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Spurs sweep Jazz in Game 4: the Plague moves on as the youngsters have a lot to learn

May 7, 2012, 11:16 PM EDT

Utah Jazz v San Antonio Spurs - Game One Getty Images

Thank God that’s over with. Spurs win 87-81.

The Spurs swept the Jazz Monday night in a contest where the Spurs controlled the entire game. The Jazz made a late run based mostly on the hustle of DeMarre Carroll, but it fell short went the Spurs picked off a pass and Manu Ginobili daggered the Jazz with a layup. It was the same stuff you’ve seen in the other three games. The Jazz missed a ton of looks at the rim, couldn’t hit from the perimeter, and got lost in the dizzying array of Spurs rotations. Oh, and Tony Parker sliced and diced the Jazz to pieces. The end.

Where Utah goes from here: How much better could the Jazz have been had they drafted anyone else in the first round? Kawhi Leonard would have given them a versatile wing to put on Manu Ginobili (and they wouldn’t have been facing him). Tristan Thompson would have given them more concerted effort and a bigger big with better hands. But most importantly, Brandon Knight would have given them a shooter point guard to pace Devin Harris with some legs. So Utah goes forward, trying to figure out where to go from here. Obviously Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap is a great combo, but the problem is, neither one is likely to get considerably better at their age. So do you stick with that combo or go elsewhere and try and upgrade? Do you trade in Millsap for a few upgrades at a few spots, knowing Gordon Hayward will improve?  Point guard is going to be another area they have to look at.

In other words, the Jazz have some work to do. But this year was a good year of progression for them. They gained some experience, and learned that they have a core to go forward with. Now it’s just a matter of being smart with how they construct from here.

Where San Antonio goes from here: Home, to rest. The semi-finals will feature back-to-backs, so getting this rest is crucial for San Antonio. They’ll face either the Clippers or Grizzlies who will be coming off a tough, physical series, even if the Clips close out Memphis in five. Getting healthy so they can dispatch their next opponent in due time is crucial for the. The Spurs can run, but they can also get banged up. They need to stay ahead of the schedule. This was step one, and it was crucial.

Beyond that, San Antonio proves that last year’s Memphis series was a fluke. They get the ghosts off their back and get back to dominating first-round opponents like they traditionally have done. The Spurs made a statement. They were not built for the regular season, they are deadly, and they are coming. The Plague is coming.

  1. funktron2x - May 7, 2012 at 11:20 PM

    I actually kind of like “The Plague”. :-) Moves faster than you can control it, affects almost everyone it faces and leaves everything a shambles when it leaves. Plus, black and silver fit! Goooooo The Plague!!!!

  2. mungman69 - May 8, 2012 at 12:08 AM

    Back to back games in the next series? Good

  3. blsessex - May 8, 2012 at 12:23 AM

    Spurs fans are delusional. They’re not going anywhere.

  4. ragingmouse - May 8, 2012 at 12:27 AM

    Spurs were a tad off tonight, they closed and that’s what winners do!

    “Thats all that Jazz”…

  5. skol22 - May 8, 2012 at 1:36 AM

    GO Spurs GO!!!

  6. passerby23 - May 8, 2012 at 2:05 AM

    The problem with Utah isn’t that Jefferson and Millsap have reached their ceiling, it’s a lot of other problems: they need shooters, a major upgrade at point guard, and let their young core develop. Derek Favors showed glimpses of the kind of potential he has. What Utah desperately needed in this series was some outside shooters to spread the floor for their bigs. SA crowded the paint.

    I don’t know if any of that mattered though as the Spurs are playing championship ball. Whoever emerges from the Memphis-LAC series is going to be battered, bruised, and tired.

  7. slumdog66 - May 8, 2012 at 2:20 AM

    CP3 is coming for that a**!

  8. lakerade - May 8, 2012 at 4:46 AM

    Can popovich gameplan for david stern tho?

  9. mungman69 - May 8, 2012 at 6:02 AM

    Good article. Much better without any petty bias.

  10. davidly - May 8, 2012 at 9:19 AM

    It’s gonna be tough to beat this ten-man rotation. I don’t know how they do it, but San Antonio defines deep bench. This may be the key to them staying healthy for this run.

  11. mungman69 - May 8, 2012 at 12:32 PM

    San Antonio can beat anyone at anytime.

  12. lemfax - May 9, 2012 at 6:35 AM

    Bulls 4-1
    Indiana 4-0
    Miami 4-3
    Boston 4-3
    *Spurs 4-0
    Memphis 4-2
    *Thunder 4-0
    Denver 4-3

    Bulls vs Indiana 4-2
    Miami vs Boston 4-2
    Spurs vs Memphis 4-2
    Thunder vs Denver 4-1

    Miami vs Bulls 4-2
    Spurs vs Thunder 4-1

    Spurs vs Miami 4-3 (Wade would missed game 7)

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