Before Tip-Off: Ginobili will be limited vs. Jazz, Pop discusses Leonard’s defense


The San Antonio Spurs (2-0) and the Utah Jazz (1-1) are set to tip-off in the AT&T Center later tonight in a one-versus-eight rematch of last year’s opening playoff round. While the Spurs have almost the exact same team back in silver and black, the Jazz have made some significant changes to their team.

Before discussing some Jazz additions, Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich said guard Manu Ginobili will play “limited” minutes tonight against the Jazz. On the Jazz, coach Popovich said the Jazz are a “better balanced” team with their established front court of Al Jefferson, Paul Millsap, and Derrick Favors, but they’ve become a tougher opponent with the additions of Mo Williams and Marvin Williams on the perimeter.

Focusing back on the Spurs, defense was an important concept in training camp this year. Coach Popovich said he has seen the carry-over defensively thus far in the Spurs’ first two games. With that defense, Coach Popovich credits the young sophomore Kawhi Leonard for leading the way in the first two games.

“As far as defense goes” said Popovich,” he (Leonard) can pretty much lead the way for this team, as he did in New Orleans and as he did against OKC.”