Comparison to the 96-97 Jazz Finals Team


fishonjazz

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Would Gobert have struggled against the top bigs at that time? Would Duncan have given him problems? Maybe? Divac? Lol. Yao? Zo? Rasheed? Shaq? I’m talking about the late 90s early 2000s when the centers were much heavier. Or would Gobert’s length and unique athleticism won the day?
I think Gobert would be great against 90% of the centers from those days. Shaq would probably kick his *** but shaq kicked everyones *** and you could always just foul him. I think gobert would do fine against duncan and divac and yao and zo and sheed. In fact, overall he would probably be better defensively back then because he could just stay in the paint all time since there weren't many players like jokic, KAT, Porz, etc back then.
 


LogGrad98

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OP updated. We are 2 full games ahead of the 96-97 team at 50 games. Best 50-game start in jazz history. However we need to keep in mind that the 96-97 team went on a historic 19 of 20 win streak to end the season. We will really need to drop something similar. We need another 10-game win streak.

GO JAZZ!!
 

Sean

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It's very difficult to compare anything beyond just record between this year's Jazz and the 1997 team. The NBA back then didn't have nearly as many contenders and while there's no Chicago Bulls dynasty to compete with, Utah was unequivocally the best team in the West. They finished 7 games ahead of the second place team (the Sonics and Rockets tied with the second-best record in the West) and were the clear favorites to win the conference when they entered the playoffs (with the only concern being their inability to do so in prior years).

At this time, I just don't see the Jazz as near the clear-cut favorite out West like they were in 1997.

So, while there is no Chicago waiting at the very end for Utah, I think it's far more likely this team fails to even make it to the Finals than that 1997 team was looking at by the end of the regular season.

Now I'll admit that if the Jazz do make it out of the West, their odds of actually winning it all are much greater than in 1997 because, again, no Jordan.

But right now, absolutely I think the '97 Jazz was better positioned to actually make the Finals than this current team and it's because the gap between a #1 seeded Jazz team and the rest of the field is much smaller than it was in 1997's Western Conference.
 

LogGrad98

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It's very difficult to compare anything beyond just record between this year's Jazz and the 1997 team. The NBA back then didn't have nearly as many contenders and while there's no Chicago Bulls dynasty to compete with, Utah was unequivocally the best team in the West. They finished 7 games ahead of the second place team (the Sonics and Rockets tied with the second-best record in the West) and were the clear favorites to win the conference when they entered the playoffs (with the only concern being their inability to do so in prior years).

At this time, I just don't see the Jazz as near the clear-cut favorite out West like they were in 1997.

So, while there is no Chicago waiting at the very end for Utah, I think it's far more likely this team fails to even make it to the Finals than that 1997 team was looking at by the end of the regular season.

Now I'll admit that if the Jazz do make it out of the West, their odds of actually winning it all are much greater than in 1997 because, again, no Jordan.

But right now, absolutely I think the '97 Jazz was better positioned to actually make the Finals than this current team and it's because the gap between a #1 seeded Jazz team and the rest of the field is much smaller than it was in 1997's Western Conference.
I don't think anyone questions that the 96-97 Jazz team was a dominant force at that time, and had years to build their style and team and gel together, years of success in the playoffs, multiple runs to the WCF, and record broken by proven hall-of-famers. Of course this is just a comparison of records, because really it is the only thing we can definitely compare between the 2 teams. It is important to remember that the 97 Jazz team built that 7 game lead with a 15-game winning streak, part of winning 19 of their last 20 games, which pushed them well ahead of the pack.

At this point in the season the 96-97 team looked beatable. They had a rough stretch coming out of the first third of the season, which pulled their record down a bit.

So it looked like this:

Through 50 games (in 96-97)

Lakers 37-13
Jazz 36-14
Sonics 35-15
Rockets 33-17

Through 60 games

Jazz 44-16
Sonics 42-18
Rockets 40-20
Lakers 40-20 (wow they fell off hard didn't they?)

So the big lead came at the end of the season with the huge 19 of 20 win streak after the 60 game mark that gave them huge momentum into the playoffs. I still remember though, facing the rockets in the WCF, that there was a healthy skepticism as to whether or not we could make that leap, it was not a foregone conclusion with how strong that rockets team was at that time.

Even before the season the Jazz were far from the favorites to come out of the west. They put together a historic season to beat the odds. Here were the preseason odds to win the championship, with both the rockets and sonics above the Jazz, oh and the Lakers.

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So I definitely believe the 96-97 team was very strong and had a history of great playoff runs already well under their belts. But it doesn't mean they were necessarily automatically better than our current team.

Of course, the proof of the pudding is in the tasting, so the playoffs can only really determine the outcome. But for now, this team is a couple of games ahead of the 96-97 team at the same point, and that ain't nothing.
 

Sean

Well-Known Member
I thought the comparison was about how likely the Jazz is at making the Finals based on 1997's results.

Then I agree. This year's Jazz has a good chance of matching, or exceeding, 1997's win percentage.

But on the whole, unfortunately, this team isn't at the level in terms of overall separation from the West that 1997's Jazz turned out to be by season's end.

I think it's important to also note Utah only has 22 games left. That's ten games fewer than 97's team after 50 games due to the shortened season.

Truth be told: the gap between the Jazz and the West is far smaller than it was in 1997 and I really don't think that's up for debate. It will likely mean, despite what we all hope, the odds of Utah winning the West are much smaller than they were in 1997 at this point. That's not to say their odds are worse than any other Western team but absolutely not nearly as clear-cut as things were toward the end of the 1997 regular seasom

Really, this is the first time since maybe 1995 that so many teams from the West actually have a real shot at winning the conference...or at least a really good one.

I could see Denver, LA, Utah, Phoenix or the Clippers coming out of the West.
 

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