How the Jazz Can Beat the Lakers In the NBA Playoffs

Andrew Jordan@@Andrew_JordanSenior Writer IApril 17, 2009

SALT LAKE CITY - MAY 16:  Paul Millsap #24 of the Utah Jazz goes up for a shot in the lane while taking on the Los Angeles Lakers in Game Six of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2008 NBA Playoffs at EnergySolutions Arena on May 16, 2008 in Salt Lake City, Utah. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

Last year in the second round of the 2008 NBA playoffs, the Utah Jazz and the Los Angeles Lakers played against each other to see who would make it into the Western Conference Finals.

The Lakers won this series in six games, and in this year's first round playoff match up, they meet each other again, where many people believe the Lakers will easily defeat the Jazz—mainly because Kobe Bryant and company are healthy and went to the NBA Finals last year before losing to the Celtics.

As of late, the Jazz have been struggling, with head coach Jerry Sloan acknowledging it to the press, which got even more people to believe the Lakers will roll over the Jazz easily in the first round.

But I will give you multiple reasons why the Jazz could still win this series and "stun the world."

No. 1 Health

The Jazz have had both Carlos Boozer and Deron Williams back from injury for over a month now, and Williams has played well since his return, but Boozer hasn't.

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I believe Boozer will definitely play better in the playoffs then in the regular season, mainly because he definitely didn't try hard at the end of the year, because he knew he just had to get physically ready, which now appears to be true.

No. 2 Preparation

The Jazz have been to the postseason for two years in a row, and they were underdogs in the first round against the Houston Rockets both years. But they beat them and showed us they can definitely play against teams that are "better" than they are. 

No. 3 Playoff lock

After the Jazz had their 12 game winning streak, they knew they were pretty much a lock for the playoffs, so they decided to take it easy going into the playoffs. They still finished at 48-34, which also shows us they are no easy pushover in the Western Conference.

No. 4 Home Court Advantage

With 34 wins on their home court this season, the Utah Jazz showed us the Energy Solutions Arena is definitely one of the hardest places to play in the NBA. And that has been true for the last several years, as it has helped the Jazz become a playoff team with all of their wins at home.

No. 5 Role Players

Beside Williams and Boozer, there are many other important players that have helped Utah become a major contender in the West. Those players are Ronnie Brewer, Mehmet Okur, and Paul Millsap.

These players are barely known outside of Utah, but without these players during the last several seasons, the Jazz wouldn't become a huge contender in the West, and they also had a huge part in the team making it to the playoffs. They held the team together when Williams and Boozer were both injured.

Finally, the Utah Jazz definitely have a great chance at beating the Lakers in the first round of the playoffs.

They have shown us during the last several years they are an extremely tough team to beat in the Western Conference, and they must become a complete team in the playoffs. If the Jazz win one of the two games at the Staples Center before going back to Utah, look out because they could gain a huge 3-1 lead in the series.

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