10:00 PM ET, March 31, 2010
EnergySolutions Arena, Salt Lake City, UT
Of all the games that could epitomize the frustrating end to last season for the Jazz, the incredibly disappointing beatdown at home by the seven-man Golden State Warriors (Bakersfield Jam North) was the one that marks the moment the Jazz bandwagon went off the road and into a ditch. It was the beginning of the summer of our discontent and the Carlos Boozer Public Mis-Relations Tour.
It’s almost hard to imagine that scene from the current vantage point for the Jazz at the top of the division with a solid chance to finish the season second in the Western Conference. Under the current circumstances, the AccuScore prediction is showing an almost-comical 90% win probability for the Jazz in tonight’s game.
Luckily for the Jazz there will be no Rob Kurz, no Ronny Turiaf, and if the stars align, no CJ Watson. Hopefully for the Jazz tonight is all about Stephen Curry making things interesting and the Jazz postponing Warriors coach Don Nelson’s slow march toward having the most wins in NBA history (he needs three more to break the record held by Lenny Wilkens).
In the meantime, here are some things to chew on, courtesy of ESPN and the Elias Sports Bureau:
- Jerry Sloan and Don Nelson have opposed each other as head coaches 83 times during the regular season. That is the third most matchups between opposing head coaches in NBA history behind Bill Fitch vs. Dick Motta (87 times) and Motta vs. Cotton Fitzsimmons (84 times).
- Corey Maggette has scored 32.9 percent of his total points from the free-throw line this season (414 of 1,257). Only one player in the league has a higher such percentage than Maggette (minimum: 600 points): Dwight Howard (33.0%).
- Stephen Curry has made a three-point field-goal in each of his last 23 games. That is tied with Carlos Delfino for the longest current streak in the league.
- Deron Williams has registered 10-or-more assists in 48 percent of the games he has played during the regular season in his career (182 of 379). That is the fourth-highest percentage for any player in NBA history (minimum: 300 games), behind Magic Johnson (64.7%), John Stockton (57.4%) and Chris Paul (54.1%).
- Kyle Korver is shooting .445 from the field at home and has a .563 field-goal percentage on the road this season. Only one player in the league that has a higher field-goal percentage on the road than at home has a larger differential in that category than Korver: James Johnson (.153 differential) (minimum: 100 FGA at home and on the road).
- The Warriors are 0-7 in games that have been decided by three-or-fewer points this season. Every other team in the league has won at least one game in that situation. There has been only one team in the shot-clock era that has gone a whole season without winning a game by three-or-fewer points: the 2005-06 Suns (0-7).
- Golden State has allowed 100-or-more points in each of its last 15 games. That is tied with Minnesota for the longest current streak in the league.
- The Jazz enter today’s action with the fifth best record in the NBA despite the fact that 65 percent of their total minutes have been played by non first round draft picks this season. That is by far the highest such percentage for any team in the league. Golden State (58.2%) ranks third on the list behind Utah and Houston (58.3%).
- The Warriors enter today’s action ranked last in the league in points per game allowed (112.3). If Golden State does not improve its ranking in that category, it will mark the 15th time that the franchise will have allowed the most points per game in a season. Not only is that the highest total for any franchise in NBA history, it is more than double the next highest (Denver: seven).
- Golden State is 1-16 on the road against teams that currently own a .600-or-better winning percentage. The Warriors only road win against a .600+ team came on November 24 in Dallas.
- The Warriors have seven different players that have scored 30-or-more points in a game this season. That is the highest total for any team in the league.
- Utah had the 15th best record in the league (19-17) on the morning of January 9th. Since then, the Jazz have posted a 30-9 (.769) record, the second highest winning percentage in the league over that span behind Cleveland (30-6, .833).