The San Antonio Spurs demolished the Utah Jazz in Game 2 of their seven game series to take a commanding 2-0 lead. From the looks of the first couple games, the Spurs will be busting out their brooms soon and looking ahead to the next round.
What went right?
In a word, plenty!
What impressed me most was how well the Spurs showcased their depth and their ability to spread the ball around. Seven players scored in double figures: all five starters plus Gary Neal and DeJuan Blair. Surprisingly, Manu only had four points and they still won by 31! It was a great team effort from everyone, and the depth this team has makes them extremely tough to beat in a seven game series.
The Spurs also shot incredibly well. I’m not sure if they somehow rigged their rim to be twice the size as normal, but it sure looked that way. They shot 57.3% from the field including 45.5% from beyond the arc, and they made all 10 of their free throws on their way to scoring 114 points.
Another thing to take from last night’s game was the performances of Danny Green and Kawhi Leonard. I wrote before the series started that they were going to be question marks because of their playoff inexperience, but that that I thought they would handle the pressure well. Leonard shot 6-7 from the field, including 3-4 from 3 for 17 points and Green shot 5-8 from the field including 3-5 from 3-for-13 points. They definitely showed they’re ready to contribute to this team’s postseason run.
Defensively they did a great job too. They held the Jazz to 34.4% shooting and 1-6 from outside the arc. The Jazz only had 36 points in the paint compared to the Spurs’ 62, an area that was of great concern going into the series.
You can probably pick out a 100 other things the Spurs did right in Game 2, they were impressive from start to finish. Spurs fans have to be happy as their team heads off to Utah.
What went wrong?
After a 31-point victory, it’s hard to pick out anything that the Spurs didn’t do well, but they definitely weren’t perfect.
For one, they got crushed on the offensive glass. The Jazz had 18 offensive rebounds compared to the Spurs’ five. Of course, a lot of that was because everything was going in for the Spurs and the Jazz couldn’t put the ball in the basket to save their lives last night. But there were a number of opportunities where the Jazz got as many as five shot attempts because they just kept pounding the boards. Luckily, it didn’t come back to hurt the Spurs in Game 2, but it could in the future.
There was also a pretty big discrepancy in free throw shooting. The Spurs only shot 10 while the Jazz shot 23. The Jazz are clearly a very good free throw shooting team, making 20 of them, so the Spurs will have to be careful of that in a close game (if that ever happens).
Aside from that, it’s hard to criticize anything else about the Spurs’ performance in Game 2. I don’t think anyone out there can argue that San Antonio is by far the better team, and this series is probably already over, but Utah can be a tough place to play. The Jazz were 28-5 at home this year, and they’ll definitely be out for revenge after last night’s embarrassment.
If rebounding ever becomes a great concern in a close game we can play Timmy more. He is still a terrific rebounder and he won't be beaten to rebounds. I think our 2s and 3s have to make an effort to get on the glass or at least box out their men, a lot of times Josh Howard or Burke would get the offensive boards.
@Spursforever69 You haven't noticed Jackson, Green and Kawhi crashing the boards? Pop takes away rebounding when it's a problem. You can't stop everything, you just focus on trying to take away a couple things that allow a particular team to win (i.e. rebounding, penetration, 3 pointers).
And so far Pop has shown some very awesome coaching skills.. as if there were ever any doubt..
Last year in the first round was probably the most frustration I've ever seen out of Pop from the sidelines. A couple times I even saw that "rattled" look I've never seen on him.
I feel like Pop wants to make up for last year just as much as the other guys.
agree on the jazz getting more offensive boards, but you have to remember that was when the bonner/blair combo was in the game. another thing i noticed, bonner probably cant wait for splitter to get back. we saw how bad the bonner/blair combo was during the game for a while and instead of playing bonner/tim (which is the only other pairing left for bonner since splitters out) pop played blair/diaw because tim needs rest and blair and diaw together were holding it down enough. but once splitter comes back, expect to see blairs time to go back down and bonner to play more minutes with splitter on the floor
The spurs have lesser rebound because the ball was always going in. The spurs are just peaking and ready to take on ALL comers. Go spurs!
Actually, the Jazz's record at home was 25-8, which is the best out of the bottom 4 seeds in the West. But the Spurs were one of the teams to give the Jazz a home loss this season so I expect the Spurs to at least split the games in Utah.