In recent years, this would have been a matchup for the Western Finals but this year it's a #1 vs. #8. The Spurs are rolling and have people saying don't forget about us, we're still here.
Spurs: The Spurs usually win with defense but this team is winning with offense. They are actually scoring over 100 points a game. If you've watched the Spurs for years, getting to 100 was an amazing feat. Tim Duncan has found the fountain of youth and Tony Parker has gotten his name back into that best point guard in the game discussion. Ginobili is still underrated, but this team is going to win because of their bench. This Spurs team is still dangerous so don't sleep on them.
Who has to step up: Boris Diaw and Stephen Jackson. Diaw is the Swiss army knife of players, but his effort has always been questioned. He has the tools to be a mismatch at the 3 or 4 but he has got to play ball. Jackson has always been one of those guys that can get on a court and score 20 any night, but he can also, when he wants to, D someone up. They are going to need him to possibly do both in this series.
Jazz: The Jazz have been going sideways most of the season but have fallen into the 8th spot. I actually like the bigs that Utah bring into this game with Milsap, Jefferson, Kanter and Favors. If they get some wing production, they could scare a few people. The Jazz are one of those teams that have the pieces, but something is missing. Maybe they find 'that' in this series.
Who has to step up: Al Jefferson and Devin Harris. Jefferson just has to do what he do and be a beast on the blocks, but he has to stay out of foul trouble against the Big Fundamental. That's the only way his team will have a chance to win. Devin Harris has been that up and coming point guard and he's been that guy that you throw in on a trade. Which one shows up during this series? Harris has the talent, but I can't explain why he doesn't play better. Maybe the 'it' that the Jazz are missing starts with him. If he plays well,...this will be interesting.
Outcome: I got the Spurs in 6. Utah may scare them, but Spurs have the edge.