Spurs’ Duncan thwarting Al Jefferson


The San Antonio Spurs are up 2-0 in their first-round series versus the Utah Jazz thanks in large part to the play of Tony Parker and his ability to create havoc for the Jazz defense.

But heading into the series, many pointed to the Spurs’ lack of size as a weakness the Jazz would exploit with Al Jefferson, Paul Millsap and Derrick Favors. However, Spurs’ Tim Duncan has done a good job at containing one of Utah’s bigs — Al Jefferson.

Duncan has been effective at limiting Utah’s big man in the post with solid defense and disrupting Jefferson’s comfort zone. And it is this defense against one of the better centers in the NBA, that is on the mind of Jefferson.

“Tim Duncan doing a great job fighting me off the block. He know his job is done if he gets me off my sweet spot, but to me anywhere spot can be my sweet spot. I don’t mind catching it off the block but it will be easier both for myself and my teammates if I catch it lower.”

Indeed TD has been limiting Jefferson in this season. If you look at what “Big Al” averaged in the regular season, and compare it to what he is averaging in the playoff series against San Antonio, it is plain to see Duncan and the Spurs’ defense has been effective at limiting Jefferson.

During the regular season, Jefferson averaged 19.2 points, 1.7 blocks, 9.6 rebounds, and 42% shooting. In the playoff versus the Spurs, he is averaging 13 points, 1.5 blocks, 6.5 rebounds, and 42% shooting. It is plain to see, Jefferson’s numbers have dropped versus Duncan and the Spurs.

Moreover, one can see just how much Jefferson’s game is affected with Duncan on the court in two games during this playoff series (via nba.com).