In the NBA playoffs, it is easy to focus on the top players for each team. For the Denver Nuggets and Utah Jazz, let’s focus on the X-factors instead.
If we are going to talk about the Utah Jazz and the Denver Nuggets the relative depth of both teams will ultimately determine this series. Both teams have played to that strength most of the year. The Jazz are limited in this department given that Bojan Bogdanovic is not with the team, moving every ancillary up a notch on the pecking order.
To define what an x-factor is in this regards it is not someone who falls into the top three players on the team. Denver will expect Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. to push the Jazz to the limit. On the other side, Donovan Mitchell, Rudy Gobert and Mike Conley (when he returns) will need to be at their best to give them a chance.
Role players often get overlooked when picking who wins or loses a series. It is true that the better team wins more in the NBA than most other sports. Defining what makes a team the best team comes down to which players know their roles and play them best.
As we have already seen in the bubble this series should be fun. The double-overtime thriller they played set the table for a competitive chess match between two great coaches. So which under the radar players will help tip the scales in either team’s favor?