The Utah Jazz have been doing just about everything in their power to keep pace with the Los Angeles Lakers so that they have a chance of getting the eight-seed and making the NBA Playoffs. They’ve beaten teams they’re supposed to and at least remained competitive against the better teams that they have played. It now seems like everything is working in the Jazz’s favor.
Though it feels wrong to talk about the plus-side of the Achilles injury that Kobe Bryant suffered, it’s hard to argue the fact that the Jazz will benefit from it. Bryant has been the driving force of the Lakers all season. Now the Lakers have to face two playoff teams without their leader and their best player; that’s good news for Utah.
Moreover, the Jazz’s best player is also having an impact. Al Jefferson seems like he is poised to carry Utah to the playoffs if that’s what it takes. On Friday against the Minnesota Timberwolves, Jefferson notched 40 points, 13 rebounds and six assists while shooting a fantastic 19-27 from the field. That definitely seems like a player who is in the zone. The Jazz have also seen key contributions from Gordon Hayward and Mo Williams over the past couple of weeks that seem to spell success.
The Jazz only need to gain one game on the Lakers to put them in a tie with each other, which would put Utah in the playoffs because they own the tie-breaker. Things seem to be falling into place for them to where they can take the eight-seed. Whether they take advantage of these opportunities with two games remaining, though, still remains to be seen.