Game Preview #41: Utah Jazz @ San Antonio Spurs: The Spurs Go To Band Camp

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Enough is enough.

We've lost three straight this season to the Jazz, now down to one chance to salvage the series. I say we stop fooling around and show them who's the boss.

A pathetic attempt to pump you up, after the jump.

To use a very, very abused cliche, the Jazz just know how to play the right kind of music when going against us, at least this season. We've been 3QC'd, abused in the paint and pushed around like little kids thrown inside a mosh pit of crazy teenagers on crack.

Like most of you normal human beings, I like music a lot but I'm not that knowledgeable about the intricacies and the history of music or whatever that is that junkies like to throw around to tell people how smart they are when it comes to their tunes. I'm just an ordinary dude who listens to stuff that I like and also enjoys the music that I find here in PtR, like the ones that Tim C., jrw, LD, Wayne and bellasa share in TWSS posts or game threads.

So what's my point? Nothing really... just wanted to make a stupid intro to probably THE GREATEST FREAKING BAND ON THE PLANET DEL POTROOOOO!

But first, here's a song to get you sorta riled up. Skip to about two minutes and a half if you don't want the video's introductory humor.

Bad hair days. Good times.

The Servants of SuckitudeTM

That's really not the name of the band, but wouldn't it be cool if they were introduced as "Ladies and gents, here are your servants of suckitude!" No, it's not your favorite band, and it's not Argentine, either. Okay, a little. I thought maybe it's high time for a little CADTWNHMS to get the mojo working. I wanted to form my own little band using the Spurs players, and I chose four. Well, okay, I was too lazy so I just made 'chops for four people. Here goes nothingness...

Banging Away At Drums...

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Love the pink shirt, DeJuan.

I could've made a case for Manu Ginobili behind the drumkit, too, but eventually I had to go with the Blairness Monster. First and foremost, witnesses have said that Blair makes a unique smacking sound whenever he grabs rebounds, which seems fitting to play an instrument that supposedly makes more noise than music when you hear it. But Blair continuously pounding the glass is a thing of beauty, and he makes great music with it.

Another thing is for his size, you'd expect him to be slow and plodding, but he's the exact opposite - just a ball of energy out there going after every missed shot and slipping and sliding through cracks in the paint to catch those drop passes. I look at drummers and their craft is one of controlled chaos. Hit, hit, bang your head, hit some more and probably go deaf.

Relentless and yet still staying within himself, not trying to steal anyone's thunder, staying behind the scenes waiting for that solo to come and when it does, he kills it. He just kills it. And then once again, he fades slowly in the background doing his thing. This time, however, you can't get him out of your mind. His instrument is hard to drown. He's now in your head. Can you escape the Beast?

Rocker comparison:

I like him as some sort of Dave Grohl. Dave bid his time playing drums for Nirvana, staying behind the limelight while Kurt Cobain drugged away his genius into oblivion. Grohl then emerges as a multi-dimensional artist and eventually gets to front his own band, but with mixed results. Blair, at some point, will probably become the Spurs' frontcourt leader, but for now he's enjoying his time playing support crew to the GPFOAT.

Nobody Notices The Bass Man

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Hippeh Timmeh!

There are some famous bass players, but admit it - you hardly ever notice them. Not that we don't ever notice Tim. We in fact love him as much as Manu, but we don't go all out singing his praises like fangirls. With Duncan, there's always some sort of quiet reverence, as if his self-demands for humility and simplicity are so convincing that it trickles down to Spurs fans.

Now that he is in the twilight of his career, Timmeh continues to provide that steady support you'd want from a band member - never ever craving for that 3-minute band solo or SportsCenter highlight, just hovering around making sure everyone's on the same page. If somebody loses his way, he's the guide that leads them back to playing the right notes. To say he's cool, calm and collected is probably an understatement. He is Peace personified. (although the last Hornets game might tell us otherwise)

Rocker Comparison:

Led Zeppelin is one of the greatest bands ever, and John Paul Jones is probably its most underappreciated member, similar to how fans underrate Tim's importance and impact to the game when placed beside fellow superstars. Led Zep's complex arrangements seem simple when JPJ's on tap, like how Duncan makes the game look so easy with his moves, and how he also makes things easier for his teammates.

Electric Feel

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Pure Madness.

There are many other Spurs players who can fill the role of lead guitarist, but Manu trumps them all. He's not really the leader of this pack, but nevertheless fans shower him with so much love as if he was a god. Really, sometimes it's not even fair to the other band members. I thought this was a team thing?

