Notes following Jazz shootaround Saturday morning at EnergySolutions Arena.
Utah's expected to start Devin Harris, Gordon Hayward, Josh Howard, Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson against San Antonio in Game 3. All Jazz players except Earl Watson and C.J. Miles are active.
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said Tiago Splitter and Matt Bonner will be available.
Utah coach Tyrone Corbin said he might use a big lineup featuring Millsap, Derrick Favors and Jefferson earlier in Game 3. However, Corbin again said he doesn't like the overall matchup with the Spurs, since San Antonio's able to space the floor with high-percentage 3-point shooters.
Watson attended shootaround. He's still on crutches but he's been around the team when possible.
Jefferson used Hayward as a body shield while Corbin was being interviewed. While a smiling Hayward walked in front of an obscured Jefferson, the media continued to talking to Corbin as Utah's center snuck away.
"We've got to just fight for our lives out there tonight," Hayward said. "We don't want to go down 3-0."
Corbin on his team's mentality during practice Friday and shootaround Saturday: It was good. The guys understand where we are and how we have to get better, how we have to play better. We're down two games but it's not the end of the world and we've got an opportunity to get one here on our home floor tonight. We know we have to play better in order to be successful doing that.
Difficulty defending the Spurs: They have the three-headed monster. They have the post game in [Tim] Duncan. They have the penetrating game in [Tony] Parker. And they have perimeter shooting in the guys they have on the perimeter and they all can shoot it and they spread the floor to the 3-point line. You've got to pick your poison at times. You would hope you could stop all three. But in order to stop one you've got to give up something, and they've been taking advantage of all three.
Reluctant to use big lineup against Spurs: At times it's good for us, at times it's not. The way they space the floor, the rotations are a little longer and you have two 4 men; two guys that are used to helping in the lane and they spread the floor, so the rotations are even more because you have two guys going to help. … It's a hard thing to do — once you're used to going to help — to stay home. … But it's been effective for us at times during the year and we need to use it.
Brian T. Smith
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