If there is one thing for certain heading into tomorrow night’s Game 2 between the San Antonio Spurs and Utah Jazz is that the Jazz are going to target Tony Parker.
Parker, in Game 1, was able to get into the lane versus the Jazz and score at the rim or find the open shooter. In essence, TP caused tons of havoc for Utah’s defense (28 points, 8 assists) which lead to the 106-91 win for San Antonio.
In Game 2, if TP is going to barrel into the heart of Utah’s defense, then he might be taking some hard fouls.
Earlier this week, Devin Harris suggested the Jazz should give Parker a few hard fouls and now center Al Jefferson is also echoing Harris’ thoughts — if Tony is going to duplicate his performance from Game 1, expect the Jazz to get physical with him.
Jazz center Al Jefferson said the goal was “not to hurt him or nothing like that,” but rather to dissuade Parker from barreling into the paint and punishing Utah with either an acrobatic layup or kicking out to a 3-point shooter.
“The playoffs is physical. We just can’t let him feel like he can come down in that paint any time he ready,” Jefferson said.
But if you think Parker is going to affected from this rhetoric, think again. TP says if the game does get physical, it won’t take away from his game.
“It’s not the first time someone has said that,” Parker said. “My answer is always going to be the same: I’m going to keep coming.”
I don’ think the goal for the Jazz is to hurt TP but to simply make him think twice about shredding Utah’s defense. I am sure a Spur would say something similar if Harris sliced up San Antonio’s defense. However, I would hope the Spurs get physical right back with the Jazz in Game 2. If the Jazz want to play rough, then no complaining if the Spurs get rough.
But you got to like TP’s response. He is not flinching, not cowering, from what Utah is saying. He just sent a message right back to Utah — I’m coming right at you. Bring it!