Here’s to what we hope is the last game of Round 1 for the Spurs. I’m over the Jazz at this point and completely ready to move on to Round 2. Of course, a few days rest would be nice and we’ll know later tonight whether the Clips / Grizz series is going to be long or if it’s winding down.
But on this game, the key is energy. If the Spurs come out in a mood to take care of business, this one might be over quickly.
1. Song: Seether, “Fine Again”
This is one of my favorite post-grunge tunes and I’ve used it for years as a tune-up for my own rec center basketball games. Gets me fired up every time.
2. Key Match Up: Devin vs Tony
The key to this series has been the Jazz utter inability to stop, limit, control, or manage Tony Parker. Harris had flashes of goodness in the 1st half Sunday, but I thought he completely disappeared in the 2nd.
3. Keeping An Eye On: Derrick Favors’ PT
Utah’s big lineup actually paid some dividends in Game 3. It’ll be interesting to see if Corbin uses it again and if so, for how long. He is on record that he likes that alignment but it brings challenges when the Spurs go smaller to match it.
4. Bold Prediction: Spurs Win Big
I think this one is going to be close for about a half. Then, the Spurs will make a 3rd quarter run that puts them up by 10-15 and they cruise the rest of the way. I suspect a lot of bench guys get big minutes in the 4th (Patrick Mills, I’m looking for at least 6 shots in the 4th tonight).
EDIT: Just saw the big news that Utah is uncorking the big lineup of Millsap, Favors, and Big Al from the opening tip. This should be fun. I think the Spurs might actually fare well for a longer period against that lineup. As big as they are, none of those guys wants to chase our shooters out to the three-point line.
Odds and Ends
Looking for a better officiated game tonight. I thought the Spurs were prepared for the physical play of the 1st half, but there were a ton of missed calls – both ways – that frustrated players from both teams. The dark NBA secret of this 1st round has been how bad the refs have been. I’m thinking David Stern doesn’t want to talk too much about it.