Jazz, Nuggets are playoff worthy

Updated: April 1, 2004, 11:10 AM ET
By By Terry Brown | NBA Insider
You don't have to tell the Utah Jazz or the Denver Nuggets that the world isn't fair.

Combined, they have a payroll of $64.3 million. To put that in perspective, there are seven teams in the 29-team NBA that have higher payrolls by themselves. Add in the luxury tax, and there are two teams that are at twice that much by themselves.

But what really makes this whole thing incredibly unfair is the fact that both of them have 39 wins after playing the entire season in the toughest division in the league and only one of them will probably make it into the postseason.

That's right.

Boston, at 34 wins, is in as we speak. New York, at 35 wins, is in along with Milwaukee, New Orleans and Miami at 37 wins. Heck, Cleveland at 32 wins still has a better shot than one of these teams.

So, do we root for Carmelo Anthony when he takes on the Spurs, Kings, Blazers and Rockets in reverse order in the closing two weeks of the season knowing that doing so means we're rooting against Andrei Kirilenko when he takes on the Spurs, Mavs, Rockets and Timberwolves in that same period of time?

As it stands now, the Jazz are in eighth place, one half game ahead of the Nuggets with Denver holding the tie-breaker as head coach Jerry Sloan falls in line for Coach of the Year honors and head coach Jeff Bzdelik fights for his job.

It just doesn't seem fair.

Maybe we should just root for the Blazers and their $84.3 million payroll and 38 wins to beat both of them and be done with it.