The conference finals are set in stone.

Tonight, the Boston Celtics will do battle with the Indiana Pacers.

Tomorrow, the Dallas Mavericks travel to the twin cities to face off against the Timberwolves.

And for fans of the Utah Jazz, there basketball involvement boils down to selecting what team they will quietly or loudly cheer on while their favorite team prepares for the NBA draft.

I promise you’re not less of a Jazz fan if you choose a favorite of the 4 remaining teams for whatever reason.

Anything that gets you involved and excited to watch basketball is worthwhile in these trying times as fans of the fighting J-notes.

Let’s break these down into 4 categories for 4 teams to help you decide who’s wagon you may want to jump on for the next couple of weeks.


First and foremost, the Minnesota Timberwolves will capture the support of the majority of fans who have seen their team stay home or be sent home.

Sports fans absolutely love an underdog, and a good underdog story.

From a roster standpoint, Minnesota is not an underdog.

As a top 4 team in the west, and a roster composed of a rising superstar in Anthony Edwards, a 4-time defensive player of the year in Rudy Gobert and high-end complimentary pieces, the Wolves built this team to be here.

They embarrassed Kevin Durant and the Suns, thwarted the defending champion, Denver Nuggets in 7 games, and none it seemed accidental.

For the front office in Minneapolis, this isn’t a surprise, it was expected.

For fans of the Wolves and the NBA as whole it’s a certain shock.

From a franchise standpoint, Minnesota is very much an underdog.

The Wolves have seen approximately zero championships, and are appearing in the conference finals for only the second time in franchise history where they have a 0-1 record from a 2004 defeat to the Lakers.

As far as Minnesota’s 35-year history is concerned the Wolves have a 41 % winning total going 1147-1647 throughout time, the lowest mark of all 30 NBA teams.

The 12 playoff appearances for Minnesota are only one more than the Oklahoma City Thunder (excluding Seattle’s history) who were founded in 2008.

So yes, Minnesota despite their resume this year, is an underdog, and like the Detroit Lions before them will gain support in masses.

The Wolves also roster three former Jazz players in Rudy Gobert, Mike Conley and Nickeil Alexander-Walker, meaning there’s already a lot of support from the beehive state.


The Utah Jazz of the East, AKA the Indiana Pacers get a crack at a title if they can whether Beantown.

Comparisons between the two franchises have been made by fans for years upon years.

Both respectable small market franchises, who struggle to lure free agents or catch the eye of the national media.

Even with the uphill battle both teams often give their fans something to be excited about, and Indiana certainly exceeded those expectations this season.

If you compare the Pacers and Jazz side by side both have been kicking for 45 or more years.

Utah has secured more victories with 2016 wins and a 55.6 winning percentage and Indiana has tallied 1930 and a 49.8 winning percentage.

More wins or not both teams have ultimately never reached the peak of basketball glory, Utah in 31 playoff tries, Indiana in 28.

Utah has 2 conference championships; Indiana has 1 and together they have combined for an 0-3 finals record.

Minnesota may most resemble the Jazz through former players, but if you’re looking for the squad that historically most resembles Utah’s accolades, Indiana is your best bet.


With the two underdogs out of the way, we now welcome in the odd ball in the Dallas Mavericks.

Dallas is in a unique spot from a rooting standpoint because they do have a championship under their belt (2011), they wouldn’t be a first timer like Minnesota or Indiana.

Dallas has big time stars like Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving, but you’re also going to see large doses of Derrick Jones Jr. and Dereck Lively.

I didn’t expect Dallas to be here, but I guess it isn’t that surprising that they are?

Point being, if you select Dallas, you’ll neither be pulling for the underdog, but you won’t be aligning with a favorite either.

You’ll stand apart for certain.

The 50.7 winning percentage in 44 years shows you that Dallas had always walked that fine line of contender and pretender as long as they’ve been around.

They have 7 less division titles than Utah and above all a championship which trumps any division title banter.

So, despite a storied history of guys like Steve Nash, Dirk Nowitzki and now Luka Doncic, your no bandwagoner if you side with the Mav’s taking home a title.


Every championship race has a perennial assumed favorite.

This year, it’s the Boston Celtics.

Regular season success (64-18) and toppling both Miami and Cleveland in a quick 5 games, injuries or not, show why many will lean towards the C’s taking home a title.

Make no mistake, the Celtics aren’t in dynasty mode like the Warriors have been in past years.

Despite making the conference finals in 6 of the last 8 seasons, this year included, Boston has only seen the finals one time since 2010.

Their last championship came back in the 2007-2008 season.

So no, by typical standards Boston isn’t your standard “powerhouse”, if anything fans have expected them to choke in big time moments, but based on regular season success and Jayson Tatum, Boston will be dubbed the big bad in this final four.

The 17 NBA titles and the highest winning percentage of all time as a franchise (59.4%) also contribute to people penciling in Boston despite recent abundant failures.


Go ahead Utah, make your pick. Or don’t. The Jazz will be back in 4 months’ time anyway.

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