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NBA 5-on-5: Utah Jazz
Three of Utah's four top usage leaders from a year ago are gone, setting the stage for many of the team's young, up-and-comers to determine the Jazz's fate. Can guys like Gordon Hayward and Derrick Favors develop a core around which Utah can build? Are there budding stars on this team that are ready to step forward, or is the team still missing several pieces? The NBA 5-on-5 guys had their say and now it's time for SportsNation to weigh in.
The Lakers' magic number is one: Either one win by Los Angeles or one loss by the Utah Jazz will lock up a playoff spot for them. That'd be great for them if there were, say, five games remaining, but both teams have only one game left. The Jazz are doing their part to make this an exciting race, declining to lose Monday night against the Timberwolves. They have one advantage in this whole mess -- they own a playoff tiebreaker against the Lakers -- but they'll face a serious challenge in their final game, taking on the Grizzlies on the road.
The Thunder have locked up the top seed in the playoffs -- if either the Lakers or Jazz end up with the Western Conference's eighth seed, they'd face them in the first round.