SALT LAKE CITY – Al Jefferson summed the state of the Jazz pretty well: “That last game I saw no advantages nowhere.”
That said, what was supposed to be somewhat of an edge coming into the series was Utah’s big lineup going against the smaller Spurs. But through back-to-back wipeouts in the first two games, Jazz coach Ty Corbin has not used Jefferson, Paul Millsap and Derrick Favors often or effectively enough.
“Derrick should play more,” Corbin said before Friday’s practice. “I’ve got to find a way to get him on the floor.”
The second-year forward has played a total of 47 minutes in the two games, but not frequently in tandem with the other bigs. He’s shot 6-for-14 from the field, scored 12 points and grabbed 17 rebounds.
Corbin has allowed himself to be outmaneuvered in the series by allowing San Antonio’s Gregg Popovich to dictate matchups by going small.
“I think the big lineup could hurt them if we get into it early in the game instead of going to it when we’re already down,” Jefferson said.
The Jazz trailed by only 31-26 in Game 2 when Favors went to the bench. But without him over the final 7:05 of the half, the Spurs went on a 22-2 run to blow the game wide open.
“It just so happened to have happened when I got out,” Favors said very diplomatically. “That’s just basketball.
“It’s hard, but other guys just got to come in and do the job. I’m just waiting my turn, being patient. It’s hard being a competitor, because you want to play. But liked I said, I have to wait my turn.”
Game 3 would seem to be as good a time as any.