A first look at the playoff standings for the Utah Jazz

The Utah Jazz have just 22 games remaining in the 2021-22 regular season. They are currently in the fourth seed in the Western Conference. They are 3.5 games behind Memphis Grizzlies in third and 2.5 games ahead of the Dallas Mavericks in 5th.

So where will they end up? Where should they want to end up?

probabilities

First, let’s look at the numbers. Where are the Jazz statistically most likely to end up? I’ll include some playoff seeding prediction tools from different sites so we can get the best picture of the Jazz’s seeding probabilities (each site has a different set of data available, so we’ll do our best).

Basketball-Reference:

  • Most likely seed: 4th seed (67% chance)
  • Second most likely seed: 3rd seed (19.2% chance).
  • Most Likely Opponent: Dallas Mavericks
  • Odds of winning the Western Conference: 20.3%
  • The odds of winning the NBA Finals: 14.0%

Unpredictable:

  • Most likely seed: 4th seed (50% chance)
  • Second most likely seed: 3rd seed (27% chance)
  • Most Likely Opponent: Denver nuggets

Five Thirty Eight:

  • Most likely seed: 4th seed
  • Most Likely Opponent: Denver Nuggets
  • Chance of reaching the final: 16%
  • Chance of winning the Final: 8%

The ring

  • Most likely seed: 4th seed
  • Most Likely Opponent: Dallas Mavericks
  • Stock ratings: 11%

Of course, crazy things can happen with more than 20 games remaining. One team can win ten in a row while another suffers a serious injury and loses ten in a row. These predictions are just mathematical probabilities, and real life can do unpredictable things. It seems likely that Utah will find themselves in the 4th seed, facing the Mavericks or the Nuggets. They have a decent chance to move up to third, but it would be tough.

Matchups

Dallas Mavericks

Dallas may be the Jazz’s most likely first-round opponent, and for many Jazz fans may also be the preferred opponent. Utah recently beat Dallas in Salt Lake City and proved their defense can really bother Luka Doncic.

What scares Dallas is how unstoppable Doncic has looked in his two playoff appearances. In his 13 playoff games, Luka is averaging an incredible 33.5 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 9.5 assists per game. He did it while being guarded by some of the NBA’s best. Can the Jazz really slow him down in a playoff series?

Denver nuggets

Utah Jazz vs. Denver Nuggets

Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images

Whether Utah finishes 3rd or 4th seeded, Denver could be their first-round matchup. While Utah swept the season series against the Nuggets this year, they won’t be a breeze. Nikola Jokic has carried this team all season as he lacked his best team-mate and another key goalscorer. Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. are on their way back to the field and are both expected to return for the playoffs.

Maybe Donovan Mitchell, Rudy Gobert and the rest of the team want a chance to redeem themselves after snuffing out a series win multiple times over Denver. Maybe Quin Snyder will have new strategies to help contain Murray and Jokic. Then again, perhaps this is a game the Jazz should fear as much as their fans.

Phoenix Suns

If Utah wins its first-round series, it will likely meet the Suns next. Phoenix is ​​the best team in the NBA, and until the last game, the Jazz hadn’t been able to beat them in the Chris Paul days.

Phoenix Suns vs. Utah Jazz

Photo by Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images

Phoenix just finished a final last year and they’re hungry. They will be the favorites in every series if they are healthy. One thing to note is that Chris Paul is currently suffering from a thumb injury. If recovery takes extra time, he could miss playoff games.

Other potential matches

If Utah claims the 3rd seed and wins its first-round series, it will likely face the Golden State Warriors.

If Utah claims the 3rd seed and the Minnesota Wolves made an unlikely run to the 6th seed they could match.

Although they are very close in the standings, the Memphis Grizzlies have little chance of facing the Jazz in the first round. Both teams will fight for the seeding between the 3rd and 4th seeds, making it very likely that one will be in the 3rd/6th game while the other will be in the 4th/5th game.

In other words, it’s almost certain that Utah’s first-round opponent will be Dallas or Denver, and their second-round matchup will be Phoenix or Golden State. If Utah makes it to the Western Conference Finals, the Warriors, Suns, Grizzlies or Nuggets would be the most likely opponents.

Survey

Who should the Jazz hope to face in the first round?

  • 82%
    Dallas Mavericks

    (105 votes)

  • 17%
    Denver nuggets

    (23 votes)


128 voices in total

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Statistics and Probabilities via reference-basket.com, espn.com theringer.comand unpredictable.com

Ada J. Kenney