3-on-3 Gameday Preview: Spurs vs. Jazz Game 2
1. What do you make of the hard foul comments regarding Tony Parker in Game 2?
Jeff Lind, Salt City Hoops: Nobody, including Devin Harris, meant this in a malicious way. The fact is, Tony Parker torched the Jazz in Game 1, and his effective dribble penetration was one of the primary reasons. If the Jazz are going to hope and make this series competitive, they’re going to have to let Parker know they’re not going to let him dance down the lane at will. That means harder (not dangerous) fouls. I’m all for it.
Graydon Gordian, 48 Minutes of Hell: If the Jazz want to spend the whole game putting Parker on the line, let them. I don’t believe he will be easily intimidated. He’s taken plenty of hard fouls over the years. It’ll just make him angry. Not every player plays well angry, but I think Parker does.
Andrew McNeill, 48 Minutes of Hell: Eh. The playoffs are always physical and I don’t see Tony Parker as brittle as one Emanuel David Ginobili, so if he takes a few shots I think he’ll be fine. I remember Manu taking some big shots in those Spurs-Nuggets series in the mid-2000s and turned out alright.
2. What adjustments can the Jazz make in Game 2 to try and even the series?
Jeff Lind, Salt City Hoops: The simple answer is more Favors, less Howard. Unfortunately The answer that fans of Utah Jazz basketball want, and those that Ty Corbin want are very different things. Corbin leans heavy on veteran experience, and is opting to start Howard again. In John Hollinger’s playoff preview he said, “The Jazz spent half the season sabotaging themselves by giving heavy minutes to veteran deadwood like Bell & Howard.” Everyone seems to recognize that playing a vet who is coming off a recent injury is a bad idea. Everyone but Ty Corbin. Start Millsap at the 3, and start Favors.
Graydon Gordian, 48MoH: Whether it’s from the low block or off the dribble, they need to attack the rim and they need to do it incessantly. They’re not a strong enough jump shooting team to get forced into as many tough threes and long twos as the Jazz took in game 1.
Andrew McNeill, 48 MoH: I wonder if the Jazz don’t try and go small to combat the Spurs. Play Josh Howard at the 3 and Gordon Hayward at the 4 in order to stay with the Spurs’ pick-and-roll and get out on shooters. It’s not like the Spurs are really going to punish the Jazz in the post for going small.
3. What do the Spurs need to do to get even on the boards?
Jeff Lind, Salt City Hoops: I don’t think they can, but I also don’t think it matters. The Jazz have a size advantage on the boards, and they clog the paint. The Spurs play a more finesse style. I don’t know if the Spurs will ever have better positioning for consistent rebounds, but with Parker and Ginobli penetrating the lane, their entire team (including bigs) end up with more open looks. And I’d take an easy shot dished to the open man over a rebound all day.
Graydon Gordian, 48MoH: On the defensive end all five guys need to crash the boards. Making sure the Jazz go one-and-done each time down the floor is critical. However, on the offensive end, I’m not terribly concerned about the Spurs rebounding. It’s more important that they be in position to slow the break.
Andrew McNeill, 48MoH: I don’t think they can get even on the boards. I fully expect the Spurs to lose the rebounding battle in every game this series. How much they lose that battle by will reflect the outcome of the game. They had Splitter and the guards crashed hard in Game 1 and the Spurs still lost the boards by six. Can’t imagine they’ll do a lot better in this series.