3-on-3 Gameday Preview: Spurs vs. Jazz Game 2


You know the drill. Three writers, three questions. Game 2 of the playoffs. This time, Jeff Lind of Salt City Hoops joined us to talk about the game.

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.

  • http://www.48minutesofhell.com Len

    All the Jazz talk about fouling Tony hard really isn’t the answer to slowing him down. He can take a hit and I’ve seen Tony sort of feed off it before . He plays better when he gets some freebies and gets his mid-range going.

    Sounds like a bit of desperation from the Jazz.

    If I were Corbin I’d do everything possible to

    A. Keep Tony from curling into the center off of screens. Do anything and everything possible to force him towards the baseline.

    B. About 15 times during the game, double team him. He crosses half court and send 2 guys at him. Force the ball into Green’s hands.

    I think Pop is too smart and would counter these moves and the Spurs would still win but it’s a better move than putting TP on the line all night.

  • Tyler

    Yeah, kinda shocked Josh Howard is still even in the rotation (Wow are we lucky we didn’t sign him in the offseason!). He can’t shoot the 3 and really hasn’t been able to guard anyone. And when I think about veteran leaders that can calm a young group of inexperienced guys, Howard isn’t exactly at the top of my list.

    As long as the Spurs keep it relatively close on the boards, they should be fine. I agree w/ Graydon – we’re not too worried about offensive rebounding, we just need to limit the Jazz’s 2nd chance opportunities.

  • Tyler

    @ Len

    Agreed on TP. The Jazz need to force him to be a jumpshooter. I don’t care if he goes 20 for 20 from midrange. When Tony gets into the lane, it totally collapses the defense and leads to open 3’s, which the Spurs will hit consistently. Not to mention TP is more adept at finding open teammates this year.

    Go under screens, use the bigs to show on downscreens (not curls to the basket), and try to force the ball out of his hands on the PnR. Make someone else beat you.

  • http://www.48minutesofhell.com Andrew A. McNeill


    One of the problems for the Jazz with going under the screens, and one of the underrated things the Spurs do, is that when Parker is curling off screens on the wing, Duncan usually sets those screens so low that there’s not much room to go under the screen. Up top, yeah, they can definitely go under. But out on the wings they’re almost forced to fight over the screens.

  • ChrisTx

    \¸ GO SPURS GO & Pacquiao

    / \

  • DorieStreet

    @ Tyler – the Jazz’s second chance opportunities come from THEIR OFFENSIVE REBOUNDING-the Spurs must reduce that number in this second game. 2/3 of our squad squandered easy baksets during the first half— that was a big factor in the Jazz staying close. And I am pulling out my ‘dead horse to beat’ – the Spurs need to curtail the help defense in order not to give open looks at the hoop, which the Jazz are converting into easy points.

  • theghostofjh

    @Jeff Lind, Salt City Hoops:

    There’s a reason that Milsap is a PF. He doesn’t have the defensive lateral quickness to cover a starting SF that is adept at taking it off the dribble. Out on the wing, I’d expect both Leonard & Jackson to blow by him off the dribble. And particularly with the play making of Jax, that could open up easy opportunities inside.

  • theghostofjh

    If anything, Andrew’s idea is better, to start small, with Hayward at the 4. The Jazz have to try and mitigate our speed advantage by playing their better and speedier guys. And Hayward would be a tough cover for Diaw. Of course Pop would adjust, but he’d probably prefer not to, especially with our reduced front line flexibility with Splitter out.

    With Jefferson & Milsap, Favors can only get so many minutes (evenly split manning the 4/5 would be 32 minutes each). As it is, I think he had 27 minutes in game one. Believe me, Milsap cannot play the three (defensively, and shot not dependable enough from long range). If he could, the Jazz would have already done it this year.

  • Stijl

    I could care less what the Jazz start or don’t start with. How the Spurs perform and adjust to Splitter not being able to play is more important.

    Small ball probably should make a prevalent amount of time in the game if the Jazz look to go big across the front.

    Tony should look to receive even harder and more frequent love from opponents as the playoffs progress. This is not a surprising aspect of NBA championship basketball.

    All in all…the most questionable event during this series (or any series from here on out)…how well do the Spurs fend off and overcome being out matched in the post. They’re offense will have to match and stay on spot as it was prior to playoffs AND Tiago must be able to return with no ill effects from his injury.

  • MSteele_in_Éire

    Wow, just looking at the schedule, the Spurs have got it unbelievably easy, in the sense that we play Sunday, Wednesday, Saturday, Monday. In comparison to everyone else, that pretty neat. Think that’s to make up for the tough close out??

  • Tyler

    @ DorieStreet

    I meant the Spurs weren’t worried about crashing the offensive boards. The Spurs are definitely worried about the Jazz’s offensive rebounding.