PK: March On With Monthly Prediction


March On With Monthly Prediction

By Patrick Kinahan

Missing badly last month, I’m back looking for redemption with my prognostication for March. And this time, I won’t be as generous.

I picked the Jazz to go 7-8 for February, figuring they would show enough on the road to flirt with breaking even. Instead, they bombed away from home, going 4-11 overall.

Using last month as the indicator, it stands to reason the Jazz will struggle in March. They play 19 games over 31 days, with only seven at home.

The schedule splits into three 10-day periods (with the third actually adding an extra day).

The Jazz play six games in the first stretch, with only one at home. And even without Chris Bosh, the Miami Heat may present the toughest challenge when they play at EnergySolutions Arena in the first game of the month.

To have a chance at success this month, the Jazz need to win at home, starting with a tired Heat team (they will be playing on the second night of a back to back). They also have to beat the likes of Charlotte on the road.

Closing a five-game road trip against Philadelphia and Chicago, the Jazz can expect to go 2-4 over the first 10 days.

From March 12-22, the Jazz will play seven games. Four of those games are at home, with only Oklahoma City posing as an extremely difficult challenge. The Jazz absolutely have to beat Detroit, Minnesota and Golden State at home.

If the Jazz protect their homecourt, they should be able to go a minimum of 4-3 during the middle stretch. But with this team at this team, the “if’s” are printed in bold, gigantic letters.

The final leg of the month features six games, with only two at home. The good news is the stretch features only one outstanding team (the Clippers on March 31 in Los Angeles).

The three-game road trip is manageable, with games against Atlanta, New Jersey and Boston. While 3-0 is doubtful, the Jazz ought to be able to avoid losing all three. Stretching it a bit, I’m going with 3-3 to close the month.

When breaking the schedule into three groups, the numbers add up to the Jazz going 9-10 over the month. But the reality is, based on last month, it might be wiser to back off the lofty expectation to go with something like 7-12.