Why The Jazz's Lead in the Western Conference is More Comfortable than it Seems

The Utah Jazz hold a 2.5 game lead in the Western Conference standings.
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When the Jazz lost to the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday night, their lead in the Western Conference was trimmed to 1.5 games. On Thursday night, the Jazz rebounded with a convincing victory over the Portland Trail Blazers while the Suns rans out of gas in a loss at the Los Angeles Clippers. As things currently stand, The Jazz hold a 2.5 game lead over the the second-place Suns and a 4.5 game lead over the third-place Clippers in the conference standings. Given the remaining strength of schedule for the Jazz, Suns, and Clippers, however, the Jazz's lead might be more comfortable than it appears.

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According to Tankathon, the Utah Jazz have the easiest remaining schedule in the NBA. Meanwhile, the Suns remaining strength of schedule ranks the eight most difficult in the NBA. The Suns have to travel to the Bucks, 76ers, Celtics, and Nets in April.

The Jazz, who have not lost at home in 2021, get to play the Kings, Wizards, Thunder, Pacers, Timberwolves, Raptors, and Spurs (x2) at home. Should the Jazz take care of business at home like they have this season, it will give them added cushion down the home stretch of the regular season. 

Like the Jazz, the Clippers have an easy remaining schedule as well. Given the Jazz's lead, however, it's hard to foresee the Clippers gaining five games on the Jazz with only 20 games remaining.

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