NBA Playoffs 2012 Jazz Vs. Spurs Jam Session #2: Pounding the Rock's SpursfanSteve talks Tony Parker, Tiago Spliiter, and Boris Diaw

Hey SLC Dunkers, here's Part 2 of our on-going Jazzy Jam Sessions Pounding the Rock's SpursfanSteve. Game 1 went pretty much the way I expected it would -- the San Antonio Spurs won and won big. We talk a bit about what we saw, and be sure to check back here for a link to their post about my answers too!

Amar: How is Tiago Splitter? He's a favorite of mine, so he's someone I wanted to know about?

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SpursfanSteve: I haven't heard for sure yet about Tiago. Sprained wrists can sometimes be played through, and sometimes they take a week or so of rest. Either way, it's definitely a good thing that there are a couple days off between every game. Having him healthy is definitely a major plus for us in series against teams with big front lines. He's been a vital cog spelling Duncan off the bench. Without him, Blair either moves back in the starting 5 or he becomes Duncan's replacement off the bench.

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Amar: Should Boris Diaw been starting all this time? He looked great tonight. How do you see the series battle between him and Paul Millsap turning out?

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SpursfanSteve: I'm a huge DeJuan Blair fan, so I was grateful to see him keep starting. That being said, Diaw is far more versatile. While I still think Blair is a better rebounder and about as good of a defender of traditional post players, anyone (like Millsap) who is quick and can put the ball on the floor gives him problems. It's much better for us if Diaw is the one trying to cover him. In fact, Paul Millsap is probably the biggest mismatch in Utah's favor this series. Al Jefferson is going to get around 20 points just based on skill, but if Millsap can consistently play like he did today...then Utah is just missing one major contributor to stay competitive for the entire game. For this series, Diaw should definitely keep starting. I think overall that matchup will be a wash. Millsap will score more, Diaw will get assists and hockey-assists, help break the Jazz defense down with some savvy ballhandling, and score some if he needs to. Their contributions will likely be about equal overall.

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Amar: The feeling on twitter (according to some of the beat writers' tweets on press row) was that the Spurs should have been up by a bigger margin in the first half. While they finished the game ahead by 15 -- what do you think was the fact that kept the Jazz hanging around for so much of the game? The Spurs just missing shots? Or something else?

SpursfanSteve: I think the Spurs missed some shots they'd normally make (Green and Leonard both shot poorly, and Tiago missed a couple easy layups at the basket) I think some credit has to be given to the Jazz's defense. Overall, Utah did a pretty good job closing out on shooters, even though they couldn't keep Tony out of the paint. I wouldn't have been *surprised* if we'd gone into the half up by more, but I thought the score accurately reflected the way the game was being played. I was watching with a friend and he said that he expected us to stretch the lead in the third quarter and we did. Utah survived our depth about as well as could be expected, but it's just going to wear everyone down eventually. I don't think Utah will get that many easy transition baskets again, and I'd be surprised (even if Tiago misses time) if the Spurs give up that many offensive rebounds again. For the most part, I felt we were in pretty good position, and a lot of those boards just bounced to your players- there will be a few of those every game, especially since Utah crashes the offensive glass, but I don't expect there to be that many.

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Amar: Tony played a lot of minutes in Game 1. Do you think Pop gives him some rest this series (either in a low mins game, or just flat out sits him out)?

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SpursfanSteve: In short, not a chance. As Charles Barkley would say, Tony Parker is the motor that stirs the Spurs drink. Tony is only 29, and is completely capable of playing 35-36 minutes a game without wearing out, especially with the days off in between games. Obviously, if a game turns in to a blowout (I kind of suspect game two might) he won't play once the game is in hand. But as far as a pre-conceived playoff resting schedule, I don't think Pop will go there. It's the real season now, and it's time for everyone to do what they are paid to do.

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Thanks again to SpursfanSteve, and the rest of your amazing crew led by JR at Pounding the Rock. I can't wait to see what adjustments both teams make going into Game 2.

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