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News » No. 8 seeds have ugly history


No. 8 seeds have ugly history


No. 8 seeds have ugly history
The last, and only other, time the Jazz were an eight seed was in 2002. They lost that best-of-five first-round series, in four games, to Sacramento. No wonder, too. Since the NBA changed its playoff format to a 16-team system in 1984, there have been 50 1-8 seed series ? and only three times have the eight seeds won.

That would be Golden State over Dallas in 2007, New York over Miami in 1999 and Denver over Seattle in 1994. In 22 of those 50 series, the No. 8 seed team has been swept. When faced with the those facts after the Jazz locked themselves into a 1-8 opening-round series this year with the top-seeded Los Angeles Lakers, shooting guard Kyle Korver initially sounded as if he didn't want to hear it. "I mean, No. 8 seeds are supposed to lose," he said. "That's why it's 1 vs. 8." He did, however, see the silver lining. "But three teams did win," Korver said. "Someday there's going to be a fourth." GLASS HALF FULL: Considering that his team lost 147 man games this season to health matters, Jazz coach Jerry Sloan suggested the mere fact they made the playoffs trumps their plummet to the eighth seed in the NBA's Western Conference playoffs. And it's for that reason he seems to accept the fact the Jazz must open against the West's best. "We have no other choice now," Sloan said. "We can't pick and choose. We weren't one of the top teams. "We had to fight like devil to get here," he added. "I think our guys did a terrific job to be able do that, considering all the things that's happened. You know, that's life in the NBA. Now, there's a whole new season starting." NEW SEASON: Sloan really is trying to sell his club on the notion that the postseason represents a fresh start. "Just start all over," he said. "That's what the playoffs do. Nobody cares what you did in the regular season. It's what you do in the playoffs." Point guard Deron Williams, for one, is buying in. "The regular season doesn't matter now," he said. TAKING OVER: That in mind, Williams suggested he may take a new approach when the Jazz-Lakers series gets under way. He intends to take over ? much more than usual, and much earlier. "I'm gonna have to, from the start," Williams said. "Just try to do it all." FOCUS: For the next couple weeks, or however long they last in the playoffs, Sloan just wants his Jazz to focus. "That's the crazy thing about this business. You know, it's a lot of concentration," he said. "Try to avoid all the things on the outside, and put your mind into just playing Basketball. "Sometimes during the regular season that gets away from you, because you have too many outside interests. Everybody wants a piece of you. Now we have to make it a little bit more of a private deal, so we get prepared to play." AND FINALLY: Jazz backup power forward Paul Millsap has a backer in his bid to win Most Improved Player votes. "Here is a guy who is a bench player and he's a sixth or seventh man," TNT analyst Kenny Smith said. "He comes in and fills a void for Carlos Boozer; not only does he play better, but the team stays afloat and they actually played better before Boozer came back." E-mail: tbuckley@desnews.com


Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: April 17, 2009

 

 
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