San Antonio Spurs vs. Utah Jazz
The AT&T Center
March 22nd, 7:30 PM Spurs Time
TV: RTRM+,FSSW - RADIO: 1200 AM WOAI
"The Good, The Bad, and The Weird" is a South Korean homage to Sergio Leone's spaghetti westerns and is set in Manchuria China. Aside from being a fantastic film, it also provides a jumping point for discussion about the upcoming Utah Jazz game. Here is a game that could either be good, bad or weird for the boys in silver and black.
The Spurs are sitting at the top of the Western conference whilst the Jazz are 17 games back. That is clear and quantifiable proof that the Spurs are a better team. Now, the Spurs have been struggling without Tony (Minnesota anyone?) yet the Jazz will likely be unable to capitalize on the Spur's biggest deficiency. The Spurs might not have their best point guard, but they have numerous players who are more than capable of handling the reins. The Jazz on the other hand have Mo Williams, Randy Foye and Earl Watson. If it comes down to a match up of Mo Willaims against Danny Green, then I got my money on Greensleeves. If Tony Parker plays tonight, then ... wow the Jazz are incredibly outmatched. So look for the Spurs to dominate on the perimeter. And it is not like things get easier for the Jazz in the paint. The future Defensive Player of the Year will be waiting.
The Utah Jazz are desperate. They are in a tough battle for the eighth playoff spot against the Los Angeles Lakers. Expect the Jazz to play their hearts out during this one. The Jazz are a lighter version of the Memphis Grizzlies. They play a bruising style of basketball that is certainly formidable. Last week in a "battle of the bruisers" it was the Jazz who were triumphant. Big Al and Paul Millsap are still a scary front-court duo. Also Gordon Hayward probably screams " I am the most improved player" after each game. In fact Mr. Hayward is practically the Jazz's star this year. If the Spurs start clanking shots, then this could get ugly quick.
If the Jazz are desperate, then the Spurs have every right to be complacent. If it comes down to it, is going to the wire against a physical team worth the consequences? In a loaded conference, is there even much of a difference between a number one and two seed? "Tanking" is not in TAHC's (Timmy and his crew's) vocabulary. However, "resting" is certainly in PATFO's vocabulary. And games against the elite teams in the NBA are more important than games against team's fighting to get into playoffs. Not to mention games after April 17th are more important than the preceding games.
This game will likely be a combination of weirdness, badness and goodness. However the persistence of the Spurs is likely to trump the inconsistency of the Jazz.
The Jazz perspective can be found here @ SLC Dunk
Game Prediction: Spurs by 11.
As always Tony must dominate Fisher, and 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.