With their most recent win against the Spurs, the Utah Jazz have clinched a playoff spot.
For you non sporties, that means that even though the regular season isn't over yet, they could lose every one of their last 5 games and still have a spot in the playoffs.
But the better they do in those 5 games, the better their spot in the playoff line ups.
Why does that matter if they are allready in the playoffs?
Because the higher their seed is, or place in the rankings for the playoffs, the more likely they are to have home court advantage.
Many people wonder why home court advantage matters so much. And for some teams, it doesn't carry as much weight as it does with the Jazz.
But when you consider that this year Utah's record when playing at home, in the Energy Solutions Arena (formerly the Delta Center), is 35-4, the best home record in the NBA, and their road record is 16-22, you have to recognize that the Jazz just play better at home.
And seriously, if you have ever been to a Jazz game at Energy Solutions Arena, especially during the playoffs, you have to admit that there is energy and a power there that the fans share with their team. (Regardless of whether or not Thomas S. Monson is attending, but that has to help right?).
Even visiting teams recognize this and comment on it. They say SLC is a hard place to play, because the fans are amazing.
And having been to a couple Jazz away games, (against the Wizards in DC), I recognize that at least at the games I have been to, the other team's fans just didn't have the enthusiasm that I am used to getting caught up in at the ESA.
Let's cheer them on tonight when they play the Hornets in New Orleans. The Hornets have the best record in the West at 54-22, (Jazz record is 51-26), and it will be a tough game. Especially, as I have said, because it is an away game.
On another note, Jerry Sloan and the Jazz recently signed a contract extension keeping Jerry around for the 2008-09 season, making Jerry Sloan the longest tenured coach among any team in every major sports league in America.
He has been Head Coach of the Utah Jazz since 1988. (How old were you then?)
I am thrilled to have him for at least another year. Go Jerry!
Now what's it gonna take to get a Coach of the Year?