The Jazz come into this game on a 3 game losing streak. The Spurs come into this game on a 1 game losing streak. I hate the Lakers...Anyhoo, the Jazz are still without The Boozer and Deron Williams hasn't been able to keep his team at the top of their division with both Portland and Denver emerging as legitimate WC contenders (laugh). Utah is coming off its own blowout loss (to Denver).
Keys to the Game:
Close out on Mehmet Okur. This guy always seems to do well against the Spurs. It could be because they like to leave him open from distance. Maybe Pop will double some people some more. That worked so well in the Lakers game. Fortunately without Boozer the Jazz don't really have anyone who warrants a double. This means that if the rotations on defense are good, Okur won't get that many open shots. Okur hitting shots would make me want to pull my hair out.
Tony Parker has to be aggressive. It's no secret I don't trust Frenchie. However, him being less aggressive has been disastrous for the Spurs in recent games. It's clear that Manu is not himself. That means the open shots are going to come from Tony driving the lane. Deron Williams is a decent defender but Parker is quicker than him. Tony absolutely needs to work Williams if the Spurs want any chance to win this game.
Tim Duncan. Tim Duncan. And some more Tim Duncan. His defense has been less than stellar but he has showed how the Tony/Manu debate is irrelevant. Tim is still the best player on this team. He'll likely have Paul Millsap guarding him. I don't think Millsap has the jumping quickness and he definitely doesn't have the height to seriously contest Tim's bank shot. I'd look for Tim to try that first and then go down low. If he has Okur on him then I'll just laugh and yell at Tony to get Tim the ball every time down the court.
On a more serious note, today is my birthday. The last time the Spurs played on my birthday they won. See, serious right? Let's hope that trend continues tonight. I apologize in advance if there's not a coherent game recap tomorrow. I don't plan on being sober for a while.