History Favors Utah As Fifth Seed In Playoffs
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Many Utah Jazz fans may have been upset that their team received the fifth seed in the playoffs and will surrender home court advantage to the Houston Rockets. However, if history is any indicator, the fifth spot is not a bad place to be.
In the 1986 NBA Playoffs the Jazz made the postseason for just the third time in franchise history. As the fifth seed, they were knocked out of the playoffs by the Dallas Mavericks three games to one in a best of five series.
Since then the Jazz have gone into the playoffs as the fifth seed six times in their 27 playoff appearances. They’ve won the first round series every time.
— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) April 12, 2019
Most recently the Jazz have gone into the playoffs as the fifth seed for three straight season, which is every single time that they’ve been to the playoffs under head coach Quin Snyder.
Fifth Seed Success
As the fifth seed, the Jazz upset the Oklahoma City Thunder in six games last season. The year before, they beat the LA Clippers in seven games with the deciding game being played in Los Angeles.
In 2010, with a team that featured Deron Williams, Carlos Boozer and Mehmet Okur, as well as current Jazzman Kyle Korver, Utah defeated the Denver Nuggets in six games in the first round. They went on to be swept by the Los Angeles Lakers in the second round which was the final postseason appearance for legendary head coach Jerry Sloan.
Before that, it had been a while since Jazz had been tasked with entering the playoffs as the fifth seed. In 1994, the Jazz knocked out the fourth-seeded San Antonio Spurs three games to one. After that, faced the Nuggets in a series that went seven games before Utah won the decisive seventh game in Salt Lake City. From there, the Jazz made their second ever trip to the conference finals, where they lost in five games to the Rockets.
In 1991, Utah met the Phoenix Suns in the first round and won three games to one as the fifth seed. The Jazz proceeded to lose in the next round to the Portland Trail Blazers.
Three years earlier, the Jazz beat the Trail Blazers in four games. After that, they had a thrilling seven-game series against the “Showtime” Lakers, which they lost in the final game.
Before that, that 1986 playoff appearance was the franchise’s first as a fifth seed. While the Jazz lost to Dallas in four games, the table was set for six straight first round victories as the fifth seed in the Western Conference playoffs.
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