NBA Playoffs Round 1 Round-Up: San Antonio Spurs (1) defeat the Utah Jazz (8) 4-0
And here we have our second sweep of the year! I personally would have thought that this would have ended in a gentleman’s sweep (4-1) because Utah is unreal when they play at home, but this Spurs team is just too damn good.
But let me rant a little about the Jazz. I’ve never really liked the Utah Jazz. Even back with Malone and Stockton, then eventually the mix with Williams, AK47, and Boozer, I just found myself always rooting against them. Throw in that crazy home crowd, and the boos start rolling out from me. Nothing against each of those individual players — they’re all great and I love each of their games individually — but add the Jazz name and I cringe.
But this 2012 Utah Jazz team was a different story for me. They have a great starting frontline with Millsap and Jefferson. Devin Harris is good again. Gordon Hayward is a great wing player to watch — he shoots the ball well, is athletic, and plays defense by going for blocks. Derrick Favors is showing that he was a great pick (granted, by the Nets…) at #3 back in 2010. They have a great young core that can grow together. I just can’t see myself liking any of those older players like I do with this group, and it’s fun.
So why couldn’t the Jazz squeak out even a single win? The Spurs are just too damn good. It took until Game 4 for Ty Corbin to use the big lineup, starting Millsap at the 3 and Favors at the 4, and it worked… for the 1st quarter. Here’s why Greg Popovich won coach of the year. He adapts well in these situations and knows how to attack each team where it would hurt. Yes, the Jazz started playing well, but the Spurs just played better when Pop countered their bigs with a small lineup.
Quick rant about the Spurs too: I’ve always thought they were an incredibly boring team. Especially as a casual fan, I could never put my finger on as to why I hated watching them. As this shortened season went on and I started watching basketball more closely, the Spurs have actually become one the more fun teams to watch, and now I regret blowing them off as boring in seasons past. Their ball movement and the players feel for each other is actually quite amazing; I don’t think there’s any other team that plays to the same page as these Spurs do. And that’s why they’re favorite to make it to the Finals out of nowhere.
And here I leave you with a quote from Jazz Center Al Jefferson, before Game 4 (via_):
“I just think we’re playing against a team that is at its peak, I don’t see nobody beating them.”
And now the Spurs have somewhere between 3-7 days to rest and get ready for either the Clippers or Grizzlies. Let’s see if Big Al is right.