NBA Playoffs 2012 Spurs Vs. Jazz Jam Session #3: Manu, player development, and taking it easy with Pounding The Rock

Hey SLC Dunkers, here's Part 3 of our on-going Jazzy Jam Sessions with Pounding the Rock's SpursfanSteve. Game 1 went pretty much the way I expected it would -- the San Antonio Spurs won and won big. Game 2 was the shell shock blowout that we also all expected. The Spurs are in the driver's seat and everything the Jazz have done hasn't worked. We talk a bit about what we saw, and be sure to check here for my answers to Steve's questions too!

Amar: 1. Manu still hasn't had a huge game, and as a Jazz fan -- I'm used to seeing those. Is he going to explode in Utah in Game 3 or Game 4?

SpursFanSteve: The short answer? Yes. The longer answer is it could be both, or it could be just one. It probably depends on your definition of "huge game." Scoring? I'm predicting game 3. Everything else? I'm predicting a 10-10-4-3 type of game from him in game four.

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Amar: 2. Talk to me about the development of the younger guys on the roster. Leonard starts. Green made great contributions in Game 2. They play with confidence and are capable of contributing to the team -- I feel like there is very little drop off in play when they have to shoulder more of the offense. On the flip side, Utah really tries to bury their youth. The Spurs seemed to have done the opposite -- and now in the playoffs your youth is capable of helping your vets. This is by design right, and not some sorcery. Right?

SpursFanSteve: Right. Unless you believe the rumors that Tim Duncan is Merlin (and not just a guy with a tattoo of Merlin on his back) there is no sorcery involved. Green was someone who Pop has said on several occasions barely made the team. James Anderson was supposed to be doing all the things Green is currently doing right now. Richard Jefferson was supposed to be doing all the things Kawhi Leonard is doing. Fortunately, Leonard showed he was better than Jefferson so we shipped him away for a more versatile player. Leonard couldn't start until RJ was gone. Green wouldn't have started unless Manu got hurt. So, in part, it's luck. But Pop recognized the lineup success and stuck with it instead of inserting Manu and Jackson into the starting lineup. I don't think Manu getting hurt was design, but Green has certainly made it seem like it is. He's basically "Diet-Manu". He's not as good at finishing the shots he creates, or making the crazy passes that Manu does, but he's every bit as much of a competitor. If he's not scoring, he's going to find ways to impact the game. And if he's on? He's killing it. He's been blowing up my radar since garbage time at the end of last regular season. He's aggressive, he's not afraid to shoot or get up in someone's face to defend. He's everything you want in a young wing and more.

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Amar: 3. The Spurs don't even NEED to win a game in Utah to win this series. How about letting us win these next two?

SpursFanSteve: Are you asking us to rest our starters for two games? You do realize our bench came pretty close to "pulling the upset" sans Tony, Tim, and Manu last time we left them in San Antonio, right? On that note, do you think Paul Millsap is still offended that we didn't bring the big guns that game?

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Thanks again SpursFanSteve! And Let's Go Jazz!

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