First of all, 82games.com posted a break down of EACH NBA team over the last decade in terms of their playoff performance. Second of all --> You should go there 'right nao!' -- really, click that link. The different categories that they've charted out are playoff series wins, losses, their series win percentage, how far each team has gone, how many times they've gotten that far, and lastly, how many years have passed since their last NBA playoff series win.
The Jazz are #13 in this metric. There are 16 playoff teams in the league, so over-all for the last decade the Jazz are basically that - a solid playoff team, but not a team that is a home court team (Top 8). We never really were a legit contender (save for maybe '08) in the last decade, but we were still a really good team. Only four teams make the conference finals per season, and only 14 different teams have claimed the 40 possible conference finals spots over the decade. And we have been one of them, despite not being considered a legit contender.
More on my take of their ranking, and more on my take on where we are, after the jump!
That said, being #13 in this ranking, with a 4 and 6 record in the playoffs (in terms of winning or losing a series) isn't good. It is even WORSE when you recognize that it has been three seasons since our last playoff series win. The other franchies in the same boat (of 3 year droughts) are the Cleveland Cavaliers, Phoenix Suns, and Orlando Magic. What do these teams have in common? Well, Cleveland lost LeBron James. Phoenix recently lost Steve Nash. And Orlando just recently lost Dwight Howard. Cleveland has an excuse though, as they LOST Lebron, then started to distance themselves from their last playoff win. Dwight's Orlando and Steve's Phoenix were losing in the playoffs with them there.
Are the Jazz more like ORL/PHX in that we are a playoff team that is fit only for losing in the playoffs - or a transition team that was a few seasons divorced from their franchise player (*cough* Deron Williams *cough*)? The optimist in me wants to think that we're a team on the rise. However, the pessimist saw us struggle to make the playoffs, holding fast to limited players with limited ability, only to be dismantled in 3.75 utterly non-competitive games.
A number of teams rank higher than us because in the ancient times of '02 and '03 they may have been relevant. But really, in the next 3-5 years we SHOULD have turned around our fortunes. Over the last decade the Jazz went to the playoffs 6 times. And in those six playoff runs, the Jazz won four times, and lost six times. Over the next decade I expect THIS Jazz team to make the playoffs 10 times, and move the needle closer to 50% winning when it comes to our series record. (If not above 50% -- I really can't speculate on this until we start locking in guys for contracts. It's your starts that get you to the playoffs, but it's really the GM who decides if you win in the playoffs or not depending on the type of role players they surround their stars with -- see Shane Battier and Mike Miller winning 2 of the 4 NBA Finals Games that Miami won).
We're not in that "Futile" zone for a franchise, after all, we are still a team that usually, always makes the playoffs. We do need to win a playoff series this coming season though. We don't want to make it worse for ourselves by getting there and not getting over the hump.
That's just what I think -- what do you guys think?