If a playoff team fells a giant and no one pays attention, will it make a sound?
Everyone is complaining about the NBA’s post season, but everyone is looking for fun in the wrong places. America hates the Spurs and dislikes the Pistons, we get that. Cleveland, a defensive powerhouse with one exciting offensive player only gets positive press when Lebron is involved. But there’s a four seed in the conference finals, and no one wants to pay them any attention. I was looking at ESPN’s picks for some their earlier series, and I realized that the vast majority of the ‘experts’ picked Houston in the first round and Golden State in the second. Utah is exciting, young, they play with passion, they’re an underdog, and most importantly, they are GOOD. The media made a huge mistake giving all of its attention to Golden State, a decent team that got lucky match up wise in round one. Golden State wasn’t going anywhere, and no amount of Hollinger stats will change that. Utah, while not an underdog seed wise, has never gotten any attention, and thus people have been betting against them from day one.
Now, I happen to be a defense nerd, and so Detroit and San Antonio happen to be my two favorite teams to watch outside of NYC, but most fans don’t find them entertaining and they are complaining to anyone in earshot about the possibility of a San-Antonio/Detroit final. Stop bitching America, your team is right here! Sure, Utah is hurt because it is a small market, but playing in a big market is no longer a pre-requisite for exposure (see San Antonio, Indiana, Portland in the early 2000’s) . In the age of the internet, any team that plays well can get a degree of exposure. There is no excuse for the league and the media’s neglect of the Jazz. This is a great team, a team that came out of no where to be included in the top four teams in the league. This team has no where to go but up. As long as they stay healthy, Utah is going to become a mainstay in the conference elite as San Antonio ages. I don’t think they are going to take this series (my preview should be up later, if its not up before game one know that I’m picking the Spurs in 6), but the team has so much upside its scary. And yet, no one seems to care. If the impossible happens and the Spurs fall before this team, maybe America will finally turn its head and pay attention, but they should have done this already. The Jazz won a game seven on the road in their first playoff series as a team. You almost never see that. I expect great things from this squad and I hope that people start recognizing the same thing.