In other words, they want to do the teaching instead of being taken to school. On Sunday, the Jazz pupils shared what they've learned from Professor Pop:
The value of top-notch floor generals (Parker and Manu Ginobili), floor spacing, reliable 3-point shooting and pick-and-roll play, sticking with and executing your offense, playing defense together, and pushing bigs out of their spots (the story of Jefferson's series).
"It's a lesson learned for us," Corbin said. "You have to force your will on guys and they do it on the offensive end as well as on the defensive end."
Paul Millsap pointed out that the Spurs are disciplined, help each other and keep Jazz players out of the lane.
"They're one of the elite teams in this league," the Jazz forward said. "If we can take something from what they're doing, and that's them playing a team basketball game, that's them moving the basketball, that's them helping each other on defense. If we want to be good, that's what we've got to do too."
Jefferson realizes the Jazz can't quick-fix their way to success. "San Antonio didn't get the way they is overnight. They've got three main guys that have been playing together a while. They've got great role players that know their role—unselfish. Them guys are passing up open shots to get a better open shot. I've never seen nothing like that before."
Hayward rattled off a list he's learning (maybe re-learning) from the Spurs: "They do all the little things well. They share the ball and they play really well defensively. They're always there on their rotations. …You got to play the whole 48 minutes, especially against a team like this. Any mistakes, they'll make you pay. Turnovers, bad shots, missing an assignment, it can turn into a quick two, four, six points."
Corbin, in his first postseason as head coach, has even admitted to needing to find more playing time for young guys who've produced in recent outings, like big man Derrick Favors and guard Alec Burks.
If nothing else, Jefferson believes this has been a painful-but-productive tutorial for the Jazz to make them realize how far they are from being a No.. 8 team to becoming a championship contender.
"It's a good experience to play against them," Big Al said. "We've got a long way to go if we talk about being a great team, not only (to) make the playoffs, but have some success in the playoffs."
The Jazz would consider a 3-1 deficit a successful start.
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