Utah Jazz: Containing Parker will be tough task in Game 2
The Jazz must stop the snow atop the Wasatch Mountains from melting.
They must put the toothpaste back in the tube.
When Utah's first-round NBA playoff series against San Antonio continues Wednesday night, the Jazz have a seemingly impossible task.
They must contain Tony Parker.
San Antonio's do-it-all point guard scored 28 points and handed out eight assists during the Spurs' 106-91 win in Game 1.
If he dominates again, the Jazz will have a snowball's chance in south Texas of tying this best-of-seven series.
Parker does everything for the Spurs, who won 50 games during the lockout-shortened season and are the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference.
Parker runs the pick-and-roll with perfection. He gets to the basket and scores. He breaks down defenses and creates opportunities for others. He finds open teammates like Tim Duncan diving to the basket or Manu Ginobili standing unopposed at the 3-point line.
Before the Jazz practiced Tuesday morning, coach Tyrone Corbin compared Parker to Hall of Famer John Stockton, as far as being a control-the-game point guard.
"You look back when we had Stock here how much he had the ball in his hands and how much everything fed off what he did with the ball," Corbin said. "Same with [Parker]. He is the guy for them. Ginobili and Duncan are great players and they are a huge part of what they do. But it all starts with Tony and him having the ball."
So how can the Jazz slow Parker, who quarterbacked the second-highest scoring team in the league this season?
"We have to give him different looks," Corbin said, "... whether that's [focusing] on him or trying to take something else away at different times. You can't give him a steady dose of the same thing or he'll pick you apart."
The Jazz must do a better job of battling the screens usually set by Duncan that are so effective at getting Parker the bit of daylight he needs to break down the defense.
"You don't know what side they are coming from," Utah's Jamaal Tinsley said. "You don't know what angle they are coming from. ... As guards, we have to put more pressure on the ball and not worry about where the screens are coming from. And our 'bigs' have to do a lot of talking."
Said Paul Millsap: "The key is going to be keeping him out of the paint. When he gets in the paint, he can score or find other guys. When he's doing that, they have all cylinders clicking."
Once again, starting point guard Devin Harris will be the Jazz's primary defender against Parker, who made 10 of 19 field goal attempts in Game 1 and got to the free-throw line 10 times.
"We have to be more physical," said Harris. "... You have to use your fouls a little bit and try to slow him down."
Parker expects the Jazz to contest his trips to the basket more fiercely, although he doesn't sound overly concerned.
"It's not the first time that somebody said that," Parker said. "My answer is always going to be the same: I'm going to keep coming and keep going in the paint, and staying aggressive and stay in attack-mode."
Harris, who played extremely well during the a 21-12 regular-season finish that got the Jazz to the playoffs, struggled in the series opener.
He scored seven points on 3-for-9 shooting and committed five turnovers. According to Corbin, the Jazz need Harris to be aggressive and productive on offense so Parker can't rest on defense.
"We have to get him to work on the other end of the floor," Corbin explained. "We have to put the ball in our point guards' hands and make things happen. We have to bring them off some screens ... and try to wear him down that way."
ÂÂÂTribune reporter Brian T. Smith contributed to this story.
Jazz at Spurs
P At AT&T Center, San Antonio
Tipoff • 5 p.m., Wednesday
TV • ROOT Sports, TNT
Radio • 1320 AM, 1600 AM, 98.7 FM
Series • Spurs lead, 1-0
Last meeting • Spurs, 106-91 (Game 1, Sunday)
About the Jazz • They shot just 42.1 percent from the field, 30.8 percent behind the 3-point line and 76.7 percent from the free-throw line in its Game 1 loss to San Antonio. â¦ Guard Raja Bell was the only active Jazz player who didn't play Sunday. It's unclear whether he'll take the court during the series.
About the Spurs • Boris Diaw is expected to start at power forward. He recorded nine points on 4-of-5 shooting and five rebounds during 26 minutes in Game 1. â¦ If San Antonio reserve center Tiago Splitter (left wrist bone bruise, doubtful) is unable to play in Game 2, DeJuan Blair is expected to back up starter Tim Duncan. â¦ Eight Spurs reserves played in Game 1, with six players combining for 44 points.
Tony Parker against the Jazz
2011-12 G Min FG FG% 3pt FT Reb Ast Pts
Season 3 97 19-41 .463 0-0 27-28 11 22 65
Playoffs 1 37 10-19 .526 0-0 8-10 4 8 28