Beat the Clippers twice
Even if they sweep the remaining home-and-home set vs. the Clippers, the Jazz will have a tough time finishing ahead of them. Of each team's other 23 games, the Jazz have 14 on the road and nine at home; the Clippers have 14 at home and nine on the road.
But if the Jazz are No. 5 and meet the No. 4 Clippers in a playoff series, they need to have done something to establish some belief against that team. The Clippers pounded them 88-72 at Vivint Smart Home Arena on Feb. 13 after leading by 29 points. The Jazz host them again March 13.
There's an argument that the Jazz would be better off falling to No. 6 (behind Memphis) and opposing No. 3 Houston in the first round, but such a dropoff wouldn't inspire much confidence in them.
Establish consistency at point guard
The Jazz reportedly inquired about bringing back Deron Williams from Dallas before Thursday's trade deadline. Now that their roster apparently is set for the stretch run, they need George Hill to stay healthy and Dante Exum to assert himself as the backup point guard.
Those two combined for 31 points and some strong defense in a win over Portland before the All-Star break.
Win all 10 home games
That's asking a lot, considering the Jazz are merely 20-11 at home this season. That's roughly the success rate of a .500 team, not a 35-22 club. The Jazz have one last push in hopes of becoming a dominant home team. Again, that would build some momentum toward the playoffs, regardless of whether the Jazz have home-court advantage in the first round.
Define the rotation
As I said at the 40-game mark when the Jazz temporarily were at full strength, coach Quin Snyder's job becomes more difficult. Rodney Hood will return to the lineup at Milwaukee, so Snyder must calculate how many players to use and how to use them. That's going to be tricky.
Impress Gordon Hayward
Looking ahead to the summer, the Jazz have to worry about how Boston did nothing in the trade market that would keep the Celtics from making a big push for Hayward. I'll say it right now: If Hayward opts out of his contract and rejoins Brad Stevens, his former college coach, that would be forgivable, especially if the Celtics prove this spring that they are strong contenders in the East.
So the pressure is on Snyder and Hayward's teammates (and Hayward himself) to keep showing that there's hope for the Jazz in the West in the near future. Yes, the Jazz can pay Hayward more money than another team could, but he wants an opportunity to win.