Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
(Jeremy Harmon | The Salt Lake Tribune) Tim Duncan is defended by Al Jefferson as the Jazz host the Spurs in the first round of the NBA playoffs at EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City, Saturday, May 5, 2012.
NBA: Humbled Al Jefferson says San Antonio Spurs are better than Utah Jazz
NBA » “You’re just playing a team that’s better than you,” center says of Utah’s struggles.
First Published May 06 2012 06:43 pm • Last Updated May 06 2012 11:50 pm

For the third consecutive time after a humbling playoff loss, Jazz center Al Jefferson appeared beaten. He spoke slowly and quietly. He avoided eye contact. His confidence and swagger were gone.

Minutes after Utah coach Tyrone Corbin hinted at a lineup change and praised young power forward Derrick Favors for refusing to accept defeat, the Jazz’s premier player all but ruled Utah dead and done in its Western Conference first-round series against the surging San Antonio Spurs.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

"We’re playing against a team that is at its peak, and I don’t see nobody beating ’em. … It’s a great team. I just take my hat off to ’em. Mad respect," said Jefferson, prior to practice Sunday at Utah’s workout facility.

Jefferson said a Jazz team down 3-0 in a best-of-seven matchup hasn’t given up and will fight for a Game 4 victory Monday at EnergySolutions Arena. But during a series of questions about the strength of a highly efficient Spurs offense that’s shooting 51.2 percent from the field and averaging 107.3 points during the series, an up-front and honest Jefferson acknowledged what’s been obvious since the postseason began: An unproven Utah club has been severely outmatched against a four-time NBA champion San Antonio squad.

"Right now they just playing well, man," Jefferson said. "I ain’t never seen nothing like this."

Jefferson began the series saying he was honored to play against Spurs center Tim Duncan, who has limited Jefferson’s aggressiveness and efficiency on the offensive end of the floor. As the series has unfolded, the Jazz’s average leading scorer and rebounder during the regular season has offered constant praise and respect for a fine-tuned Spurs machine that’s won 24 of 26 games dating back to April 11.

Jefferson said he hasn’t competed against a team comparable to San Antonio during his eight-year career. And three separate times during an interview Sunday, the Utah big man acknowledged the Spurs are stronger than and superior to the Jazz.

"It gets to the point where you’re just playing a team that’s better than you; that know what it takes to win and know how to win," Jefferson said.

He added: "If you lose to a team because you didn’t play your best, that’s one thing. If you’re playing your best and doing everything that you can, and you’re just playing against a team that’s better than you, that’s another one."

bsmith@sltrib.comTwitter: @tribjazzfacebook.com/tribjazz


story continues below
story continues below



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.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • 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.