come away with a victory at Oracle. Steph Curry and Golden State are on a mission and Utah might not have enough fire power to derail it.

Prediction: Warriors win

vs Los Angeles Clippers (12/26)

The Jazz got the best of the Clippers when they last played in LA and I don’t believe the Doc River’s has forgotten it. This game will have plenty of meaning for the Clippers and I suspect their stars will come to play. Despite the home court advantage in this one, and the Clippers being on the tail end of a back to back, LA will be victorious.

Prediction: Clippers win

vs Philadelphia (12/28)

They are the Sixers, need I say more? The process loses this one.

Prediction: Jazz win

@ Minnesota (12/30)

Gobert v. Wiggins: the matchup we’ve all been waiting for. The Wolves have a very promising young core and veteran leadership to mentor them. I’m sure Gobert has this game circled on his calendar as a chance to go up against one of the highest flyers in the game. I expect Utah’s balanced attack to overpower the Wolves.

Prediction: Jazz win

vs Portland (12/31)

The Jazz will again look to avenge a loss from a previous foe. The Trail Blazers beat the Jazz in the season’s home opener, as Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum torched Utah for a combined 62 points. In a revenge effort, the Jazz will beat Portland to finish out the 2015 calendar year.

Prediction: Jazz win

So if you’ve followed along, I believe the Jazz have a serious chance to finish with an 11-4 record during the month of December, good for either 20-11 or 19-12. If the Jazz can boast 19 or 20 wins by the time January rolls around, they’ll be in a prime position for a playoff push.

Lucas Falk
Lucas Falk is a basketball junkie from Salt Lake City. Lucas is an alumnus of both Olympus High School and the University of Utah, where he earned a degree in Economics. Lucas is also a proponent of doing a reboot to the film "White Men Can't Jump." He can be found on Twitter @Lucaswfalk.
Lucas Falk
Lucas Falk

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  1. LKA says:

    Good post Lucas. And I would concour with you. Dec15 two weeks away will be the first of the trades this year. Wonder if the Jazz might be involved??

  2. Buckets says:

    But now Gobert is hurt. That’s a huge problem for these next 1.5-2 months.

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