Utah Jazz: Did someone say playoffs?

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 15: Tim Hardaway Jr.
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 15: Tim Hardaway Jr. /

The Utah Jazz have won 11 of their last 12 games, and are back in the NBA playoff picture

You’ve probably read all you can about the hopeful Utah Jazz superstar and 2018 slam dunk contest winner that we all know and love:

Donovan Mitchell.

You may think that Mitchell is the primary reason for Utah’s current success.

Or you’ve read that the only reason for this surprising run is due to the probable coach of the year candidate, Quin Snyder.

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Maybe even that Utah is just the best team oriented group around the NBA with the late addition of guys like Rudy Gobert (back from injury), or their new 3 and D role player, Jae Crowder.

The Utah Jazz obviously have a lot of things going their way right now.

Although, their current success and apparent playoff run can arguably be attributed to the recent schedule analytics that have been reported by many, which we will get into.

The only thing halting our prediction is one tiny problem.

The Western Conference is kinda amazing.

An eleven game win streak has the Jazz two and a half games out of the eighth seed that is currently being held by the New Orleans Pelicans.

With twenty-three regular season games left for Utah, their winning streak needs to continue if they want to get anywhere near the playoffs.

You’re probably wondering if they even have a chance to get up in the standings because the Western Conference is so dominant, even if they continue a streak.

Not only is there a strong argument for their contention in the playoffs, but they may just end up becoming the third or fourth seed by the end of the year.

Hot take? Not really.

As strength of schedule is currently lined up, Utah has the second “easiest” road to the playoffs.

Of course, the only team beating them out for strength of schedule down the stretch is the Golden State Warriors.

How does that even happen? Does Adam Silver have a time share in Oakland?

If so, hit me up.

Golden State, Utah, and Philadelphia by far have the easiest path to the playoffs and it’s not even close.

Utah is currently the tenth seed and is behind the following teams in this order: Los Angeles Clippers, New Orleans Pelicans, Portland Trailblazers, Denver Nuggets, Oklahoma City Thunder, Minnesota Timberwolves, San Antonio Spurs, Golden State Warriors, and finally the Houston Rockets.

To understand how Utah could make a run to that third or fourth seed, you have to take a look at who is currently there.

For example, the current third seed spot has been the San Antonio Spurs for quite some time.

Recently, Head Coach Gregg Popovich has made some startling comments about their perennial All-Star, Kawhi Leonard.

The Spurs recent downfall is disheartening to say the least.

Not only that, but the Spurs have lost four straight games and currently have only five more wins than the Utah Jazz.

I repeat: The Spurs are the third seed in the Western Conference and only have five more wins than Utah, yet the Jazz are the tenth seed on an eleven game winning streak.

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You do the math.

The remaining teams in the Western Conference playoff seeds are fairly hot right now, but let’s be real, no one wants to go to Utah to play this Jazz team any time soon.

Literally no one.

And hey, if they are an eighth seed, you bet that we’d watch a Houston/Golden State Vs. Utah series any day of the week.