A bad team at home was just what the doctor ordered.
After a disastrous 0-4 road trip, the Jazz returned to the friendly confines of Energy Solutions Arena and downed the Detroit Pistons 103-90 last night. The win is just the second in Utah's previous nine games, and it couldn't have come at a better time.
The combination of Utah's free fall and the meteoric rise of the Los Angeles Lakers vaulted L.A. ahead of the Jazz into the eighth and final playoff spot. After Monday night's win, Utah and the Lakers have identical records, with Utah laying claim to the tiebreaker.
Utah's No. 1 focus right now is simply making the playoffs. For them, this is far from a guarantee. Adversity will have to be overcome, and underachieving by any player simply can no longer be tolerated.
Though everyone's best effort will be expected by Jazz head coach Tyrone Corbin, certain Jazz players, both veterans and youngsters, are critical to the playoff success of the Utah Jazz.