I felt like I was watching a replay of game one. Spurs step on the gas on the 2nd quarter, build up an almost 20 pt lead, Jazz have their own spurt on the ending 3rd and starting 4th quarter and bring the lead down to single digits(7pts.) Spurs then execute, like 3 key plays to keep the lead.
Last two minutes with a double digit lead the starters are taken out and the Spurs win 105 to 96.
- The Extra Pass, Tony Parker himself mentioned this during the halftime interview as the key to the 2nd quarter burst. But let me add to this. Whenever I see a 3 man game being played to perfection on the half court set, I know that the game is won unless it can be stopped by a zone defense. Then when I can see that their 3 pt game is hitting the mark, thereby invalidating that zone defense. Uh-oh, Now I really know who the winner is. Aside from the 3pt shot, my favorite play is the 3 man passing game. With the Spurs it usually starts with the Parker driving down the lane passing to Duncan, Defense collapse on him then he passes to the Oberto, the other big man. Shoot-Score-Plus the foul, Boom! 3 point play.
- The wing players timely three’s - when the 3 man passing game wasn’t working, drive and dish to the shooter waiting on the wing was what saved them. Finley and Bowen scored a lot of open look three’s when the Jazz were busy playing their zone defense.
- Boozer’s foul plagued game - its quite obvious that the bread and butter play of the Jazz is the pick and roll between Boozer and Williams. With him having the same foul plagued game in the first half, their offense was whacked. Not surprising too that their primary offense is the pick and roll, given that the two greatest ever pick-and-rollers were John Stockton and Karl Malone. Who of course played for the Utah Jazz and were coached by none other than the present coach and longest ever tenured coach in the NBA, Jerry Sloan. Lets not forget however, that the second longest tenured coach in the NBA right now is Greg Popovich, coach of the San Antonio Spurs.
- Spur’s Defense - these gents from Texas have always been known for their defense and as usual they played it to perfection. Everybody from the Center to the PG was good at harrassing his man. Funny though, as by looking at the stats you’d think that the Jazz were the better defenders with their 15 turnovers versus the Spurs 23.
- Spurs Depth - In the second game, the Jazz played an 8 man rotation. Compared to the Spurs 10 man rotation (those who played more than 5 minutes). When you are ten men deep that means a lot in terms of keeping your defensive pressure up for the entire 4 quarters. Not to mention that you have All stars coming off the bench for you to spell your starters.
Based from the two games I’ve seen. I’ll say that the Spurs make it to the finals if they keep this up. On the eastern side, even though Lebron is my main-man, I’d hope for the Pistons to make it. Primarily because I think that its a better match given that the Pistons and Spurs have about the same depth and defense oriented philosophy so that it will go the entire series. Lastly because these guys have some old scores to settle, because the Spurs took the crown away from the Pistons in the 2004-2005 season.
Box Scores and Game Info herebe8 [source]