Sports and religion go hand in hand. Watch an interview after a game, and chances are that one of the winning players will thank the man upstairs. Likewise, the losers will say that it just wasn't meant to be as ordained by the higher power.
Sometimes religion plays a more specific, incremental role in the outcome of a game. Like, say, a team needs help in a particular area of the game. It turns out the team chaplain can help with that. From the Twitter of Jody Genessy of the Deseret News:
I'm no expert on religion, but it seems like the Utah Jazz rebounding well is not one of the primary concerns for the creator of the universe. Plus, the Jazz are a good team -- it's not like they're the Clippers or Sixers.
The prayer didn't quite work -- Utah was out-rebounded 50-39 by the Kings in Monday night's win, including 16 offensive rebounds for Sacramento -- but this move has nevertheless opened up a new avenue for pregame prayers. Expect more teams to move in this direction and pray for specific help from the Lord:
*Orlando Magic: for Dwight Howard(notes) to stop singing
*New York Knicks: for people to stop dunking on their faces
*Miami Heat: for an appropriate, but not excessive amount of "chill"
*Los Angeles Lakers: for Kobe to stop doing that creepy underbite face
*Boston Celtics: for Kevin Garnett(notes) to stop yelling
*New Jersey Nets: for Mikhail Prokhorov to stop asking if they want to buy American blue jeans
*Cleveland Cavaliers: for adult fonts
*Portland Trail Blazers: for functional knees
*Minnesota Timberwolves: for David Kahn to stop talking
*Golden State Warriors: for Monta Ellis(notes) and Stephen Curry(notes) to get their first chest hairs
Try out your own in the comments.