Friday , Mar , 28 , 2008 Basketball John

WCF for the Utah Jazz: Could It Happen Again?


WCF for the Utah Jazz: Could It Happen Again?

Could it happen again?  Could the Jazz reach the Western Conference finals two years in a row?  Well, if they can avoid San Antonio in the first round, it could happen. 

Despite their fall from first with Wednesday’s loss to the Bobcats, the Lakers have essentially 9 of their last 10 games at home.  I say essentially because one of the "away" games is against the Clippers.  So I would wager that they’ll get the #1 seed. 

And despite what Hollinger’s playoff odds show, I think Golden State hangs on to the number 8 seed.  They still have two games left against Denver and could finish off the Nuggets’ playoff chances. 

This possibility should make every Jazz fan giddy.  Why?  Because if these scenarios play out, which has a good chance of happening, we would be in the same position as last year. 

Barring a 10-0 finish to the season (the last six games of the season make this not likely); the Jazz will end up as the fourth seed.  That means a first round matchup against New Orleans, San Antonio, or Houston.  But they might not have home-court advantage.  Sound familiar?  That’s the same setup as last year. 

We could also see a repeat of last year’s eight seed beating the first seed in the playoffs.  And the spoilers in the series would be none other than the Golden State Warriors.  They’ve split the season series with the Lakers with each team having gone 1-1 on their home courts.  And only one of those wins (LA) had a double-digit margin of victory.  The Warriors could pull off another stunning upset. 

And should the Jazz make it out of the first round, they could be punching their ticket to another WCF.  The Jazz have won 7 of 8 from the Warriors going back to last year’s playoffs.  Facing Golden State in the second round is their dream matchup.  The Jazz would want to play the Warriors as much as they don’t want to play the Spurs. 

And with the bad karma from the Fisher booing earlier this year being evened out with the Lakers ending the 19-game home winning streak, maybe the Jazz can get a little help from the basketball gods again this year.

[image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/spm435/1154195346/]