SAN ANTONIO -- Displaying play that resembled that of a mediocre college team, the Utah Jazz left San Antonio's AT&T Center humiliated, losing 114-83. With 18 points, Tony Parker once again led the Spurs in scoring as the Jazz saw only two of their own reach double figures.
Guards: Devin Harris and Gordon Hayward combined to shoot just 5-of-17, meaning Harris alone has shot just 5-of-16 in two games. He had one assist while committing two turnovers in less than half the game. Hayward's eight points on 3-of-10 shooting was a far cry from his 17-point, two-steal Game 1. On the other side, the Jazz backcourt allowed Tony Parker and Danny Green to combine to shoot 11-of-18, with 31 points and eight rebounds. They did it in less than 49 combined minutes. Parker had nine assists to complement his point total. GRADE: D
Forwards: Josh Howard and Paul Millsap combined to shoot 7-of-20. They combined for 10 rebounds, but Millsap's five were well below his average. Much like Harris, his counterpart played well in Game 1, but Howard once again struggled. He has shot 3-of-13 in two games. Perhaps Howard could at least be physical: the 6-foot-7 veteran committed no fouls in 24 minutes. Like their backcourt teammates, Howard and Millsap's opposing forwards were dominant. Rookie Kawhi Leonard outplayed the veteran Howard, scoring 17 points on 6-of-7 shooting, while Tim Duncan scored 12 efficient points to complement 13 rebounds. Duncan has now averaged a dozen rebounds this series, three above his season average. GRADE: D+
Centers: It turns out Jefferson's comments that the Utah post players would be physical with Parker to keep him from having his way in the paint were in vain -- at least in Game 2. Parker slashed past Harris, Jamaal Tinsley and others and had his way making plays as he maneuvered inside, while Jefferson committed just two fouls (Harris had only a couple as well) while grabbing just four rebounds. He was mainly responsible for allowing Boris Diaw, who averaged less than five points per game as a Spur, to score 11 on 5-of-6 shooting. Offensively, Big Al was pitiful as well, shooting 5-of-15. GRADE: D
Bench: The Jazz bench was outplayed, too, getting outscored 43-41. Enes Kanter was a highlight, scoring eight points on 4-of-8 shooting (he was the only Jazzman to shoot 50 percent or better from the field with at least six attempts) while nabbing 10 rebounds. Derrick Favors scored nine points and tallied nine boards. However, Tinsley's three-turnover, 1-of-6 shooting effort provided no improvement whatsoever in relief of Harris' sorry play, while San Antonio's DeJuan Blair and Gary Neal each shot 5-of-8 to score 10 and 11 points, respectively. Collectively, the Utah bench shot 14-of-38 from the floor. GRADE: C-
Overall: The Jazz shot 34 percent from the field and committed 15 turnovers while allowing its opponent to shoot 57 percent, including a sizzling 10-of-22 from distance. Utah headed straight for the broom closet. They must play more physical with the San Antonio backcourt -- like they said they would -- and decide that they, as a mediocre team, must step up their own game. After all, their opponent has increased their level of play another level beyond their Western Conference-leading effort in the regular season. That demand especially falls on the shoulders of Al Jefferson and Devin Harris -- the starting and ending defensive resorts of Tony Parker. GRADE: D+
Rhett Wilkinson is majoring in communications and political science at Utah State University. He has previously been an intern for the Deseret News. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter: @wilklogan
Copyright 2015, Deseret News Publishing Company