Originally posted by Psycho PenguinWhat a disappointing series. Utah keeps sneaking under the radar every year. Not gonna make excuses for Denver, they just forgot to show up for this one.
Have to imagine Lakers are gonna steamroll Utah. =/
I don't the Lakers are going to steamroll anyone; the Thunder made the Lakers fight for 6 games and it was a tip-in and Gasol's 18th rebound that allowed the Lakers to avoid a dangerous 7th game against a young and talented Thunder.
It does seem that Utah is sneaking up under the radar though. D-Will is playing insane ball and Utah has fought and played extremely hard without their big man Okur (sounds like Milwaukee in a way of how they played without their big man in Bogut).
Utah will have to work that much harder against the Lakers but the Lakers will have a tough task against the 5th seeded Jazz. This year's Western Conference playoffs are highly competitive and with every playoff team winning at least 50, this year has shown how competitive the West really is.
I still say the Lakers are the favorites to win (I really want Utah to win though) but Utah should be a tougher fight and should hang with the Lakers this series.
I hope you're right, but I think, despite the records, OKC was a tougher matchup for LA than Utah is. The one advantage Utah clearly has an edge in is at point guard, so Deron Williams will really have to have a monster series for Utah to hang around. So I hope he does, but I have my doubts. A healthy Utah team would probably be a tough out, but Artest will probably neutralize Boozer and the other 3 starters are better than Utah's three.
The best case scenario is a repeat of Houston/LA from last year, and since the Lakers seem to be unstoppable at home, they'd probably win in that scenario too.
They've become an even more interesting soap opera than usual lately... first off the incident with Rafer Alston and Sam Mitchell, and GM Mike Babcock taking Alston's side: http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Basketball/NBA/Toronto/2005/02/08/924624-ap.