One of the best in the league. I’ve said that for a couple of years about him. —Doc Rivers, on Quin Snyder
LOS ANGELES — Quin Snyder now has a full playoff series under his coaching belt, but Doc Rivers wouldn’t have guessed this was the Jazz coach’s postseason debut as the lead bench boss if he hadn’t known better.
“Quin’s an excellent coach,” Rivers said before Game 7 tipped off. “It doesn’t matter if he’s not been in the playoffs or not. I think that’s overdone. If you can coach you can coach, and he can coach.”
Rivers specifically pointed out the sets after timeout situations — “great stuff,” he called them — that the Jazz successfully run.
“One of the best in the league,” Rivers said. “I’ve said that for a couple of years about him.”
Rivers continued to heap praise on the Jazz and their third-year coach, whose first NBA gig was with the Clippers in 1992-93.
“They’re ready. Just their whole management, they had a great summer bringing bright veterans in that have helped, that have been in these series, that know how to play,” Rivers said. “Joe Johnson just alone has been a headache for us. They’ve been putting guys in the right spot.”
The Clippers coach tipped his hat to Snyder one more time after the Jazz earned a 104-91 win in Game 7 to advance to the second round.
"They won the series. We fought our butts off," Rivers said. "Q did a fantastic job. I thought it was a well-played series."
BAY-BOUND: The Jazz flew to San Francisco from Los Angeles following Sunday’s victory, but they won’t have much time to prepare for Golden State. The Warriors, by the way, haven’t played since they wrapped up their four-game sweep of Portland.
“It’s a quick turnaround. Obviously we don’t have a choice. We’ll be ready,” Jazz wing Joe Ingles said. “They’re obviously a great team and can put points on the board. For us defensively, it’s going to be huge. It will be good to finally play them with our full team and have some fun down in San Fran.”
Game 1 of the second round is Tuesday at 8:30 p.m. on TNT.
ROAD, SWEET ROAD: Snyder called it “a little strange” that the road teams had had so much success in this series, and that was before his team went out and beat the Clippers 104-91 to wrap up the first round in Game 7 at Staples Center.
Utah and L.A. each only won one home game in seven contests.
“We’re new to this, but I think we have a team that’s mentally tough. Clearly they have that with DeAndre (Jordan), Chris Paul and Doc,” Snyder said. “I would expect that from them. You still respect the heck of out them. I think our team’s dealt with a lot through the course of the last year or two and the growth process. It’s not surprising to me, but it is unique.”
Ingles credited the Jazz’s defense, which stymied Chris Paul to 13 points and held the Clippers to only 91 points in the series finale.
“We just play hard. We try and play the same if we’re home, away or wherever it is,” Ingles said. “Again focus on that defensive end even when we’re not scoring. We can stay in games with defense.”
Added Jazz forward Boris Diaw: "Winning on the road, it's pretty big. That says a lot about the character of this team."
BIG QUARTER: The Jazz were good all afternoon, but they were superb in the pivotal third quarter Sunday. After the Clippers pulled within five early on, Utah went on a 23-7 run to take a commanding 21-point lead.
L.A. trailed by double digits for most of the rest of the game, only momentarily pulling within eight late in the fourth.
Diaw was big for the Jazz in that third, scoring eight of his 10 points in the surge.
"We've been competing all game. We never let down," Diaw said. "Maybe we had even more energy in that third quarter, playing tough, playing hard."
HE SAID IT: Ingles chuckled — winning makes everything more humorous, right? —when asked about how the Jazz responded to both Rudy Gobert and Derrick Favors fouling out.
“Our fives,” he said, “were hacking today.”