The Utah Jazz have blazed a trail through the NBA this season after getting ousted in the first round of the playoffs last season. Their conquerors, the Denver Nuggets, proved to be worthy after making it to the Western Conference Finals, but that doesn’t offer much comfort.
Now, they sit in the top seed in the West, 1.5 games ahead of the Phoenix Suns with a 43-15 record. The Jazz have been dominant on both offense and defense, and positively historic from 3-point range. At this point, getting into the playoffs with all hands on deck and healthy is all that matters.
The Utah Jazz are a breakout squad this season, and anything less than a deep run in the NBA playoffs would be a disappointment.
But who will they face in the first round? That’s the big question right now, and thanks to this season’s new play-in format, there are a whole lot of possible opponents even if the Jazz don’t drop out of first place in the West.
For a quick rundown on how the play-in works, read this.
The Jazz could feasibly play the seventh-place Dallas Mavericks, the eighth-place Memphis Grizzlies, the ninth-place Golden State Warriors, the 10th-place San Antonio Spurs, or the Portland Trail Blazers could slip from sixth or the New Orleans Pelicans could finally get it together and move up from 11.
It’s a wide range of diverse teams, and we’re going to rank our three favorite possible first-round opponents for the Utah Jazz.