Playoff Teams Preview, cont.
won just 3 of last 10
33-8 at home
KEYS: Williams- 19.4 ppg, 10.7 apg
Okur- out w/ injured ankle
Boozer- is he fully healthy?
Perhaps the best number eight seed in a long time, the Jazz own a sizeable advantage with their home court. Considered by some to be the second-best team in the West when they are fully healthy, they present a lot of problems for the Lakers. First, Deron Williams can do whatever he wants against the likes of Fisher, Farmar, and Brown. Also, this team knows it can score inside on the Lakers soft frontcourt. Plus, there is games 3,4 (and possibly 6) in Utah. That’s huge for them because they have beaten just one playoff team on the road all season.
Normally, I would call this team an extremely dangerous one that has a legit chance to win a round or two. The problem? They are playing LA…and really have no chance to win A game at Staples. We saw it last year in the playoffs and this year, LA is better with Bynum and Ariza healthy and Utah is worse with Okur likely out for the series.
At this point, Utah just needs to try to be competitive. They won a tough game 3 in Utah, but the Lakers played about as bad as they could and still had a shot. I doubt the Jazz win another game.
looking to make it 7 straight ECF trips
KEYS: Stuckey- has been up and down all year
Wallace- does he still want to play?
-how are they going to play LeBron?
This is a shell of the Pistons we are used to seeing: Rasheed Wallace has fallen off and seems more than happy to start vacation early. Billups is gone. Rip Hamilton is struggling to find a niche and Prince seems to have reached his peak. They don’t play hard for Michael Curry, Iverson has been a huge distraction, and Rodney Stuckey’s play has leveled off in the second half of the season.
I doubt they even give the Cavs a little resistance; this team doesn’t seem interested right now and they are walking into a buzzsaw in Cleveland. MAYBE they win 1, but I doubt it. Joe Dumars knows what he is doing– he will let AI walk in the off-season and position himself to try to get Chris Bosh in 2010. Then, they will be back in business. For now, expect them to get swepted home by the Cavs.