NBA Playoffs: How did the Jazz do against the Conference Finalists?

USA TODAY Sports

Right now the Miami Heat are playing the Indiana Pacers in the Eastern Conference Finals, and the San Antonio Spurs are one win away from putting the Memphis Grizzlies back into hibernation for the season. All four teams are great defensive clubs -- and those clubs seemed to be the exact type of teams that used to put the clamps on the Utah Jazz this season.

How did the Jazz do against these teams?

Well . . .

The Jazz played 11 games against these four teams and finished with one win against all of them. Utah went 1-3 against Memphis, 1-2 against San Antonio, and 1-1 against both Miami and Indiana. We played two overtime games (winning one) and playing much better at home than on the road. None our our four wins were on the road.

Date Game Jazz Opp +/- Result
1 Nov 3 2012 UTA @ SAS 100 110 -10 L
2 Nov 5 2012 UTA @ MEM 94 109 -15 L
3 Dec 12 2012 SAS @ UTA 99 96 3 W
4 Dec 15 2012 MEM @ UTA 86 99 -13 L
5 Dec 19 2012 UTA @ IND 84 104 -20 L
6 Dec 22 2012 UTA @ MIA 89 105 -16 L
7 Jan 14 2013 MIA @ UTA 104 97 7 W
8 Jan 26 2013 IND @ UTA 114 110 4 W (OT)
9 Mar 16 2013 MEM @ UTA 90 84 6 W
10 Mar 22 2013 UTA @ SAS 97 104 -7 L (OT)
11 Apr 17 2013 UTA @ MEM 70 86 -16 L
1027 1104 -77
93.4 100.4 -7.0

If you put it all together, the Jazz scored only 93.4 ppg against these four teams, which is -4.6 ppg less than our normal season average of 98.0 ppg in the regular season. We also gave up +2.3 more ppg which means that our nearly equal own PPG vs off PPG for the regular season ended up being a near 7 point margin of defeat.

The Jazz did lose four games by 15 or more points, which is bad.

But by the same token, we're a lottery team, and we beat each of these Final Four teams once each. So that has to count for something. Right?

RIGHT???

What do we take from this? (you know, aside from the moral victory) If we make a defense first team we can start to punish teams like these teams punished us. I think that's the way the NBA is going. It's important to be able to frustrate teams with good defense, and if we're going to be a real contender we're going to have to become one of these teams.

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