Jazz Mailbag with Jazz Pregame Host Alema Harrington and Jazz Pregame Analyst Mike Smith.

Question: What record should be good for Utah on this long road trip? — Tristan M. / Salt Lake City, UT

Answer (Smith): I think 4-2 would be awesome and a massively successful road trip — but my prediction is 3-3. That would definitely be acceptable at this point in the season given the health of the team. Dallas at home has been one of the teams in the league since Jan. 1, their defense and clutch rating has been No. 1.

Question: What is the biggest game remaining on our schedule? And why? — Megan K. / Boise, ID

Answer (Harrington): The BIGGEST game will be the game against Dallas because of the playoff seeding and what it could mean for the Jazz and their championship hopes. Plus, it could be a little Luka revenge after what happened the last time Utah played the Mavericks. Interestingly enough, it could also be a playoff preview for the opening round.

Question: What’s the most important part for the Jazz to be successful for the rest of the regular season? — Josh O. / Albuquerque, NM

Answer (Smith): That’s an easy one; shooting, shooting and more shooting. The key to the rest of the regular season and certainly the playoffs will be the shooting of Jordan Clarkson, Rudy Gay, Mike Conley, Royce O’Neale, and Bojan Bogdanovic. We know what Rudy Gobert will give us and we know what Donovan Mitchell can do in the playoffs already. But if those players shoot well, something they’re all capable of doing, the Jazz should prevail.

Question: Has Rudy Gobert done enough to win another DPOY? Why or why not? — Brigitte V. / South Jordan, UT

Answer (Harrington): It’s really hard to say that Gobert is not deserving, just look at what he’s done against some of the best players in the league. He’s got the numbers to prove it, both when he’s on the court and when he hasn’t played. The only numbers that are really working against him are in the win-loss column.

Question: Is Mike Coney back to his full-time minutes or does Quin still have him on a minutes restriction? If not, when? — Conrad I. / Park City, UT

Answer (Smith): I’m not really sure of this answer, I don’t think anybody knows definitively expect for Quin, Mike and the staff. He sat out the game against the Knicks and then responded beautiful against Brooklyn, so clearly the rest/minutes restriction has been helping. Moving forward though, especially over the final 10 games, I don’t think he’ll have a minutes restriction — and won’t in the playoffs. 

Question: Do you think NAW will be a part of the rotation in the playoffs? — Enrique C. / Salt Lake City, UT

Answer (Harrington): That’s a tough one. Alexander-Walker earned the trust of his team and the coaches by his work ethic and his performance — but that does not necessarily mean that he will be in the rotation. Utah is one of the deepest teams in the league, so a lot of it will depend on the health of the starters and primary bench players

Question: Do you think we’ll keep the No. 4 seed in the playoffs? — Kira H. / Helena, MT

Answer (Smith): Yes I do, I think we can get it done. But it will take some really good games over the final three of this road trip. They need to win two of them, including a must-win in the Sunday game against Dallas. A victory over the Mavericks is essentially a two-game swing because it’ll give us the head-to-head tiebreaker. Go Jazz!

Question: How important is it for the Jazz to get homecourt advantage in the first round? — Brian B. / Las Vegas, NV

Answer (Harrington): There’s no doubting how important homecourt advantage is, especially being able to start the playoffs at your place. It’s a definite boost. But the reality of the situation is that if you’re going to win a championship, you’re going to have to go out on the road and win a series. So while it’s important, I don’t know how vital it is as a whole.


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