The San Antonio Spurs are looking to do something this season that they've never done in all their years as a contender: win back-to-back titles. Things are off to a good start this season as the team is still amazing, even if some injuries have slowed them down. Tonight they ride into Utah and look to win in SLC for the 31st time ever in franchise history. The Utah Jazz are 74 up and 96 down against the Spurs, but have held it down in Utah with a 54-30 record. The Spurs want another title, but don't want to let Utah feel like they've just won the championship by winning and breaking out of their nine game losing streak.
The Utah Jazz just may have a chance with Tony Parker (starting pg) and Patty Mills (back up pg) both being out. San Antone will also be without the services of bigman Tiago Splitter. Those are three of the top ten rotation players on this team. Still, though, head coach Gregg Popovich has driven the spurs to a 15-5 record, one where their defense just grinds teams into the dust. The Spurs, who play at a slightly above average pace, are #2 in opponents ppg (only 94.0), and #2 in Defensive Rating (giving up only 99.8 points per 100 possessions). They have a pin-point offense that we try to emulate, but without Parker (and Mills), Manu Ginobili is their back-up point guard. It's fun, and he's capable, but the offense isn't nearly clicking at playoff levels yet.
However, the Jazz defend like abstinence only sex education prevents teen sex. It's a nice theory, but there are a lot of ways penetration happens even if we're really really against it.
(Amar takes pause. This is either my highest point, or my lowest point.)
Manu is questionable tonight . . . but even if the Spurs have to start Boris Diaw and Matt Bonner at the guard spots they will be deadly because of Tim Duncan. The 6th best center of all time is having a great season this year. He will provide a hearty challenge for Derrick Favors, Rudy Gobert, and Enes Kanter as Duncan may be a larger post up threat tonight if the Spurs guards aren't going to play.
I don't need to write much more scouting of the Spurs. They are an excellent team that is great on defense. The Jazz thing to do would be to score 80 points against them. Even if they miss some HOFers tonight.
You know what would be cool? It would be cool if we feed our bigmen more than 11 times a game.
- Tony Parker (OUT) -- Popovich'd
- Patty Mills (OUT) -- recovering from shoulder surgery
- Tiago Splitter (OUT) -- strained hamstring
- Manu Ginobili (GTD) -- shoulder impingement, and is questionable for tonight
The Jazz have the health advantage, and I expect Manu to play. Just because, you know, FML.
Birthday boy Aron Baynes (NZ) has a big game, because, you know, FML.