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Old 04-29-12, 10:30 PM
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Article: ESPN gives the Jazz a nice little pat on head


Scott D. Pierce: ESPN gives the Jazz a nice little pat on head | The Salt Lake Tribune
ESPN gives the Jazz a nice little pat on head
Scott D. Pierce

But in the end, network analysts go pretty easy on Utah.

It almost felt like ESPN’s experts and analysts felt sorry for the Utah Jazz on Sunday. And at least a bit condescending toward them.

The coverage of Game 1 of the Jazz-Spurs series was sort of like a pat on the head to the kid who unexpectedly finds himself in a pickup game against a bunch of college players who take it easy on him.

“Let’s be real,” said game analyst Doris Burke. “I mean, only twice since the first round has moved to seven-game series has a one seed been upset by an eight seed. So this was a huge task for the Utah Jazz.”

Could have been worse. The ESPN folks could have gone out of their way to make it clear they thought the Jazz had no chance, although that sort of thing might encourage viewers to tune away. And that’s the last thing TV folks want to encourage.

But certainly nobody sounded like they expected the Jazz to win Game 1, let alone win the series. Stephen A. Smith set the tone before the Spurs’ 106-91 victory when he was asked about the matchups.

“It’s not really about the matchups,” he said. “The San Antonio Spurs are clearly a superior team.”

The studio team of Jon Barry, Magic Johnson, Chris Broussard and Michael Wilbon talked about the Spurs’ chances of winning the NBA title; beating the Jazz was barely mentioned.

Burke seemed somewhat startled that Utah managed to keep it close until the middle of the third quarter.

With San Antonio leading 39-36, she said, “Doesn’t it feel like San Antonio should be up more? Utah is just hanging tough. And doesn’t that sort of capture this organization? Hang tough. Do you think people thought they’d be in the playoffs? No way. Maybe their GM. He’s probably the only guy.”

Don’t get me wrong. Burke and the rest of ESPN’s analysts weren’t saying anything the members of the local media — or Utah fans, for that matter — haven’t been saying. It’s not like locals expect the Jazz to eliminate the Spurs.

But it did seem a tad condescending at times.

Like when Burke said, “We had many experts on NBA.com, ESPN.com pick this team to finish last in the West. But the organization didn’t feel think that way, and you love that.”

Or when play-by-play man Mark Jones allowed that Utah’s “young guys are getting valuable playoff experience.”

His expectations going into the game somewhat blinded him to what actually happened. “San Antonio has led virtually from the opening tip,” Jones said with about 4½ minutes remaining.

Actually, the Spurs didn’t take the lead for good until the 4:11 mark of the first quarter. And it’s tough to call that “virtually the opening tip.”

All things considered, however, ESPN went pretty easy on the Jazz in their 106-91 loss. We’ll see how TNT treats Utah on Wednesday.
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Old 04-29-12, 11:47 PM
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Utah is up-and-coming. They had great success with their Big 3 and had years of hangover to get back to this position. Give 'em credit for "hanging tough".

It's the kind of thing that could easily happen to San Antonio once Timmy and Manu hang 'em up...
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Old 04-30-12, 12:06 AM
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Good job Jazz!!! You had the lead for 5 whole minutes. Did you enjoy the orange wedges that Al's Mom made? Ok guys, the pizza party is at chuck e cheese. Everyone gets a participation ribbon. If your parents need the address, let me know and I'll text it to them. Ok, everybody "have fun" on three. One, two, three, HAVE FUN! YEAH!

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Old 04-30-12, 01:23 AM
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Some Spurs were shaking off rust tonite while some wer burned out from carrying the load on the final regular season road trip. Each game is likely to run different for different reasons. In game 2, I expect a stronger early lead by the Spurs because the full compliment of Spurs players now are familiar with what they are up against and will respond from the get go. Parker buoyed the Spurs until the other Spurs got going. Let's hope the rest of the series requires less Parker. It's tough to determine if Duncan will get overplayed with Splitter out but I hope Diaw and Bonner can pick up the slack.
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Old 04-30-12, 06:35 AM
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Big three were definitely rusty and that kept the jazz in the game. I expect weds game to yield similar results when the game is said and done. Go spurs go.

Ps. Jazz have reason to be optimistic heading forward with the group they have. Just not their year this year
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Old 04-30-12, 07:57 AM
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The Jazz are a good team. They just need a better point guard, and they need to be a bit more disciplined on both ends of the floor.

I wouldn't be suprised if they won 1 or 2 games this series, but if the Spurs play the way they have been the last 2 months, the jazz wong be able to match it.

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Old 04-30-12, 11:09 AM
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I want the Spurs to keep Patty Mills for next season. I guess we have to add Utah as one more team who'll go after him.
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Old 04-30-12, 01:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Money4Nothing View Post
The Jazz are a good team. They just need a better point guard, and they need to be a bit more disciplined on both ends of the floor.
i agree, i think they need a pass first PG because the majority of their players can play easier with one over a scorer. problem is Jefferson is more of a post up/iso kind of guy, so that wouldn't fit w/ him unlike Milsap/Favors.
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