After a lot of uncertainty in the Western Conference about which team would clinch the 8th and final playoff spot, the Utah Jazz went out and beat Steve Nash’s Phoenix Suns on Tuesday night to lockup the West’s final playoff spot and setup a matchup with the number one seeded San Antonio Spurs in the first round of the NBA playoffs.
In the beginning of this shortened NBA season, the Jazz were considered a legitimate force to be reckoned with as they were playing brilliantly with no real superstar or All-Star for that matter. With Paul Milsap leading the way and a lot of role players doing their job, the Jazz were putting the Jerry Sloan and Deron Williams behind them as they were destined to make an impact in the West this season.
At one point in the season, the Jazz were threatening to become one of the best teams in the West if not the entire NBA. With momentum on their sides and great team chemistry, the Jazz continued to move up the standings in the West and made a name for themselves in the process. Unfortunately, the team hit a bump in the road around midseason and never really fully recovered.
As a result, Utah has had to settle for the final spot in the West and a tough opening round matchup against arguably the best team in the conference in the Spurs. With the Spurs becoming the first number one seed in the playoffs to fall to an 8th seed after losing to the up-and-coming Memphis Grizzlies, there just might be some light at the end of the tunnel for the Utah Jazz as they will have the edge of being the underdog and every win in the playoffs being unexpected.
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