Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Utah Jazz Notes
Jazz Reporters
Aaron Falk, Tony Jones and Steve Luhm cover the Utah Jazz and the NBA for The Salt Lake Tribune. The Tribune on Twitter - Aaron Falk: @tribjazz, Steve Luhm: @sluhm, Tony Jones: @Tjonessltrib

» Jazz section

» E-mail Aaron Falk

» E-mail Steve Luhm

» E-mail Tony Jones

» Subscribe (RSS)




Despite limited size, Miami Heat have had answer for Al Jefferson

Few teams have had as much success defending Al Jefferson as the Miami Heat did in December, when the defending champions dispatched the Jazz and held their center to 6 points on 1-of-8 shooting.

Jefferson averages a team-high 17.2 points for the Jazz, but historically struggles against the Heat, averaging 12.8 points in 16 career games.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

With the LeBron James-led Heat in Utah Monday for a 7 p.m. tipoff against the Jazz, Jefferson will need to find a way to combat the Heat if they have any chance of beating Miami for the third time in their last four matchups at EnergySolutions Arena.

"They did a great job of fronting me," Jefferson recalled Monday morning. "When I did catch the ball they sent a double team from the baseline. They had a heck of a defensive scheme for me. I got to find a way on movement get the ball into the offense. ... I have to find the way to get it the other way. Every team is starting to do that to me now. It's just something I've got to get used to and prepare for."

While Jefferson had bad games against Indiana and Denver this season, the Heat shut him down despite an absence of traditional big men. Miami forward Chris Bosh did not play against the Jazz on Dec. 22.

"You can't be small and slow," small forward Shane Battier said. You'll get crushed. When you're smaller you just have to be more active. That game was one of our more active games, even though we were missing Chris."

Despite a small lineup that included Udonis Haslem and James as the ostensible post players, the Heat outscored the Jazz 39-38 in the post and limiting the Jazz big men - Jefferson, Paul Millsap, Derrick Favors, Enes Kanter - to just 31 points.

"You can't stand behind Al Jefferson," Battier said, "he'll score 40 on us. So by getting around him in the post and making his catches tough and being annoying and swarming we were able to be effective."

The key, Favors said, is "just try to find other options. Just get it out of the post quicker, probably have a little more movement."

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said Jefferson and Millsap are "forces" and that they put pressure on the defense, "not only to stop them, but to not foul them."

As for his team's success against Jefferson last month at AmericanAirlines Arena, Spoelstra said, "I don't know if it had to do with what we were doing. We try to play aggressively, disruptively, defensively. They were at the tail end of one of their long road trips. So I don't know if it was us that had to do with it or if he just had an off night."

— Bill Oram



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Twitter


Latest Jazz Photo Galleries
Latest Jazz Photo Galleries
Latest Jazz Photo Galleries
 
Jobs
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.