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Can Jazz come back on Spurs? They will go big to try.

May 7, 2012, 4:32 PM EDT

Jazz center Jefferson is defended by Spurs center Duncan, forward Leonard and guard Parker during their NBA Western Conference quarter-final playoff game in San Antonio Reuters

Here is why I am convinced not even the Jazz think they are going to come back from 3-0 down to hand the Spurs a historic upset.

Look at what Utah big man Al Jefferson said to the San Antonio Express-News.

“I just think we’re playing against a team that is at its peak,” Jefferson said. “I don’t see nobody beating them.”

Who says that before they are eliminated?

If the Spurs can win it all is an interesting question, in the next round they will get a stiff test from either Chris Paul’s Clippers or the big front line of Memphis. Then there is the whole Oklahoma City (or Lakers) issue, not to mention Miami out of the East (sorry Boston).

But that’s getting ahead of ourselves, which is what Gregg Popovich is telling his charges right now. Not that the veterans of the Spurs need that much reminding.

The ball is in the Jazz’s court to do something, and that something is to start Derrick Favors and go with their big lineup featuring him, Jefferson and Paul Millsap. Multiple sources have reported the Jazz will go that way. It was a lineup, with Devin Harris at the point and Gordon Hayward at the two, that had success late in the season. In the playoffs, coach Tyron Corbin has gone to it more and more each game, clearly learning to trust it as his best five.

Not that it has helped all that much. Zach Lowe at Sports Illustrated went into the numbers.

The Jefferson/Favors/Millsap trio has logged 28 minutes in this series, stretches in which the Spurs have won by 10 points, per NBA.com. That works out roughly to a 17-point margin over the full 48 minutes — a blowout. Of course, the Spurs have won the first three games by an average of 19 points, so a slightly less devastating rout would constitute progress for a badly overmatched Jazz team.

Basically, nothing the Jazz can do is going to win them this series. But they can win a game if the Spurs take their foot off the gas and the big lineup for the Jazz gets hot. It is their best lineup, it gets an odd collection that is their best players on the floor together.

It may be enough for one night. It will not be enough for the series. But Jazz fans may get to see a win and maybe the Spurs have to settle for a “gentleman’s sweep.”

  1. funktron2x - May 7, 2012 at 6:05 PM

    Big Al is no dummy! :-) If the Spurs execute and pass like they have plus ramp up the d with timmy and manu playing bigger minutes (not to mention jack and diaw’s obvious contributions in those areas) – they have a great shot at that thumb ring for pop, timmy and rc.

  2. savvybynature - May 7, 2012 at 6:42 PM

    Never understood why pundits, including Helin, were quick to say the Jazz could be a matchup problem for the Spurs because of their big front line.

    Their front line isn’t even big; it’s skilled. Milsap and Jefferson are good players but at 6’8″ and 6’9″, guys like Marc Gasol and Bynum make them look like small forwards.

    The Spurs’ front court of TD, Diaw and Splitter are actually bigger. Favors is their biggest interior guy seeing minutes and he has a lot of potential, but it’s not his time yet. Not to mention Parker and Manu in the back court, plus Pop vs. rookie HC Corbin, and the Spurs have a big advantage.

    Wish the Jazz the best in the future but right now, no one should be surprised at a sweep.

  3. mungman69 - May 7, 2012 at 7:24 PM

    Spurs could win it all.

  4. davidcl77 - May 8, 2012 at 5:10 PM

    The Spurs are the 2012 NBA champs. Too many quality players, hof coach, etc. Lebron will have to wait. Sorry, peckerhead.

  5. davidcl77 - May 8, 2012 at 5:10 PM

    The Spurs are the 2012 NBA champs. Too many quality players, hof coach, etc. Lebron will have to wait. Sorry, peckerhead.

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