Utah Will Struggle to Stay in the Playoff Hunt Without Mo Williams

As we mentioned yesterday, Mo Williams is expected to miss six weeks when he undergoes surgery on his thumb today.  In his absence, the Utah Jazz will have to find a way to keep winning and stay in the playoff hunt.  It's a tall order.

The Jazz are 16-17 right now.  They are on the outside looking in, and that record came largely with Williams contributing.  As Jeff Kaplan of NBA.com points out, the Jazz have struggled to get their heads above water all season and crack .500.  They play in a competitive Western Conference, but hope s not lost.

Kaplan says the Jazz have a chance to finish January strong as they have six of their final seven games at home during the month.  They will, however, have to fight through a tough road trip including games against the Dallas Mavericks and Denver Nuggets.  They will also play the Miami Heat at home on the 14th.

Williams has provided 12.9 point per game and 6.7 assists per game this season.  He will be missed.  If the Jazz can come out of January with a .500 record, they will still have a chance at making a playoff run.  If they can hold onto at least a .500 record until Williams comes back, their chances increase.  However, the team has fought to hover near .500 all season with Williams in the lineup, so it's tough to say they will be able to do that without him.

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