His riffs are the type that elicit oohs and aahs from the crowd, reflecting the play of one Ginobili that, as Peter Vecsey described, you needn't necessarily see score to be dazzled. Like sometimes, you don't want someone singing but just need to listen to the guitar man do his thing and cast you under a spell. There are nights when he plays like he's drunk and all over the place, but when he gets it together, even just for a night --- how else can I describe it? Magic.

Rocker Comparison:

Russell Hammond and all the bands who had the lead guitarist as their most prominent icon. Yep, Russell's not really a real dude, but he represents all that is sometimes unjust in the world of music. But for the Hammonds and Ginobilis of the world, life is good.

A Passion For That Euro Flair

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Totally not gay. (not that there's anything wrong with that)

Hardly do you ever see a band that has a vocalist that doesn't like the limelight. Though Pop and the San Antonio Spurs front office often preach humility and have an unwritten rule outlawing showboating, Tony Parker seems built to play a flashy game, and at times gets away with it.

The frontman feels like it's his stage, his band, and that he has the responsibility of controlling the unpredictable ebb and flow of the night. As a point guard, Tony holds the ball as much as, perhaps even more than Tim and Manu do. If he wanted to, he can go for 40 points and there are times when he feels he's obligated to outperform all challengers (think JJ Barea in last year's playoffs). These are probably products of a mind trained to become the man - three rings, a Finals MVP, a hotter than hell wife - who needs the team concept anyway?

And yet even as he is struggling this season, Tony has showed us his willingness to hold back. The injury definitely has something to do with it, but there are glimpses of a frontman willing to cede the spotlight in nights when his voice doesn't seem to be completely there - realizing that passing the rock for a score carries as much importance as putting it in the hole yourself.

Rocker Comparison:

Pretty obvious that I 'chopped Tony on Freddie Mercury's body there. The British rocker was all sorts of flamboyant, which can capture some of the essence of Tony's game (and also that of Manu's as well). He's not yet the leader of this merry Spurs band, but there are signs that point to the young guard eventually inheriting the reigns. When that time comes, I hope he'll lead this team to even greater heights.

So there you have it. Sorry if I butchered some of your favorite music legends. I haven't decided on the others, so maybe you can play a little band roulette on the comments discussion below.

Also, what songs will this Spurs band be playing? Hmm... should be an interesting playlist, if any of you are able to come up with one. Care to name the band, too? I suck at names.

The real preview follows.

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San Antonio Spurs @ Utah Jazz
Where: AT&T Center - San Antonio, TX
When: January 20, 2010, 8:00 PM Spurs time
Watch: My35 (SA), FSUT (SLC)

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How They Stack Up
17-6 Home 16-6
8-9 Road 7-12
101.0
Offense 100.8
95.4 Defense 97.3
48.2 FG% 48.5
38.4
3-pt% 36.2
73.4
FT% 73.4
42.3
Rebounds 40.4
14.1
TOs 15.2
7-3 Last 10 5-5
Won 1
Streak Lost 1
2nd, Southwest Position 3rd, Northwest

Country/Time Zone Game Time
Argentina 11:00 PM
Crazy Land
6:00 PM
Philippines 10:00 AM
Central Europe 3:00 AM
Palestine/Egypt 4:00 AM
East Coast 9:00 PM
Frozen Tundra
7:00 PM
Perth, AUS 10:00 AM
Tokyo, JP 11:00 AM
Sydney, AUS 12:00 PM

Spurs
(25-15)
Matchups

Jazz
(23-18)

Tony Parker
Plantar Faschmitis My Foot

Point Guard

Tony bounced back nicely against top-notch comp, putting pressure on Chris Paul by attacking him repeatedly. Deron Williams, however, poses a different threat since he's bigger and stronger than CPunk3. I'd like to see the same aggressiveness from Tony if we are to win this game, but D-Will almost always plays well against the Spurs.

Advantage: Jazz


Deron Williams
Assist Machine

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Manu Ginobili
Do-It-All

Shooting Guard

Brewer is a pretty athletic guy that plays within himself. He killed us last game with 17 points and 8 rebounds. Manu continues to amaze, and therefore, he wins.

Advantage: Spurs


Ronnie Brewer
Decent SG

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Richard Jefferson
Back Spasmic

Small Forward

I'm hoping RJ will shake off the bad back and play today. That being said, both guys are being paid exorbitant amounts for average production ($14 mil for Rage, $16 mil for AK-47), so we all lose.

