Game #80 Preview: Spurs vs. Jazz - looking back at Sloan's career

Hayward - a better defender than Kyle Korver

Tonight we face off against the Utah Jazz and Gordon Hayward. Gordon is still a little ticked off at the horrible showing of his former collegiate team in the NCAA championship. He recently outdueled Kobe to help give us HCA through the Western Conference playoffs. Hopefully he doesn't help Chicago tonight.

The Spurs are coming off a dominating 3rd quarter win against a lottery team on Wednesday. In lieu of what had happened in the previous few weeks, I'll definitely take it, especially since we clinched the #1 seed for the Western Conference. All the wiggle room the team bought through hard work was needed for the late March meltdown. Finally, the Spurs are back on the winning track, barely keeping ahead of the streaking Chicago Bulls.

The Jazz are going the opposite direction. Ever since Jerry Sloan retired, they have won 6 out of their last 25 games and dropped out of the playoff race. I can only imagine the type of turmoil that would occur if Pop retired in the middle of the season.


Jerry Sloan was coaching in the NBA as long as I can remember. I remember my dad rooting for them in the 97 and 98 finals against the Bulls. He wanted to see Stockton and Sloan win their first championship, as did I since I wasn't that big a Michael Jordan fan. He would describe those Utah teams as playing basketball the "right way", and I couldn't disagree. When Stockton finally retired in 2003, no one thought he was on the tail end of his career. Most casual fans figured he could play till he was 50, because he didn't rely on quickness or athleticism to do the things he did.

Sloan was what every team wanted their coach to be. Despite the fact that he never won a championship, he only missed the playoffs once in 22 seasons. He took misfits and castoffs from other teams and made them into a team that would contend for the playoffs. With more talent, he probably could have won a championship or two, but he never complained and just worked harder. If I wasn't a Spurs fan, I would have been a Jazz fan, because of Jerry Sloan. It's a damn shame that he had to retire without winning a Coach of the Year award. It's a damn shame that he had to retire without winning a championship. It's a damn shame that he had to retire without being the last man standing as the confetti fell around him like snow, and his weather-beaten face finally cracking into a smile.


Ptr_ambigram_white_on_black_medium
San Antonio Spurs vs Utah Jazz
Where: AT&T Center

When: April 9th, 2011 7:30 Spurs Time - Timezone Converter
Watch: NBA TV


Auxcuadro_medium

By the Numbers

Data sources:
hoopdata.com | basketball-reference.com | John Hollinger's team stats

Category Offense
(rank)
Defense
(rank)
Efficiency Rating 109.3
(1st)
102.5
(10th)
Rebound %
24.9
(t-20th)
74.6
(t-11th)
Field Goal % 47.6
(3rd)
45.6
(13th)
3-Point % 39.9
(1st)
36.8
(24th)
Free Throw %
76.6
(16th)
76.4
(17th)
Turnover %
12.94
(9th)
12.74
(22nd)
Assist %
58.49
(13th)
53.52
(3rd)
Category Offense
(rank)
Defense
(rank)
Efficiency Rating 104.7
(14th)
107.3
(24th)
Rebound %
27.2
(t-11th)
71.6
(t-27th)
Field Goal % 46.3
(11th)
45.8
(17th)
3-Point % 34.4
(22nd)
37.8
(28th)
Free Throw %
77.3
(9th)
77.9
(28th)
Turnover %
13.47
(17th)
13.82
(10th)
Assist %
62.67
(3rd)
57.20
(13th)
Record Wins Losses
Overall 60 19
Conference 37 12
Division 10 6
Home 35 5
Away 25 14
Position Conference Division
Record 1st 1st
Lineups

Starters
PG: Tony Parker
SG: Manu Ginobili
SF: Richard Jefferson
PF: Tim Duncan
C: Antonio McDyess

Key Bench Players
George Hill
DeJuan Blair
Gary Neal
Tiago Splitter
Matt Bonner

Record Wins Losses
Overall 37
42
Conference 21 27
Division 6 9
Home 20 20
Away 17 22
Position Conference Division
Record 11th 3rd
Lineups

Starters
PG: Devin Harris
SG: Raja Bell
SF: C.J. Miles
PF: Paul Millsap
C: Al Jefferson

Key Bench Players
Gordon Hayward
Andrei Kirilenko
Derrick Favors
Kyrylo Fesenko

Matchup Analysis

Point Guard
Shooting Guard
Small Forward
Power Forward
Center
Bench
Coach
Intangibles
Mojo
Winner

Starters

PG: Did you know that since Devin Harris declared the Nets to be a playoff team, a team with Devin Harris on it has gone 57-166. Ouch.

SG: Raja used to be a good defensive player. Emphasis on used to be. Manu is still awesome

SF: Normally I would give AK-47 the nod here, but it appears he isn't starting. RJ is definitely better than CJ Miles, but it's more of a who sucks less Spur

PF: Timmy is methodical and awesome. Millsap is high energy and awesome. Timmy gets the Spur because he is more awesome

C: Al Jefferson is a fantastic low-post scorer. He didn't mesh well with Sloan because of the flex system, but he's done better as of late.

Bench

Outside of AK-47 and Gordon "Utah Hearthrob" Hayward, this bench doesn't scare me at all. Fesenko is like Tiago without the skill.

Coaching

Ty isn't nearly as good as Jerry Sloan, few coaches are. Unfortunately, Pop is as good as Sloan.

Intangibles

Spurs have HCA for the western conference locked up. Thus they can finally play looser.

Mojo

Did the mojo really die? Didn't it just need SiMA to inject it with a healthy dose of mock severity?

Prediction

Spurs win by 15 after a solid 2nd quarter. Duncan doesn't play in the 4th.

Key(s) to the Game

Key 1 - Box out. Utah is always a good offensive rebounding team. Getting those defensive rebounds has been the Spurs Achilles heel all year.

Key 2 - Rotational D. The Jazz have always been good at scoring off assists. We need to be disciplined with out rotations and keep contesting those long 2's.

Other Reading

Spurs

48 Minutes of Hell

Spurs Planet - Our old friend Wayne Vore is back.

Project Spurs

Spurs Nation

OPPONENT

Salt Lake City Dunk (SB Nation)

Following Along

TV

NBA TV

Radio

WOAI 1200AM; Audio League Pass[streaming]

Online

As always, NBA league pass is recommended for those who are willing to pony up the cash. Almost every Spurs game 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. You can also shoot an email to poundingtherockmail@yahoo.com(IMPORTANT: Please include your PtR username in the email for reference) for further assistance.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Pounding The Rock

You must be a member of Pounding The Rock to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Pounding The Rock. You should read them.

Join Pounding The Rock

You must be a member of Pounding The Rock to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Pounding The Rock. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9347_tracker