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The Downbeat - 16 April 2010 - #209 - The Mini Playoff Preview Edition

1_medium As expected, my stance on our chance in the playoffs has softened a bit since Wednesday's debacle.  I start talking myself into thinking, "If AK comes back and Boozer can go, then we have a shot at least."  I don't know where the optimism comes from.  The Nuggets have owned us in the regular season and though they haven't played well of late, we couldn't beat then when they were sans Billups and Anthony.

However, they're a bit hurt right now as well.  Kenyon Martin is back but still hurt.  Birdman doesn't seem like he's fully recovered.

However, and maybe this is my Jazz fan inferiority complex speaking, it seems like teams like to get up for the Jazz including the Nuggets and Lakers.  I don't expect them to play as poorly as they have been.

So my optimism is up; until the first game of the series that is.

  My biggest fear on the Nuggets?  J.R. Smith.  I have nightmares of him sitting on the three-point line launching shots without a hand in his face.  

   How would everyone like to meet up somewhere for one of the road playoff games?  This will likely be coordinated by someone else so you know it's likely to happen.  By the way, I haven't received any thank yous for dropping the ball for the SLC Dunk night out at the Phoenix game.

 Hollinger's round by round preview (insider, and no KD, I don't have a username/password for you) has the Jazz advancing to the WCF, again.    He puts the odds at beating the Nuggets at 61.2% and then beating the Lakers at 57.8%.  To that I ask, has he watched the Jazz play these teams this season?

The funny thing is that early in his article he says that in the first round, teams that have taken the season series are 41-0 against those same teams.  In later rounds it doesn't matter as much but in the first round it's pretty much guaranteed that they will lose. 

I wonder what the odds would have been if the Jazz had faced the Lakers in the first round.

  Word is now that Brandon Roy will be out for the first round of the playoffs.  That makes me cry a bit knowing that we could have had a gifted first-round win, you know, as much as any playoff series is gifted.

The past couple of seasons have been "what might have been" seasons.  If the Jazz had been able to avoid the Lakers last year, could they have advanced at all?  The past two seasons have been, "If we would have won one more game..."

So why watch?  Well, we have seen the Jazz do some amazing things this year.  They've come back from huge deficits.  They've blown teams out.  We've seen fire in their eyes at times.  We've seen Ninja, Money, Doe, Manslapping, OMSW, and AKWSUA.

We've seen them all play well at the same time.  If they're all healthy, and that is the key factor, then we can challenge the Nuggets.  And who knows, maybe OKC pulls a Denver over Seattle over the Lakers.  Wouldn't that be a delicious twist?