Just when I was starting to believe that I had it all figured out, that I had cracked the code to how the West would finish, the NBA's Western Conference took another bizarre turn of events.
It all started with the Jazz finding yet another way to play down to the level of their competition, losing a heartbreaking road game to the horrid Minnesota Timberwolves.
While sorting through the great and spacious building known to sport's fans as ESPN.com, I ran into quite the interesting little fact: The Utah Jazz are the only team in the league that can claim they lost to the Knicks, Heat, and T-Wolves (twice) this season.
Had they won those games, they would be grasping the West’s top seed right now. Instead, they are in fourth, but what really amounts to being fifth because they have not earned home court advantage yet.
And that’s not all folks.
I had presumably written off the Denver Nuggets of having any chance to come back and win the Northwest division, but after Denver’s win over Phoenix, Carmelo and co. lie just three games behind Utah, ready to pounce.
This is not the most ideal position an NBA franchise could ask for, especially when Utah has to play their perennial thorn in the side Spurs twice more before the season concludes. They better hope they don’t need their final game of the regular season because it is at the AT&T Center, a place the Jazz have never left with a win.
As a Jazz fan, I would love to just waltz around and proclaim my belief that the Jazz will turn things around, grab the number one seed, and march on toward a championship. There is just one problem with that.
Sadly, I cannot profess that that is my belief at this point. The NBA is so unpredictable right now that I am overwhelmed and don’t know what to believe.
But just because I don’t have any beliefs now doesn’t mean that I can’t make any predictions does it?
I sure hope not, cuz here is the Utah's path to the Finals.
First Round: Utah vs. Phoenix
Utah pulls this one out in six games. This will be a tough series, more so for the Jazz with the addition of "the big cactus," but the Jazz have what it takes to make it out of the first round against a Suns team that is still struggling to find its chemistry.
Second Round: Utah vs. San Antonio
Realistically speaking, I would say the Jazz don’t have a chance in this one, but that wouldn’t be any fun now would it. Jazz take it in seven based on the sheer determination of Deron Williams to take his team to the top.
Conference Finals: Utah vs. New Orleans
The showdown of the undisputed two best point guards in the league. This would be a very intriguing and fun matchup to see in the finals. Jazz take this one in six because from what we saw in the regular season, with the exception of one slip-up in New Orleans, the Jazz own this team.
NBA Finals: Utah vs. Boston
I think this has the potential to be one of the greatest series I have ever seen. The Boston three-party facing the reincarnation of Stockton to Malone. This would definitely be a lot of fun. Jazz take it because of depth and Boston’s lack thereof.
Well, I don’t know about anyone else, but if this is how things turned out, I wouldn’t be complaining at all. I guess all that’s left to say is, let the games begin!