The Western Conference is full of great teams, and one of those are the Utah Jazz. The team from Salt Lake City has been playing some great basketball in the past few seasons. This season, it is much of the same for the Jazz, as they look to go past the second-round wall they have hit three times in the last five playoff runs. Still, this season just feels different and many believe this is the year when the Jazz could go all the way. Thus, let's look at the three reasons why the Jazz will make and win the 2022 NBA Finals.
Reasons why the Jazz are winning the 2022 NBA Finals
Tons of playoff experience
This team has been together for a fairly long time. Of course, where were additions, like Jordan Clarkson who arrived two years ago, but the core of the team has been together for three years. Three years ago, the Jazz added Bojan Bogdanovic and Mike Conley to the core of Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell, both players that have been with the Jazz for their entire career. The quartet of Mitchell, Gobert, Bogdanovic, and Conley has played a ton of games together and amassed a lot of playoff experience. That is absolutely critical when coming into the playoffs and it is then and there where all the mileage on these players, especially in terms of playoff basketball, comes to fruition.
They have had some great moments together, most notably when cleared the Memphis Grizzlies in five games, a team that is now one of the favorites to come out of the Western Conference. However, the Jazz also had some heartbreaking moments with this roster, such as the sluggish game seven in the NBA Bubble in 2020, where they lost to the Nuggets in the first round due to a Nikola Jokic hook shot with just 27 seconds remaining in the game. However, with losses, especially of that fashion, the team can really draw out important conclusions and while last season they were stopped by the Clippers in the second round, this group as put together tasted playoff success and that is also an important factor coming into this postseason.
They are a well-versed, well-balanced team
When we look at the Jazz in detail, they really have everything. In Donovan Mitchell, the Jazz have a proven scorer and a guy who is going to lead through his own example. Mitchell plays with a ton of effort and he is their guy to get them points in all sorts of situations. They also have Rudy Gobert. The Stifle Tower, as he is known, is one of the best defensive players in the NBA, and while he will likely not win the award this year, Gobert still has three Defensive Player of the Year honors to show off. While Gobert and Mitchell are the leaders of this Jazz team, the train does not stop there.
Bojan Bogdanovic is a Croatian sharpshooter who has always been there for the Jazz, should one of their other offensive options slow down. This season, he is averaging 18.1 points but he also had some amazing games, most notably a 36-point outing against the Denver Nuggets in January and 35 points against the Thunder at the start of March. He is efficient, knows his role, and can hit clutch shots, all key aspects of a playoff player.
Next to him, the Jazz have a bench scorer in Jordan Clarkson. He won the Sixth Man of the Year award last season and while he has somewhat slowed down this year, he is a problem when he is on. Apart from these two, the Jazz has Conley to run the point, Hassan Whiteside to keep their defense in check when Gobert sits, and Rudy Gay for even more experience off the bench.
They can get hot in consecutive games and keep the good times rolling
The Jazz have won 45 games this season and they have done so through some major win-streaks where they seemed unstoppable. Most notably, the Jazz had eight streaks of three or more games won. That includes a massive stretch of eight games won from the end of November all the way until mid-December. After two losses, they then went on a six-game winning streak, ending the year sitting at 26-9. Of course, they have since slowed down to an extent, winning just two of their next 13, but they have fully bounced back and stabilized their season.
The reason why this is so important is that getting hot can be the reason why a team has won a playoff series. Obviously, if it is a massive gap in quality, like a matchup between the first seed and a totally overmatched eighth seed, getting into a hot streak does not mean much.
However, the Jazz are a serious team, and they will face no such discrepancy in the postseason. In that circumstance, getting hot, as they have shown they can multiple times during the season, could be the difference-maker in a series. The Jazz fans are still waiting to get back into the Finals, and this might finally be their year.