For how average of a ball club the Utah Jazz have proven to us to be in the last few years, we have always known them to be more than capable of competing with anyone on any given night if they’re at home. They proved that point once again on Monday night in their 104-97 win over the star-ridden Miami Heat. One of the most common questions thrown at outcomes like these is: was it more about the Heat losing or the Jazz winning. I don’t think there has ever been a closer scenario where that question became so difficult to answer. Let us examine.
The Miami Heat are the best team in the eastern conference. They have a roster so overloaded with superstars that it has gotten to the point where if they don’t win it all, then the season is a bust. I’d say even their sixth, seven, eighth, and ninth guys off the bench would be taken as starter potentials for the majority of the franchises around the league. In addition to their offseason acquisitions that included 3-point king Ray Allen, the Miami Heat could easily be seen as the New York Yankees of the NBA. Despite their current streak in which they have lost six of their last ten games, the Heat remain the team to beat come playoff time.
The flip side to this tossup conversation is the 21-19 Utah Jazz, who are currently just on the outside looking in of the playoff picture as we approach the halfway point of the regular season. Unlike the Heat, the Jazz desperately lack star power and at a playoff standpoint this can be seen as a sizeable deficit. However, what they lack in a go-to guy who can carry them on the offensive end, I believe, they can makeup to an extent on the defensive end and in their disciplined demeanor, which is attributed to Coach Corbin.
With that being said, the Utah Jazz won the prize for the initial question. The outcome was more about them. They can be another just above average Jazz team that barely makes the playoff and is highly competitive in their first round matchup in the playoffs or they can mix up the pot. It has been rumored that a couple of names are already being discussed in trade talks and this comes in the best interest to the Jazz, who have a reasonably consistent and contemplative front office. It’s apparent that they need to make a trade, but it goes without mentioning the risk factor in such an ordeal.
The Jazz have developing players that have the potential to pay huge dividends in the next few seasons if they are able to reap the blossoms. They also have veterans whose experience and maturity could benefit the club pending a heated playoff battle. This is where the risk comes into play. At this point, we would be preposterous to think that the Jazz front office would be content taking this roster to the playoffs IF they were even to make it in the first place. It is imminent that a move must be made. What question remains and one that I will leave you with is what would you value more come playoff time?
The young or the experienced.