Spurs vs. Jazz notes
— Time: 8 p.m
–- TV: FSNSW
–- Radio: WOAI-AM 1200, KCOR-AM 1350
— Spurs injury report: None.
— Jazz injury report: Raja Bell (left knee surgery) and Josh Howard (left knee surgery) are out.
— Spurs are 17-10 on the road this season after starting 2-8.
— San Antonio will complete a home-road back-to-back in Utah tonight. San Antonio has won three in a row at Utah.
— Their last loss in Salt Lake City was on Dec. 7, 2009.
— Spurs are 8-5 this season on second game of back-to-back. Utah is 9-9.
— Spurs have three sets of back-to-backs and one back-to-back-to-back for the remainder of the season. The rest of the Spurs’ schedule (and Oklahoma City’s) can be found here.
— San Antonio didn’t knock down the 3-pointer with the same regularity last night, shooting 6-of-22 (27.3 percent). Utah — 29th in 3-point percentage — also made six 3-pointers.
— So, naturally, the Spurs compensated for their lack of perimeter shooting with more aggressiveness. Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker, specifically, wreaked havoc on the below-average Jazz defense. If they continue to be aggressive and the Spurs’ shots are falling they will be impossible to guard.
— Not much has been said about Tim Duncan but he posted another low key double-double (13 points, 16 rebounds) in 30:55 last night. On a per-minute basis, Duncan is still performing well and his interior prescience compensates for our occasional defensive breakdowns.
— Has Kawhi Leonard hit the proverbial “rookie wall?” In five consecutive games, Leonard has grabbed less than five rebounds. He’s still a plus defender and an adept off-ball cutter but, still, that isn’t going to cut it. Pop has still shown a lot of faith in Leonard, playing him 26:40 last night. The only three Spurs with more minutes were Duncan, Ginobili and Parker. If Popovich still has confidence in him then, well, so do I.
— The Spurs also made 61.7 percent of their 2-pointers.
— The Jazz never tied or held a lead in the entire game. Without Bell and Howard, the Jazz were severely depleted health-wise and deficient in both talent and execution.
— DeMarre Carroll provided a much-needed spark off the bench, scoring 16 points on 6-of-8 shooting. His plus-13 was by far the highest among the Jazz.
— Tiago Splitter nearly posted a double-double (nine points, seven rebounds) in only 17:05. Now that’s efficiency.
— At 29-28, Utah is 1.5 games behind the No. 8 seed, Denver Nuggets.
— Backup forward DeMarre Carroll out of Missouri had the game of his life last night, scoring 16 points on 6-of-8 shooting.
— Devin Harris scored 18 points but he did so on 5-of-13 shooting, which includes a couple of pull up 3-pointers that went in. I’m not sure that jacking up those kind of shots are necessarily a good thing over the long haul.
— 6’11” rookie Enes Kanter hasn’t been able to differentiate himself from his frontcourt mates. He is the Jazz’ best offensive rebounder but that hasn’t translated into consistent minutes.
— The Spurs have so much excess depth that Gregg Popovich can seemingly designate three guys each game for healthy DNP status and the Spurs can still win by double digits. That is an awesome luxury to have.
— Will the refs be so willing to blow the whistle tonight? There were 51 personal fouls in the entire game and a whopping 69 free throw attempts.
— Would you mind facing Utah in the first round? I wouldn’t. Their frontline is their one obvious advantage but it isn’t enough to eliminate their lack of backcourt depth and porous defense, areas that the Spurs will be able to exploit pretty easily.