Paul Millsap is known for his determination on the basketball court as much as his skill. He came in to league known as an undersized big man who could hustle and rebound. He’s turned himself in one of best power forwards in the league, not to mention the Utah Jazz’s emotional leader.
It would make sense then, that unlike Al Jefferson’s kind words about the San Antonio Spurs, The Salt Lake City Tribune’s Steve Luhm writes Millsap is putting the Jazz deficit squarely on his shoulders.
“I put a lot of pressure on myself, and I feel I haven’t played my best basketball,” he said. “I haven’t been the leader I know I’m supposed to be. So a lot of this weighs on me.”
Millsap hasn’t been great this series, but he certainly hasn’t been the problem. The problem is the Jazz don’t have any shooters and the larger problem is they’re not as good as the Spurs. I think a big credit to Millsap’s offensive struggles go to Boris Diaw.
Part of the problem with guarding Millsap is he’s typically either stronger or faster than the guys who are guarding (though he’s almost never faster AND stronger), but Diaw is strong enough and light enough on his feet to stay in front of and stand his ground against Millsap.
When the Jazz have gone super big it’s prevented them from properly spacing the floor, which means Millsap doesn’t have a ton of room to operate. Expect the Spurs to close out tonight. They’re playing too well and there aren’t too many adjustments the Jazz can make to overcome the advantages the Spurs have over them.