Los Angeles Lakers: The ideal matchups for the NBA Playoffs

Lakers Rumors (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Lakers Rumors (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Omar Rawlings/Getty Images) – Los Angeles Lakers
(Photo by Omar Rawlings/Getty Images) – Los Angeles Lakers /

2. Round two: The Utah Jazz

  • Instead of: The Houston Rockets or Oklahoma City Thunder

The middle of the Western Conference is in the air, which is what makes the final weeks of the season so intriuging for the Lakers, as the middle of the top-eight is going to decide who the team plays in the second round.

There are only 2.5 games that separate the fourth-place Utah Jazz from the seventh-place Dallas Mavericks and only another two games that separate the Jazz from the third-place Denver Nuggets.

The Jazz have been touted as a sneaky dangerous team all season that has done nothing but fall flat of expectations. While the team is still undoubtedly going to be a playoff team, the year has not gone as good as it could have gone, especially with the Mike Conley trade.

Utah is a tough place to play and they have the best defensive center in the league in Rudy Gobert to try and limit Anthony Davis but the Lakers are going to be able to get Gobert on some awful matchups, draw him out of the paint and make him virtually unusable in the playoffs, which seems to happen every year.

I just like the matchup against the Jazz much more against the quirky Rockets or even the Oklahoma City Thunder, who has veterans on their team that could absolutely stretch a series longer than it needs to be. Against Utah, I think it would not go further than five games.

If the season were to end today, the Jazz and Thunder would be playing to determine who would move on to the second round against the Lakers.