Jazz Must Make Size Matter





SAN ANTONIO – The Jazz advantage in the series was supposed to be all about their size. They would have to pound on the Spurs, hammer them on the boards and nail them down with defensive toughness.

Better luck next time.

While the Jazz did come away from Game 1 with a 45-39 advantage in rebounding, they also came away with the 106-91 black eye loss because they simply could not keep the Spurs out of the middle.

If it wasn’t Tony Parker slicing through the lane for twisting drives or nifty reverse layups, it was 36-year-old Tim Duncan wheeling and dealing in the paint like he was a kid again or even Boris Diaw rolling across the lane for a hook shot that was unfolded and delivered with the speed of a tugboat in a crowded harbor.

“I call that the Statue of Liberty,” cracked teammate Matt Bonner.

It certainly appeared just as mobile and, hey, after all, it came from France, too.

But the bigger point is the Spurs were able to do everything except build a condominium tower in the lane. They outscored the bigger, bulkier Jazz lineup 58-44 in the paint, the second-highest playoff total in Spurs history. Even more, they scored 48 points inside of five feet from the basket, which is the most by any playoff team in the past two years.

“I didn’t feel good about our big lineup,” said Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin. “In the second half, I just went with it a little bit to see what we could get. I thought they ran out on us a little bit and they spread the floor.”

“We are learning on the fly,” said forward Paul Millsap.

But the Spurs are too smart, too experienced, too crafty to be treated as a pop quiz. Parker, Duncan and Manu Ginobili, with 10 championships between them, will pick apart a weak interior defense in their sleep. There is a reason by the Jazz only won one of the four games these teams played during the regular season and that was the night when the Big Three stayed at home instead of making a trip to Salt Lake City.

It’s good to have height and length and bulk and reach. But if the Jazz don’t mix in a good dose of smarts before Game 2, they’ll keep learning that size doesn’t always matter.

22 Comments

  1. choonzer says:

    As a died-in-the-wool Jazz fan, I have always appreciated the Spurs’ brand of basketball. How any Jazz fan can rail on it is beyond me, since it closely mirrors what the Jazz did for 20 years with Stockton/Malone. It’s hard-nosed, precise, execution-style play which is a joy to watch. What’s more, it’s a well-disciplined team made up of professionals, not overpaid primadonnas or mentally challenged thugs. I will be cheering the young Jazz all the way in this series, but this isn’t their year. Kudos to this Spurs team for its many years of excellence.

    • justplayball says:

      here, here…….. way to go choonzer !!!….The Jazz are building a great team the right way….good luck !!

  2. wayne says:

    JJazz thinks the Spurs are boring. How many Spurs games have you watched this year. I suspect that the local TV stations don’t carry that many and God knows the national networks haven’t carried many

  3. Spurrred says:

    This is a blatant mismatch, the Jazz are good but not experienced enough to beat the spurs. Health, depth, execution… Short series, but long run!

  4. cash says:

    Spurs #1 seed this season and don’t get a clip in the espn montage of the year, i can’t wait til Tim, Tony and Manu are holding the trophy and the media has to recognize. 15 straight playoff appearances, if it was LA we would be hearing it all day! GO SPURS GO, true basketball in it’s finest form!

    • JJazz says:

      That’s because the Spurs are the most boring team to watch in the league. Period.

      • justplayball says:

        …..kiss off …… you wouldn’t know good basketball if it bit you in the butt!!

      • justplayball says:

        PS:….@jjAZZ….. 103.5+ per game is Never boring….. Maybe under 100 is though…… Point Differential , too is a great indicator…… top 3 are : Celts–4.91 ….. Bulls–4.28 ….. Spurs–3.91 Just the facts….if fact matter to you at all !!

      • justplayball says:

        ….correction: PPG Differential: Chi—8.18 ….. SA—7.16 ….. OKC—6.12

    • justplayball says:

      ….this is just ‘business as usual’…… been having to stomach this for over 30 yrs….. nothing has changed…… they don’t have a flashy superstar so the league and sports channels don’t pay attention… and “all of a suddden” the Spurs have the best record again…… 13 straight yrs with 50 wins at least…… eat your heart out lakers and celtics….. one would think with all the constant fawning over these two teams that surely one , if not both , of these ‘storied franchises’ would hold that distinction……too bad…. only the Spurs have been that consistent over the years…..and since the 89-90 season, the Spurs have had ONLY 1 season out of the playoffs, and a losing season, AND More ‘1st place finishes’ in the Western Conference than the lakers……doesn’t seem to matter ’cause like jjzz below this entry…. they are perceived as boring…….. slowing the game down, playing tough defense and having a Great post game was the only way to beat the lakers of this decade due to the foul magnet ‘O’Neal…….. comparing these type of facts is not something you will hear on ‘sportscenter’….. and , oh yeah……. no arrests or dui’s or bar room brawls..etc, etc

  5. Mike says:

    Spurs v Heat …

  6. Bok says:

    We have to consider that the Jazz’s still a newbie to playoffs which the Spurs are taking advantage of. It might be a painful process, but if the Jazz can control the game defensively, execute (even if they don’t make most of the shots) & don’t lose their cool it’ll be a series.

  7. duro says:

    @GOJAZZ: Don’t be so childish! “Fran Blinebury, is obviously a Spurs fan” only ’cause he stated the obvious things?
    OK, now, from your “objective” point of view, please tell us he got it wrong and the Jazz actually won this game and should go ahead like this.

    Anyway, if a team has to count on “size” to win, that’s something you cannot change. Yes, they cannot take “size” away from you but a cleverly coached team can work things around it – as Spurs demonstrated with Lakers. And when it happens you remain there with your “size” without knowing what else to do.

  8. Arthur says:

    Looks like spurs have this series!

    • GOJAZZ says:

      Fran Blinebury, is obviously a Spurs fan. The Jazz will put up a fight all the way through this series. We may lose game 2 but it won’t be so easy for the Spurs in SLC.

      • justplayball says:

        …..what rock have you been hiding under…….. Francis is ANYTHING but a Spur fan……. what city is he from, anyway??? Do you know??…… go find out !! …….. AND it is ALWAYS hard to beat the Jazz in SLC…. they are a great team and getting better all the time since the transition from the Sloan years…. Corbin is doing a fantastic job !!

  9. Renato says:

    If Duncan plays like he did today,i don´t think they can.Plus,they lose in every matchup other than the bigs.They´ll have to be really great at Salt Lake if they want to avoid early elimination,cause game 2 looks like is in the Spurs hands.

  10. Devinn says:

    I do hope the Jazz won’t get frustrated with the Spurs’ speed and pick-n-roll and end up intentionally hurt any Spurs players.

  11. They have BIG size but not that much talent. This will be a learning experience for this younger team, young meaning new line-up, new players.

  12. the jazz don’t stand a chance

    • justplayball says:

      ….not this time, Kev….. not this year….but they are getting better and better like several teams out west in the West. It looks like an interesting playoff season this year!!