NBA Playoffs 2012 Spurs Vs. Jazz Jam Session #4: The Spurs defense, Jazz youth, and moving on with Pounding The Rock

Hey SLC Dunkers, here's Part 4 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. Game 3 had the Jazz being in it for half the game. The Spurs can complete the sweep tonight with a win. We talk a bit about what we learned about the Spurs, who on the Jazz is worth keeping, what Gregg Popovich is going to do moving forward -- and who they'd like to face in the next round. And be sure to check here for my answers to Steve's questions too!

Amar: 1. Presuming that the Spurs advance, which is a very easy presumption to make, what did they learn about themselves over this series that they did not previous know about themselves?

SpursFanSteve: That they can play defense. Really, really good defense. Utah came in as a top 10 offense, and I don't think it's much of an exaggeration to say that the Spurs have pretty well shut them down- particularly in game 2. While at times we're content to trade baskets (usually after we've built a lead) I think the Spurs have shown themselves to be one of the top 4 or 5 defenses left in the playoffs.

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Amar: 2. As the series’ continue during this run, do you expect Pop to play the starters more?

SpursFanSteve: Only as much as he has to, so yes. I think next series, whether it be the Clippers or the Grizz, will be a little more difficult, and then either the Thunder or Lakers will represent another step up in difficulty...as each round in the playoffs should. Of course, if by some miracle the Nuggets step up and reach the WCF, all bets would be off. I don't think any of our big three will have to average more than 36-38 minutes per game, regardless. But there will probably be some games Tony reaches 40 and maybe one or two where Tim does the same.

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Amar: 3. If this was an old video game, after passing this round (and the boss fight of defeating the Jazz), and you had a choice to add one of our players to your roster for the rest of the playoffs – who do you pick? And why?

SpursFanSteve: Tough pick between Gordon Hayward and Derrick Favors. Both have shown they can play excellent defense, both have shown flashes of playing multiple roles on offense. Hayward's cold shooting has been as much a mystery to me as Manu Ginobili 's. Every time someone cheats off him to help out elsewhere and he gets the ball, I say "Please, sir, don't make that" (or something to that effect). Fortunately, asking nicely seems to be working. Favors, though, is such a beast on the defensive end and on the boards. Could I take them both but with the option of only playing one per game?

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Amar: 4. Memphis Grizzlies or Los Angeles Clippers – which one would you want to face?

SpursFanSteve: Both. I'd like to play the Clipped Memphis Grizzlies of Los Angeles. Memphis because they beat us last year and if we don't have to play them everyone will say "The Spurs only won because they didn't have to go through the Grizzlies." The Clippers because they are the most over hyped team (with the worst defense) since...the Phoenix Suns! And if you don't remember, the Spurs owned the Suns and eliminated the hype. Repeatedly. There are a lot of similarities: Elite point guard (Nash and Paul), overhyped guy who does nothing but dunks (A'm'a'r'e and Griffin) notoriously cheap/horrible owner/management combos (I think it's pretty universally accepted, or was until this year, that Sterling and Sarver are the two worst owners in the biz) and bad head coaches (D'Antoni and Del Negro). It would be like deja vu.

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Amar: 5. Did playing the Jazz – who very rarely ever go into an Isolation or pick and roll – help or hurt the Spurs who will see a steady stream of non-team play in the future rounds?

SpursFanSteve: I'm not sure. I think isolation offenses are easier to defend regardless of how much you've practiced against them. It would have been nice if Utah ran more pick and roll, but I think playing against teams with good offenses focused on spacing, ball movement, and dominant post play is always helpful...so long as you can survive it. So far, we have, and hopefully that continues into game 4.

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Amar: 6. My dad’s favorite NBA team is the San Antonio Spurs. All he does is "troll" his sons who are Jazz (me) or Lakers (my bro) fans. This isn’t a question, but I felt like bringing it up.

SpursFanSteve: If it makes you feel any better, given your brother's choice of teams, I've no doubt that you're the favorite son. Talk about the black sheep of the family...

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Ha ha ha, I'll tell him that, and thanks again SpursFanSteve! And Let's Go Jazz!

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