In the Western Conference bracket the 8-9 contest features the Utah Jazz versus a threesome of superstars who were for some reason left off their respective teams in this tournament. Perhaps compounding their misfortune, the Jazz blog SLC Dunk, through a series of readership polls and queries, decided to go with a very inexperienced group of Alec Burks, Gordon Hayward and Derrick Favors. Little did they know that in the very first round they'd be running into the likes of James Harden, Zach Randolph and Pau Gasol. Adding excitement to the tournament is a good thing, and it would also be great for this trio of young Jazz players to get this (hypothetical) experience. Unfortunately, their stay in the tournament may not be looking good.
In the spirit of the exercise, though, AllThatAmar from SLC Dunk is undeterred by this unfortunate turn of events for the Jazz, and gives an impassioned explanation of why his youngsters will prevail. Will it sway the judges?
Here's what our panel of experts had to say:
- Tom Ziller, SB Nation NBA, Sactown Royalty -- West Leftovers win 15 of 20
- Andrew Sharp, SB Nation NBA -- West Leftovers win 18 of 20
- Steve Perrin, SB Nation NBA, Clips Nation -- West Leftovers win 16 of 20
- Frank Madden, Brew Hoop -- West Leftovers win 18 of 20
- J.R. Wilco, Pounding the Rock -- Utah wins 11 of 20
- Overall probabilities: Utah 24 percent; West Leftovers 76 percent
The West Leftovers are ridiculous, but this match is set by SLC Dunk's decision to go with youth. -- Ziller
Gordon Hayward vs. Z-Bo. Good God. If Utah could score this West team is bad enough on defense to make things interesting, but for some reason I don't think Alec Burks and Derrick Favors are the guys to take advantage. -- Sharp
Who does Hayward guard? Whether you put him on Gasol or Randolph, he's got no chance. And it's not like he's taking severe advantage on the other side, since Gasol can probably handle him and leave Randolph on Favors. -- Perrin
James Harden and Pau Gasol are "leftovers" only in the bizarre parallel universes of the Thunder and Laker rosters, respectively, and they figure to have clear edges over their young Jazz counterparts Alec Burks and Derrick Favors. As if that weren't enough, Gordon Hayward will probably need a manhole cover and a crossbow if he wants to avoid getting steamrolled into submission by Zach Randolph. -- Madden
Don't know what it is, maybe the fact that they seem more like a team; maybe it's that I can't see Randolph guarding Hayward; maybe it's the multiple threats from deep. Or maybe it's the young legs of those Jazz players that probably wouldn't be too big a factor in a single game, but prove to be the difference here as Utah takes the series 11 to nine. One thing's for sure, I was definitely not swayed by the fact that if Utah loses, my beloved Spurs would have to take on that amalgam of an apostasy that is the West Leftovers team! -- Wilco
The Bottom Line
The panel gives the better seed Utah only a 24 percent chance of winning this, and almost half of that came from J.R. Wilco, who might have a bit of a conflict of interest here and finds himself facing a disciplinary committee hearing concerning his questionable impartiality. Ultimately it's up to the dice to decide, and Utah fans will be looking for those low numbers.
What do you think is going to happen?
The result will be posted later this afternoon.
For a complete look at the SB Nation 3 on 3 Tournament, check back with this StoryStream.