February Schedule Look Ahead

February 1st, 2016 | by Lucas Falk
AP Photo/Rick Bowmer

AP Photo/Rick Bowmer

Another month down in the NBA season so it’s time to take a look at the February schedule to make some predictions.

vs Chicago (2/1)

The Bulls will be coming into Utah on the back end of a road back-to-back. Having decreased their pace of play every month of the season, the Jazz won’t have to worry about the Bulls going small. Unfortunately, Chicago still has Jimmy Butler, who is averaging 22.4 points per game. The Bulls are the best rebounding team in the league and will rarely put teams on the line. It’ll be tough for the Jazz to get their second chance points and points at the line.

Prediction: Bulls win

vs Denver (2/3)

The Denver Nuggets are not a good road team with an away record of 9-15. On the other hand, the Jazz thrive at home. Denver is 23rd in the league in points allowed per game at 104.3. Rodney Hood and Gordon Hayward should be able to create shots easily, while Favors has his way in the paint. The Jazz have beaten the Nuggets twice and have held Denver to an average of 86 points a game.

Prediction: Jazz win

vs Milwaukee (2/5)

Yet another bad road team rolls into Salt Lake City. The Bucks struggle away from home and they’ve compiled a 7-21 record to prove it. Milwaukee and Utah have yet to play this year and both teams average about 98 points per game. With Utah getting healthy and the Bucks’ tendency to struggle on the road, this is Utah’s game to lose.

Prediction: Jazz win

@ Phoenix (2/6)

The Jazz will be heading playing the second half of a back-to-back, but that shouldn’t be much of a problem for Utah. The Suns are currently without their two leading scorers in Eric Bledsoe and Brandon Knight, with Bledsoe being out for the season and Knight with no timetable to return. The Suns will give the Jazz plenty of scoring chances because they average 16.8 turnovers per game.

Prediction: Jazz win

@ Dallas (2/9)

The Mavericks and the Jazz have only played each other once this year and it took a vintage effort from Deron Williams for the Mavs to get the victory. The Mavericks are tough to beat in Dallas and they’ve amassed a 14-8 record at home. Dirk is still being Dirk, averaging 17.5 points per game. Dallas takes care of the basketball very well so the Jazz will have to look elsewhere for scoring opportunities.

Prediction: Mavericks win

@ New Orleans (2/10)

The Pelicans have had their share of injury problems with Eric Gordon being the latest to go down. Gordon will likely be out till late February and New Orleans is already pretty thin. The Pelicans have won seven or their last 10 but have split the two games they’ve played against Utah. With the Jazz front court back to full strength, Utah takes this one.

Prediction: Jazz win

vs Boston (2/19)

The Jazz and the Celtics have yet to play this year, but last season Boston beat Utah at the buzzer.  At last, the Jazz will have their revenge. The Celtics have the guard play that can give the Jazz fits, but Utah’s bigs can match up against the front court of Boston. The Jazz and the Celtics will meet again later in the month, but Utah finds a way to beat Brad Stevens’ Celtics at home.

Prediction: Jazz win

@ Portland (2/21)

Did I mention the Jazz struggle with talented guards? Well, Portland has two very good guards in Lillard and McCollum. Twice this year Portland’s dynamic duo has run circles around Trey Burke and Raul Neto. The Blazers hold a 13-10 home record and should add to that against the Jazz. Utah really needs this game for the playoff race so they may be hungrier, but Lillard and McCollum will be tough to stop in Portland.

Prediction: Trail Blazers win

vs Houston (2/23)

The Jazz and the Rockets played two memorable games earlier this season and Utah dropped both in heartbreaking fashion, but Derrick Favors was out for both games. The Rockets have one of the worst defenses in the league and with the Jazz finding their groove offensively, in addition to the return of one of their anchors on defense, Utah can find redemption against Houston.

Prediction: Jazz win

vs San Antonio (2/25)

There are good basketball teams and then there are great teams; San Antonio is one of two great teams in the league.

Prediction: Spurs win

vs Brooklyn (2/27)

There are bad basketball teams and then there are awful teams; Brooklyn is one of the worst teams in the league.

Prediction: Jazz win

@ Boston (2/29)

Beating the Celtics in Salt Lake City? Yes. Stealing one on the road? Probably not. The Celtics are in the top five of both points and assists per game and have one of the highest plus-minuses in the league. Isaiah Thomas has earner All-Star status with his 21.5 points per game and should be a handful for Neto or Burke.

Prediction: Celtics win

February record: 7-5

The Jazz have yet to finish a month with a .500 record, except their 2-1 record in October. Utah needs to start digging itself out of the hole that their injuries have dug them. The month of February could provide the Jazz some relief and the All-Star break could provide some healing time.

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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