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Five Teams the Jazz Could Play in the First Round of the Playoffs

Who could the Utah Jazz face in the first round of the NBA Playoffs?

The NBA Playoffs will look different this year. As part of the condensed COVID-19 schedule, the teams ranked #7-#10 in the conference standings will participate in a four-team playoff for the final two playoff spots. The #7 seed and #8 seed will face off for an opportunity to play the #2 seed in the conference. Then the loser of that game will face the winner of a prior game between the #9 seed and #10 seed for an opportunity to play the #8 seed. Clear as mud? Hopefully this graphic from the NBA will help:

credit: nba.com

credit: nba.com

For example, the Dallas Mavericks have hovered around #7 seed in the Western Conference standings for most of the season. In a normal season, they would be guaranteed a spot in the Playoffs as the #7 seed. This year, however, they will have to win a play-in game before securing their spot. Mavericks star Luka Doncic and Mavericks owner Mark Cuban publicly expressed their discontent with this year's playoff format:

The Jazz, assuming they maintain one of the top two seeds out West, will face a team from the play-in tournament in the first round of the Playoffs. At the time of this article, there are five teams that could find themselves in the play-in tournament. Below are the five teams that could matchup against the Utah Jazz in the first round of the playoffs:

1. Portland Trail Blazers

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Following the Mavericks' home victory over the Lakers, the Blazers are tied with the Mavericks for the #6 seed. The Blazers are on a three game losing streak, and could fall to the #7 seed if they don't right the ship.

2. Dallas Mavericks

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The Mavericks are competing with the Trail Blazers for the #6 seed. If they stay at #7, they could face the Jazz in the first round. If you're the Jazz, the Mavericks and the Blazers are probably the last two teams you would want to see in the first round.

3. Memphis Grizzlies

Earlier this season, the Jazz faced the Grizzlies three times in a week. The Jazz won all three contests in what ended up being a very similar format to the playoffs. As far as matchups are concerned, this would be a favorable one for the Jazz.

4. San Antonio Spurs

Thanks to Gregg Popovich, the Spurs find themselves in contention for the last Playoff spot. Like the Grizzlies, this would be one of the two more favorable matchups for the Jazz.

5. Golden State Warriors

The Golden State Warriors are currently the #10 seed out West. Steph Curry is capable of winning a game (or games) on his own. Therefore, facing Steph Curry in the first round would be less than ideal.

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