Utah was on more than a few sleeper lists. They are young, athletic, and added some veteran leadership in three vital spots to boost them. We did not see Bobo tonight, as he sat but we did see George Hill hit some big shots in the fourth quarter to pull it away despite another 30 from Kawhi.
The Spurs got punched to start this one, allowing 38 first quarter points. Everything looked righted when they went on a 15-0 run in the second, only allowing the Jazz 16. I felt the confidence of a fan of a team that destroyed GSW in the opener and won 67 games last season.
I was wrong to feel such confidence. George Hill was hitting tough shots, Joe Johnson got some clutch points late in the fourth as the Jazz closed things out with 33 in the period.
Sean Elliott attributed the Jazz effort to lax defense and the Jazz taking advantage of Spurs mistakes. That’s simplistic and probably about right.
The Spurs had it close until about midway through the fourth until self-inflicted turnovers.
We get the Jazz on Friday in SLC, so the revenge factor is in play. I can’t think they’ll shoot this well, especially if they are not getting such wide-open looks. There were some rotation problems that allowed some Jazz role guys great shots.
During the middle portion, the Spurs looked more like the team that started the season. The ongoing problem (for me) is that every team has had some great looks for long stretches. GSW was blown out but they missed some great looks to start.
With all these new guys, it makes sense that there will be blown assignments. No one is overly worried, but I will point out that George Hill and company scored a lot down the stretch while Pau Gasol was in the game.
That is still an issue.