Chatter around the league before this series started was based around the Utah Jazz putting up a “better fight” than what Phoenix could as an eighth seed. Most mentioned Utah’s sizeable front-line and their potential to give the San Antonio Spurs somewhat of a first round “scare”. Well, nothing could be further from the truth after two games as San Antonio demolished Utah 114-83 in Game 2 yesterday.
While +/- doesn’t always tell a water-tight story in basketball, this box score sure did. All five starters for San Antonio had between +31 (Daniel Green) and +41 (Boris Diaw), while for Utah it was a case of -32 or worse. Al Jefferson’s line of 10 points and four rebounds in 30 minutes had him looking more like Al Bundy than the guy that was going to scare the Spurs. Quite frankly, the entire Utah team was so far the opposite of scary to the Spurs, the only people scared would be Utah fans… of a sweep.
Aussie Patty Mills got some minutes in this one claiming yet another career-high, this time in points scored in a playoff game with nine. In contrast to our earlier mentions of +/- however, the Utah bench reversed the trend on the Spurs’ bench by all recording positive stats. Everyone on the San Antonio bench apart from Manu Ginobili scored in negatives. That being said, not many benches in the league extend 25 point leads when they receive them.
Ultimately, the Jazz showed next to nothing in this game, the Spurs got to continue their method of resting their more “mature-legged” players and now have their eyes on an early series completion. When you consider that the Spurs will play the winner of the Grizzlies vs. Clippers series if they advance, this rest could serve them well against a team likely to be coming off a six or seven-gamer.