SALT LAKE CITY — How a lot do you consider the lineup knowledge?

Your emotions about that go a great distance towards your emotions about whether or not the Utah Jazz have authentic title aspirations this season.

Watching the Jazz beat Dallas right here Friday evening, after which Utah’s win in Phoenix Sunday, was an excellent reminder {that a} absolutely loaded Jazz staff is just not simply dismissed as a playoff risk, regardless of its fourth-place place within the standings and the frustration of the previous two postseasons.

The Jazz received, in fact, behind Donovan Mitchell’s shot-making and a few excellent late protection by Rudy Gobert, and there’s a standard thread there, which we’ll get to in a minute.

Of course, Utah beating its potential first-round foe Friday and its potential second-round foe Sunday might or might not portend something for the playoffs. The Jazz have been a regular-season juggernaut a yr in the past, you’ll keep in mind, earlier than getting picked aside by a shorthanded Clippers staff within the second spherical of the playoffs. Also, Dallas appeared to play into Utah’s fingers Friday by making an attempt to attract Gobert into switches onto Luka Dončić quite than, say, any defender not named Gobert.

Nonetheless, the weekend Utah had — to not point out the weekend the Sixers had of their new James Harden-fueled incarnation — takes us to an even bigger story as we needed to the playoff race: the seek for killer lineup combos. We all harken again to Golden State’s “death lineup” that used



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