It would be hard to argue that the defending NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers aren’t the team to beat in the Western Conference playoffs as they are stacked with some of the most talented players in the week and led by arguably the best all-around player in Kobe Bryant.
Even though everybody will be looking to the Los Angeles Lakers to repeat as NBA champs or at least come out of the Western Conference and advance to the NBA Finals, there are two teams in the West that might be able to give them a run for their money if given the chance, but only one of them be altogether first round as the Utah Jazz and the Denver Nuggets will do battle.
It has been a somewhat up-and-down season for both of these Western Conference heavyweights as the Denver Nuggets started off incredibly hot the beginning of the season and Carmelo Anthony looked like a legitimate MVP candidate, but in the second half of the season the nuggets have really struggled to put a winner on the floor on a nightly basis and ultimately head into the playoffs as the fifth seed after being the second seed for the majority of the season.
The Utah Jazz on the other hand have had a completely different kind of seasons as they really struggled in the first half of the regular season and began to excel in the second half as both All-Star point guard Deron Williams and power forward Carlos Boozer started to come into their own.
Even though the jazz were in the running for the second seed in the Western Conference, they fell just short in the last couple weeks of the regular season and now have a daunting task ahead of them trying to figure out how to guard both Chauncey Billups and scoring machine Carmelo Anthony.
There were plenty of great duos around the league that extremely tough to guard as he could focus on one and the other one will hurt you like Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol with the defending champs, Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili with the San Antonio Spurs or Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups with the Denver Nuggets.
Despite the Denver Nuggets dynamic duo being as tough to guard as any other duo around league, Utah Jazz also had their deadly one-two punch in Deron Williams and Carlos Boozer who will almost certainly try to establish themselves as forces to be reckoned with early in this playoff series.
One big deciding factor in this playoff series between the Denver Nuggets and the Utah Jazz will be the health of Carlos boozer who will be coming into the first game of this series pretty banged up and nurses a strained muscle in his rib cage.
Initially, Boozer was a game time decision for the Utah Jazz, but just recently he has said he will be doing all he can to get on the floor.
Even though I believe that Boozer will fight through this injury and probably put up double-double performances, the result of him not being 100% will be what makes the Denver Nuggets the favorite to come out on top in this series and advance to the next round.
Series Prediction: 4-3 Denver Nuggets