The Utah Jazz have no chance of advancing. They're too young, not skilled enough shooters and can't guard the perimeter. Sound familiar?
That's what most "experts" said before the season started. They said the Jazz had no chance at making the NBA playoffs. They said they'd be lucky to finish at .500.
Well, the playoffs are about to start and the doubters are back.
Granted, beating the San Antonio Spurs would go down as the greatest playoff upset in Jazz history. But this team cares little about history.
Derrick Favors, Gordon Hayward, Alec Burks and Enes Kanter have no concept about NBA playoff pressure. They're about to find out. But until it hits then, these kids are playing with such ease, it appears as though they're in a playground pickup game.
While Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker have tons of playoff experience and have won multiple NBA championships, the Jazz are playing with house money. They're not expected to win even a single game, and that's just the way they like it.
"People really disrespected us," Al Jefferson said after the Jazz clinched a playoff berth. "I love to make people eat their words."
That was the attitude the Jazz adopted this season. They wanted to prove the doubters wrong. So far, they have.
It will take a monumental effort to knock off the Spurs. The Jazz have the size to give the Spurs problems, especially when they go to a front line of Jefferson, Favors and Paul Millsap. Utah's shot-blocking ability may even give Duncan fits.
Gordon Hayward will have his hands full with Ginobili, and the Jazz have nobody that can stick with Parker.
But San Antonio was the #1 seed last year and lost to Memphis. It can happen. Golden State did it to Dallas in 2007. It is possible.
The Jazz are 2-7 all-time as the #8 seed. If they win a single game against the Spurs, these playoffs could be considered a success. But this Jazz team should not be taken lightly, especially at home. If Utah can somehow, some way steal one game in San Antonio, this series will get very interesting.
And the doubters may be forced to eat their words again.