Thursday, March 6, 2008

2008 NBA Playoffs

I thought it would be interesting to rank the Western Conference playoff contenders from the best to the worst matchups for the Jazz.

Golden State: The Jazz dominated them last year in the playoffs and have scored 123 points on average against them this season beating the Warriors all three times.

New Orleans: The Jazz are 2-1 against them this season. Williams seems to really play well against Christ Paul. Paul has only beaten the Jazz twice.

Phoenix: Utah has played well against Phoenix as they usually do with small-ball teams. The Jazz usually overpower those type of teams inside with Boozer. Shaq is too old to help and Amare and Nash are the worst defenders in the league.

Houston: Now that the Rockets won’t have Yao Ming for the playoffs the Jazz should be able to beat them out in a 7 game series, like last year.

Denver: These two always get physical against each other. But the Jazz are more disciplined and more clutch.

Dallas: Jason Kidd is no match for Deron Williams, as evidenced by William’s 17 point 20 assist game against the Mavs. This series could go either way.

L. A. Lakers: The Jazz won’t be able to slow down Kobe at all. Their game at the Staples Center in December was terrible. This would be a tough series to win.

San Antonio. The Jazz haven’t won at the Spurs place since 1999. Ginobili always kills the Jazz. Utah lost to them 4 games to 1 in the Western Conference Finals last year and the Jazz would be lucky to be able to beat them this year.

Ideally the Jazz would face New Orleans in the first round, then Golden State, then Phoenix in the Western Conference Finals. Then they would beat the Detroit Pistons in the NBA Finals. I honestly can’t remember the last time when the Pistons beat the Jazz.

Unfortunately the Jazz probably won’t be that lucky. To get to the Finals they will most likely have to beat either the Lakers or the Spurs. I’m not so sure the Jazz will.

The key this year will be getting as much home court advantage as possible. The Jazz haven’t lost at Energy Solutions Arena since December and have the best home record in the NBA, only losing 3 games this season. Having been at ESA last year during the playoffs I know firsthand how loud it can get there. It’s tough to imagine the Jazz losing more than one game at home in a series. But, for example, if we have to play San Antonio in the playoffs with the Spurs having home-court advantage, the Jazz would definitely lose the series. Who said the regular season doesn’t matter??

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