11.3 ppg, 5.0 apg
It took awhile, but once the former Wisconsin standout hit his stride, he's been the catalyst in the Jazz's late-season run. He's hitting 3-pointers and playing with a more aggressive attitude, pushing the ball upcourt and driving to the hoop. In the month of April, Harris is shooting 42.4 percent from 3-point range.
11.8 ppg, 3.5 rpg
The former Butler star has made huge strides in his second year and has gotten better as the season has worn on. Over the last 15 games, he has averaged 17 points, five rebounds and four assists, while shooting above 50 percent from the field. He's also turned into a 3-point threat, hitting 42.4 percent since the All-Star break after connecting on only 24.6 percent before.
16.6 ppg, 8.8 rpg
He's still the glue that holds the Jazz together with his hustle and consistent effort. The Spurs may have matchup problems against Millsap, particularly when he plays the small forward spot with Derrick Favors in the game. He still may be the best rebounder in the league for his size and leads the team in steals with 1.8 per game.
4.8 ppg, 2.5 rpg
He wasn't even with the team for the first third of the season, hardly played a lick during the next third, but as the Jazz head into the playoffs, the former Missouri star finds himself as the starting small forward. He's not an outside threat or an exceptional rebounder, but plays hard. Derrick Favors will likely get more minutes off the bench than Carroll, as may Josh Howard.
19.2 ppg, 9.6 rpg
Big Al leads the team in scoring and rebounding and is excited for his first playoff experience in seven years, going back to his rookie season. He has a reputation for holding the ball once he gets it inside, but his assist total has gone up from 2.0 to 2.5 since the All-Star break as he passes the ball out to the wing players more, which has increased his own effectiveness inside.
Finishing 36-30 with a team picked for last place in the Northwest Division by many experts would get many coaches a look at coach-of-the-year honors. Corbin won't get a sniff for that award, but there's no denying the terrific job he's done with a young Jazz squad in just his second year.
18.3 ppg, 7.7 apg
The jet-fast guard from France is scoring more than the past two seasons and he's also averaging a career high in assists, eighth-best in the league this year. He has a great ability to get to the hoop and also has a great mid-range jumper.
9.1 ppg, 3.5 rpg
He's come a long way since being drafted out of North Carolina by Cleveland with the 46th pick in 2009. He's a credible 3-point shooter, ranking 9th in the league at 43.6 percent. Veteran Manu Ginobili, who averages 12.9 points per game, will end up playing more minutes than Green off the bench at the guard spot.
9.5 ppg, 5.5 rpg
The 6-foot-7, 270-pounder from Pitt, who was picked in the second round in 2009, has started 61 of 63 games and shot 53 percent from the field. He plays a lot in the post, where he'll be outsized by Al Jefferson and Derrick Favors, who could each take advantage of the matchup.
7.9 ppg 5.1 rpg
The rookie from San Diego State started slowly, but worked his way into the starting lineup midway through the season. He is one of five rookies to have recorded four or more double-doubles this year. He'll have his hands full with Paul Millsap, but he has good backups in veterans Boris Diaw and Stephen Jackson.
15.4 ppg 9.0 rpg
He turned 36 last week, but the perennial all-star is still going strong, getting 15 and 9 per game, while shooting just under 50 percent from the field. He sat out eight regular-season games this year, including the final two games of the season and two last week, so he should be well-rested for the Jazz.
He's the favorite to win coach-of-the-year honors after leading a Spurs team to a tie for the best record in the NBA and 50 wins for the 13th straight season, an NBA record, after not much was expected from the Spurs before the season began. He now has 846 career victories going back to 1996.
Copyright 2015, Deseret News Publishing Company