crazy idea?

So I had this crazy idea.

Rest Hill the rest of the regular season to make sure his toe is as healed as can be before the playoffs. Start Exum in his place. Maybe even give Lyles the starting position at PF and maybe even cut back on Gobert's minutes a little bit. Why? To let Utah settle down to the 6th seed before the playoffs. Why?

As it stands, Utah is slated to play LAC in the first round of the playoffs. Utah is 1-3 against LAC this season. If you look at those games, you see that Utah averaged 89 points per game (41.7% FG and 37.2% 3P) and only 17.8 FTA's. In those games, the Clippers averaged 98 points per game on 45% FG shooting and got to the free throw line more often.

Compare Utah's 4 games against the Clippers to Utah's 3 games against Houston. Utah is 2-1 against Houston, where Utah averaged 112.3 ppg to Houston's 106.7 ppg. Utah shot 53.5% FG and 45.3% 3P, whereas Houston shot 43.2% FG and 32.9% 3P.

Utah just plays better against Houston. If Utah dropped to the 6th seed, pushing LAC and OKC up to the 4th and 5th seeds, then Utah could play Houston (3rd seed) in the first round, and the winner of LAC/OKC would have to play GSW in the 2nd round, whereas Utah would most likely be playing SAS in the 2nd round (assuming Utah beats Houston and SAS beats Memphis). Utah has beaten SAS in SA, and I don't see why they can't do it again, especially if all of Utah's Jazzmen are back to being ~100% healthy (resting Hill, Favors, Hayward now helps to achieve that goal).

We all know players are more likely to stay with a winning playoff team. If Utah is knocked out in the first round, there may be less incentive for Hayward and Hill to want to sign with Utah again. If Utah makes it to the 2nd round and gives SAS a decent fight, or, dare I say, Utah beats SAS and makes it to the western conference final, then they know there's serious potential there. I think this may be Utah's best strategy for going deep into the playoffs and keeping certain key pieces (Hayward, Ingles, Hill) around in Utah for the foreseeable future. What are your thoughts?

All comments are the opinion of the commenter and not necessarily that of SLC Dunk or SB Nation.