Utah Jazz: Spurs force Utah into a nightmarish outing
Ronald Martinez, Getty Images
SAN ANTONIO — Whatever. Wherever. Whenever.
Which isn't necessarily a good philosophy.
In their 114-83 loss to San Antonio in Game 2 of the playoffs, the Jazz settled for whatever shots they could get — which wasn't much. They took quick shots and missed from mid-range, but also forced shots inside that didn't work. That was partially due to a San Antonio team that was on its way to a phenomenal-shooting night (57 percent). Then there were the Jazz, who were flummoxed by the Spurs' collapsing defense.
Almost nobody on the Jazz shot well in the embarrassing defeat. They finished just 31-of-90 from the field (34.4). But in the first half they were particularly bad, making just 11 of 47 tries (23 percent). By then they were hopelessly behind (53-28).
Overall, it was every team's nightmare — missing nearly every attempt and having the opponent make nearly every try. The only Jazz players to make half their shots were Blake Ahearn (2-of-3), Enes Kanter (4-of-8) and DeMarre Carroll (2-of-3).
But the troubles started with center Al Jefferson, who missed five of his first six shots, mostly on contested jump-hooks, and most of them a shade too far out for comfort.
Jefferson said Spurs guard Tony Parker faked dropping down for the double-team, "making me think he's coming so (he) can force me into rushing my shot. Good defensive play."
"They were very aggressive and played hard," said Parker. "It was different from Game 1, but they were not shooting the ball well. Defensively, I thought we played pretty good and we matched their energy."
From the onset, the pattern was set. While the Jazz failed to penetrate effectively, the Spurs patiently worked the ball inside or kicked out to open shooters such as Kawhi Leonard, who made six of seven shots for 17 points.
Asked if it was San Antonio's defense or the Jazz's shot selection that did them in early in the game, Jefferson said, "Both, probably. Most definitely it was their defense. Their defense makes us take bad shots."
Veteran guard Jamaal Tinsley was unsurprised with San Antonio's approach.
"That's what they make you do," he said. "They put you in tough situations and you've got to fight hard to help each other take easy shots, instead of taking contested or bad shots."
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