Utah Jazz: Can the Jazz steal one against the San Antonio Spurs
Oh yeah, and they did that under the tutelage of Tyrone Corbin, who replaced a Hall of Famer on the bench.
"I've always kind of been an underdog, so you kind of relish in the moment," Corbin said. "You can't quit. You certainly have to believe in yourself and we have to believe in ourselves as a group."
Because they did when no one else seemed to, here the Jazz are under the bright spotlight of the NBA playoffs — far quicker than many expected they'd return after one postseason off.
"(Corbin) took a team that no one would have ever thought would even finish 10th in the West, let alone making the playoffs. He got us here," Jefferson said. "I believe in him to take us even further."
While that sounds dandy, not many will give them a shot today against the former four-time champs. Even No. 8 Utah knows it's outmatched against the mighty No. 1 Spurs.
Still, the Jazz traveled to Texas for one purpose.
And it wasn't to visit the Alamo.
"We're looking to get two wins," Corbin said.
"This is a great moment, but now it's just time to go take care of business," Big Al said. "Our goal (was) to get to the playoffs, but now we're here we've got to set a new goal. It's time to just be focused and do the things that we have to do to prepare ourselves to go give San Antonio a tough series."
Added Burks, who's about get his first NBA playoff action: "My eyes are never big. I don't care who we're playing. That's the type of player I am. We played them four times this year (going 1-3). It's the same team ... just don't get caught up in the hype, don't get caught up in all the success they've had (and) just play our game."
Upsets of this nature aren't unheard of in the NBA playoffs. Heck, No. 8 Memphis stunned the top-seeded Spurs just last spring.
Underdog or not, the Jazz are proud that they're in the mix, which seemed farfetched after they fell to 15-18 in February after losing 11 of 14 contests.
But they bounced back and advanced while 14 NBA teams have already begun their vacations.
"That's where legends are born at — playoffs," Jefferson said. "It's the main stage. It's what we work hard for to get to."
Now the Jazz have a stone in their hands and are hoping to smack the giant square in the forehead.
"If we played the game on paper from the beginning of the year, we wouldn't be here. We're here now," Corbin said. "We want to lay it out there and play. We don't want to lay down and give them the game. We want to make them play against us and make them beat us, and we're going to try to beat them."
Added Corbin: "They may beat us, but we may beat them also."
Utah Jazz on the air
Western Conference playoffs
First round, best-of-seven
Utah Jazz at San Antonio Spurs
11 a.m. at AT&T Center, San Antonio
Radio: 1320 AM, 1600 AM,
98.7 FM Hope (and humor) for Jazz fans
Jazz beat writer Jody Genessy offers up a tongue-in-cheek Top 10 list of reasons why Utah has a shot against San Antonio online at Jazzland.blogs.deseretnews.com.
- Roger Federer says he is out for Olympics,...
- Mickelson not close to being over runner-up...
- College Football Playoff moves most future...
- Olympic organizers suspect 'isolated'...
- Cavaliers re-sign veteran forward Richard...
- Jimmy Walker opens with 65 at stifling PGA;...
- Akpom scores deciding goal as Arsenal tops...
- Streb shoots 63 and joins Walker in lead at PGA
- Morning links: BYU's Emery called one... 65
- Big 12 watch: Is BYU the long-term... 58
- Big 12 watch: BYU praised for 'excited'... 57
- Doug Robinson: It's still Hill's time... 52
- Big 12 watch: BYU's success in football... 40
- Morning links: Utah Jazz on the rise;... 37
- Former BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall says... 26
- Former Utah punter Tom Hackett waived... 20