New York • Throughout 48 minutes of one-sided basketball, a question hung over the Jazz in Madison Square Garden like stale metropolitan smog.
Is there a draft in here?
Just the one scheduled for June 27 at the World’s Most Famous Arena. At this rate, the Utah Jazz will have only that to look forward to once the regular season ends in mid-April.
They suffered their second-worst loss of the season, a 113-84 defeat to the Knicks, and fell to 0-4 on this East Coast road trip. Suddenly, it’s tough to see the Jazz as anything other than in a tailspin.
And headed for the lottery.
“Bad road trip for us,” Gordon Hayward said. “Couldn’t really afford to do this, so we just made it that much tougher on ourselves.”
The Jazz are falling faster than a Steve Novak 3-pointer.
As recently as the morning of Feb. 22, the Jazz had a five-game lead over the surging Lakers in the Western Conference playoff chase. After the Jazz lost for the seventh time in eight games on Saturday, the teams are tied for eighth in the West. By virtue of beating the Lakers twice this season, the Jazz own the tiebreaker.
“You still got to try to be positive,” Hayward said. “We’ve got the spot, and still have plenty of games where we can get these ones back.”
But at this point, the Jazz are looking more and more like the guy who gets a date, only to have the woman cancel at the last minute because, well, the guy’s really not that great.
The Jazz were last swept on a four-game road trip in January 2011, days before Jerry Sloan resigned and Deron Williams was deported to the Eastern Conference.
While that swing was a harbinger of impending doom, this one didn’t start that way. An overtime loss to Milwaukee hurt, but was encouraging. The last-second layup that missed in Cleveland was bad luck. Friday against the Bulls, when the two-point lead with six seconds left wasn’t enough, was a killer.Next Page »