The Spurs Will Have Pride on the Line Against the Utah Jazz

Dejounte Murray, Mike Conley
Dejounte Murray, Mike Conley / Ronald Cortes/GettyImages

Beginning in 2000, the Utah Jazz couldn't beat the San Antonio Spurs for over four years straight. The Spurs then enjoyed a 6-game series winning streak in the mid-2010s. It's safe to say the Jazz are getting their revenge.

When the two face off in Utah on Friday, the Jazz will be seeking their first five-game winning streak over the Spurs since they won seven in a row beginning in 1993. San Antonio hasn't come out on top in a matchup since August 7, 2020. Overall, the Jazz have won nine of the last 14 against the Spurs.

In a season in which developing the young core is taking priority over the usual expectations of playoff success, small victories can do wonders for confidence. Getting revenge on a team that's beaten you by an average of 21 points in the last three showdowns can do just that.

The Spurs' Biggest Enemy Hasn't Been Donovan Mitchell

In looking at what happened last season, the real killers of the Spurs were Bojan Bogdanovic and Jordan Clarkson. As a starter, Bogdanovic scored 28, 25, and 24 points against San Antonio last season on 30/43 field goals. That's a 70% mark, and he made exactly 10 field goals in all three. It's hard to find anyone that played better against San Antonio last season.

Meanwhile, Clarkson also lit up the Spurs for 18, 16, and 30 points last season on 27/49 shooting (55%). His outburst in the last meeting included 12-of-16 shooting from the field and led to a 126-94 beatdown of San Antonio.

Donovan Mitchell is leading Utah in scoring this season with 24.8 points per game and was out for the last two meetings with San Antonio. Clearly, that didn't matter.

Jakob Poeltl will have his work cut out for him with Rudy Gobert, and it might get downright ugly at times if he's ever not on the floor to go toe-to-toe with the 7-1 center. It will also be interesting to see how Rudy Gay plays against his old team. Gay is averaging 9.8 points per game on 19 minutes and shooting 41.7% from downtown.

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The Spurs need to "show some nasty" when they visit Vivint Smart Home Arena this time around. They have some of the best defending wings in the game, and they'll need all of that and more against the swarm of dangerous weapons Utah possesses at all times.