Oh wait, it did come fast enough. Just fast enough. Hey, it’s a road playoff win and it’s first round sweep. We’ll take it. In the playoffs, ugly wins count just as much as pretty wins.
Let’s be honest, it’s not like we are using these games to judge what kind of team we have. We know what kind of team we have and we just want them to win. Having said that, man, I don’t feel at that great after this win.
Song of the Game:
Play of the Game: Stephen Jackson’s Steal To Seal
It wasn’t a pretty play. It wasn’t great athleticism. It was just a smart, gritty play and it sealed the game. It is exactly the kind of play we rarely, I can’t think of one, got from Richard Jefferson. This is the kind of play that you need your role players to make.
His aggressiveness, his length, and some stick-your-nose-in. He wasn’t standing back waiting for some other Spur to make a play, and he wasn’t waiting for the Jazz to miss. He went and did it. Tony recovered and got credited with the steal and the assist on Manu’s layup. But, it was Jack that made the play. A big play at the big moment of a game we’d like to forget quickly. A hat tip to you sir.
Trending Up: The Defense and Manu
We held the Jazz to 36.4% shooting in this one and 0-13 from 3-pt. We were outscored in the paint for the first time in the series, but it wasn’t the fault of the defense. We still only gave them 34 points in the paint.
Most impressive, I think, was the defense of the second unit. They just destoyed the Jazz for a couple stretches and it shows in the +/-. Tiago, Gary, Matt, Stephen, and Danny (I’m putting Danny in the second unit and Manu with the starters. Why? Because it makes for better stats for me to use with fewer qualifiers.) +21, +13, +20, +12, and +16.
For the series, the defense was outstanding. In my view, it was great against Al Jefferson. I’m including game four as well, even though he was 13-19. Al was forced out to the perimeter and had to shoot 17-18 footers the whole time. He got hot one game. It happens. The key was that in four games he shot four free throws. Without Al being able to assert himself in the paint, he wasn’t able to open up things for other guys. Like Gordon Hayward.
Manu looked the best he had all series. I’m not saying he’s where he needs to be, but he’s getting closer. He made some threes. He still was careless with the basketball and had a really bad eight second call. He would have had another in the second half, but Carroll got called for a foul right when the whistle would have blown. Still, he’s getting sharper and that’s what we want to see.
Trending Down: Starters
I don’t think any starter played particularly well on offense. Ok, none of them played even alright on offense. They did play some pretty decent defense until that ending stretch in the fourth, but wow, they really struggled on offense. No rhythm to be found.
Tim made his first four shots, then nada. He ended 4 for 10 and he was the best shooter of the starters. NOTE: He was tied for third best on the team after Manu and Gary.
Stat of the Game: 45.5% 3-PT
I don’t know the numbers on the mid-range shooting, but I’m not sure we made more than a couple. I know we took a lot, too. Our struggles from outside the paint did not extend to the 3-pt line, however. We shot a healthy 10-22. Most of them very wide open looks.