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Finally… A 12-Game Win Streak

By Jeff Koch on May 2, 2012.

The Spurs had 53 at the half; the Jazz had 53 after 3 quarters.

That should tell you all you need to know about this game, as thorough a beat down as you’re bound to see in a playoff game. The Spurs controlled the game from the start, but used a 20-0 run at the end of the first half to blow it open, running even further away in the 3rd quarter.

My favorite part of the game was the play of Danny Green and Kawhi Leonard.

AP Photo/Eric Gay

After showing a bit of nerves in Game 1, both played superb Game 2s, scoring and defending extremely well. At the half the pair had 25 points; the Jazz had 28. More than their scoring, though, was their poise and their aggressiveness, both in taking (and making) big 3-pointers and driving aggressively to the rim. I hoped both would have a steep playoff learning curve; it seems as if that is true.

Along with Diaw’s continued stellar play, our starting line-up is pretty well fortified. In fact, the second unit struggled a bit in their stint in the 2nd quarter, and it wasn’t until the return of the starters that the game was blown open. Without Tiago, the second unit lacks the explosiveness and fear-instilling that we’ve come to expect. Hopefully Splitter will be back by Saturday and the DNP was more precautionary than anything else.

My only point of concern from this game was the play of Manu Ginobili. He seems a little wild even by his standards, and is trying to do too much and be a little too aggressive. Several times he made ill-advised passes and passed up open shots he should’ve taken. He did play great defense, but the team really needs him to be the de facto back-up PG to rest Parker, and right now he is playing a bit too careless with the ball.

I’m not really worried about him: he’s Manu Ginobili. But I suppose there should be at least one point of concern from a 31-point win.

Copyright 2012 NBAE (Photos by D. Clarke Evans/NBAE via Getty Images)

In a broader perspective, I’m glad the Spurs won so convincingly. There’s little doubt that they will win the series, but I think how they win the series will be just as telling. If the series goes any longer than 5 games, I think that’s a sign that the team isn’t quite as championship ready as we’d like to think. The way the team has been playing and clicking, this should be a 4 or 5 game series at the most.

Which makes Game 3 very interesting. If the Jazz are to win one game, it’s Game 3. Back at home, with the energy of the fans propelling them. Can the Spurs match their energy and take that game? If they just get the road split and wrap this series up at home in Game 5, that’s still impressive. The “Gentleman’s Sweep”, as they call it. But a win in Game 3 would be a statement that this team ain’t foolin’ around, and that they have their sights set on something much larger.

Copyright 2012 NBAE (Photos by D. Clarke Evans/NBAE via Getty Images)

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