Advantage: Neither


Andrei Kirilenko
Overpaid

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Tim Duncan
Rock

Power Forward

I've run out of superlatives to describe Tim. The WVATS white box will do for now.

Advantage: Spurs


Carlos Boozer
High Trade Value, like, right now!

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DeJuan Blair
Mittens

Center

We haven't really seen Blair get extended burn against the Jazz (under 15 mpg in the 3 games), so we'll see how he handles the long-range bomber in Mehmet Okur. I'll give the advantage here to the one who can stretch defenses (no, it's definitely not Matt Bonner).

Advantage: Jazz


Mehmet Okur
Already knows the system

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Matt Bonner
Hi Fred! Guess who's baaack?

Bench & Role Players

Matt Bonner is back in the lineup and everything is right again. Or maybe not. I sincerely hope Pop doesn't do anything stupid like give a ton of minutes to Matt, unless of course, he's on fire.

Advantage: Spurs


Paul Millsap
BBB - Blair Before Blair

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Gregg Popovich
Future HOFer

Coach

A battle between a Hall Of Fame coach and a coach who is a lock for the same distinction. The battle of the brains don't get any better than this.

Advantage: Tied


Jerry Sloan
HOFer
images via yahoo.com

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Other Factors

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Intangibles

Ahh, home sweet home. The crowd should provide a solid boost.

Advantage: Spurs

Mojo

The Jazz has pwned the Spurs this season, having already won the season series, 3-0 with this last game to be played. Yelp.

Advantage: Jazz

Winner:

The Spurs will be coming in wanting to salvage some pride. I damn hope they do or else we're toast against a Jazz team that seems like they have our number. A convincing win should restore order.
Prediction: Revenge is a dish best served bloody. Spurs by a blowout. (yes, I'm kinda talking out of my ass right now)

Keys To The Game

  • Apple Turnover - The Jazz seem to know all of the Spurs' points of attack, so it's important to be patient and take care of the basketball.
  • 0-3 On My Mind - Let's not give the Jazz reason to think that they're better than us.
  • Chairmen of the Boards - Carlos Boozer is a monster in the paint. He and his other teammates like to crash the boards and play a physical game. The rebounding game is very important for the Jazz's successes.

Strength of Schedule

We kick off a six-game homestand tonight, after two days of rest following our longest road trip (3 games) of the season. It'd be nice to start it in style.

The Jazz are on three days' rest, and wrapping up the second half of a two game road trip.

Last Time They Met

Ick. This was the game Bon-Bon played out of his mind (28 points, career high) and almost bailed us out. He took the last shot of the game on an awful drive that made everyone scurrying for cover. Our 3QC actually did us in, with the Jazz badly outscoring the Spurs, 37-19. We then proceeded to lose, 101-104.

Some Other Reading

Jazz

SLC Dunk - The Jazz SBN blog. Go over there, say hi and tell them, "Sorry guys, not tonight."
Salt City Hoops - This is the TrueHoop network blog for the Jazz. I know nothing about this blog, but it looks snazzy.

Spurs

48 Minutes of Hell: Best damn TrueHoop affiliate out there. Always a must visit Spurs site.
Project Spurs: Features live chats, call-in shows and podcasts (in Spanish too), with lots of content.

Twitter Musings

tp9network Hey everyone! After 2 losses, we're back and it feels real good. Now we have to carry on. And more specifically be... http://bit.ly/5T1GZl
manuginobilili Nice win 2 finish the roadtrip. Home sweet home! // Linda victoria para terminar el viajecito. Hogar dulce hogar.
DeJuan45 I never can sleep after road trips SMH!!! WIDE AWAKE!!! All my light R on n My house lol!!

You can also find all the official Spurs Sports & Entertainment Twitter accounts here: http://twitter.com/spurs/official/members

Where to Tune In

TV

This game will be aired by My35 in San Antonio and by FSUT in Salt Lake. If you have cable or satellite, you'll have to look up your individual channel. And of course, there's always League Pass for the haves. For the have nots, read on.

Online

As always, NBA League Pass is recommended for those who are willing to pony up the cash. Most Spurs games will be broadcast there, which is especially helpful for those of us who aren't in the San Antonio area.

Please don't post links to illegal game feeds in the game thread. Links to illegal feeds are not permitted on SBNation, but you can probably find them out there on the internets if you're resourceful and desperate. In fact, nobody can stop you from googling "atdhe". You can also shoot an email to dmenendez@gmail.com for more assistance.

NBA League Pass audio is still free this year, so check it out.

Radio

If you're in the San Antonio area and aren't near a TV, tune in to WOAI (1200 AM).

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