Sunday, May 27, 2007

Utah Rolls to Win With Big 2nd Half

West Conf. Finals (Game 3)-- Jazz 109, Spurs 83

- Not sure what you can take away from Game 3 since its seemed like the Spurs were in a collective fog. The Spurs just seemed to fall apart in the 2nd half. They were outscored 66-36 in the 2nd half, and the Spurs continue to have issues with their 4th quarter play--they were outscored 34-16 in Game 3. In 3 games, the Spurs are allowing the Jazz to average 34 pts in the 4th, and are being outscored by an average of 11 in the 4th. Not to mention the Spurs committed 20 TOs,

- The Jazz defense was much improved from their first 2 games, where they let the Spurs get what ever they wanted. The Spurs didn't really get the crisp ball movement today that they got in the first 2 games. They cut down on the points in the paint to 26 after allowing 56 & 46 in the first 2 games. Even though Parker had a pretty soild game, he didn't finish in the painted area with impunity like he did in Game 1 & 2. Even though it would appear that Memo Okur was a non-factor with 0 pts, he did manage to be a presence on the defensive end by containing Duncan pretty well. He had active hands on Tim, and forced a handful of Duncan's TOs.

- I think it's safe to say that Deron Williams can be mentioned on the same level as Chris Paul now. We have thought Deron was pretty close to Paul all season, but there seemed to be some hold-outs who thought Paul was clearly on another level than Deron; hopefully they changed their tune now. Deron was all-around spectacular, but maybe the best part was 4/5 from 3pt, which is known as his weakness. Deron shredded the Spurs' defense for 31 (10/19) & 8 assts, and was a big key for the Jazz racking up 50 pts in the paint. His tag-team pick/roll partner, Booze, provided the Lacey to Deron's Cagney by punishing the Spurs in a variety of ways for 27 & 12 (4 off). Boozer once again showcased his refined offensive game, including his sweet baseline turnaround on a few occasions for a 12/19 shooting night.

- The Jazz bench came up big in Game 3. Giricek led the way with 11 pts mostly via his jumper, and added 6 assist as well. Harpring & Millsap both did some damage down low, and both ended with 8 pts. Jarron Collins even pitcehd in with 7 pts and some solid defense on Duncan.

- The Spurs' defense was pretty piss-poor (by their standards), especially bad in the 2nd half. Probably their worst defensive performance of the post-season, besides Game 2 of the Suns' series. What was similar with that game, was the Spurs were way slow on their help rotations and were not contesting shots with their normal tenacity. Having Duncan in foul trouble surely did not help the defense. After Duncan picked up his 4th foul with 6 mins left in the 3rd, the Spurs defense seem to go downhill until the final buzzer.

- Parker was the only Spur who could find any consistent success offensively vs. Utah. Though the Jazz did a better job of containing Parker, he still managed 25 on 9/18 & 7 assts. Duncan had a very ragged nite and could never get any sort of rhythm in this game partly because of foul trouble, but also solid defense by the Jazz bigs. Duncan was having some major issues handling the ball and ended up with 8 TOs to go with 16 & 8 rebs in 26 mins. Manu brought good activity on both ends, but could never really string much consistently together on offense like he has been doing lately. None of the Spurs' complimentary staff added much to the table on offense.