How the Utah Jazz might avoid ‘death lineup’ of playoff teams

LeBron James vs Utah Jazz (Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports)
LeBron James vs Utah Jazz (Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Utah Jazz’s potential second playoff opponent: Los Angeles Lakers

This might be the one playoff team the Utah Jazz would like to avoid as much as possible in the Western Conference. However, the Los Angeles Lakers could be playing the Jazz earlier than preferred if Utah keeps the top seed in the West.

With a 37-28 record, the Lakers are currently tied with the Dallas Mavericks at No. 5 in the standings.

The Jazz should go for the No. 1 seed if the Lakers slip to either the No. 6 or the No. 7 seed. If the Lakers seem headed for the No. 4 or No. 5 seed, though, then the Jazz should rest their starters and try to slip to the No. 2 seed.

ALSO READ: Five must-win games for Utah to secure No. 1 seed

But seeing how close it still is in the West between the Lakers, Mavericks, and Portland Trail Blazers — all three are sitting on 37 wins at the moment — the Utah Jazz probably won’t know their playoff fate until the final game of the regular season.