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Utah Jazz's Jefferson easily displaced by Spurs' post defense

Published May 2, 2012 9:58 pm

Playoffs • He vows to keep working.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

San Antonio • Al Jefferson spent seven long, frustrating seasons trying to return to the NBA playoffs.

Now that he's back, he could use a complete do-over.

Jefferson has rivaled Devin Harris as the Jazz's biggest disappointment during Games 1 and 2. And while Harris statistically has been worse, Jefferson hasn't been himself as the Jazz have dug an 0-2 first-round hole.

Jefferson was just 5 of 15 from the field Wednesday during Utah's 114-83 defeat to the Spurs, and he was held to four rebounds in 30 minutes and 12 seconds.

In two games, Jefferson's averaging 13 points on 41.9 percent shooting while collecting 6.5 rebounds. He's only been to the free-throw line once. And with national writers already weighing in on Jefferson's obvious struggles against a strong San Antonio defense, Utah's leading average scorer and rebounder during the regular season acknowledged he faces another big challenge in his career.

"I've got to just keep working at it," Jefferson said. "They haven't done nothing to me the first two games that I ain't never seen before and never experienced. We've just got to find a way to do what we can to get our offense going."

Harris said the Spurs are moving Jefferson off his "sweet spots" and sending in double teams from different areas than the Jazz center is used to. San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich played down his team's approach, saying Jefferson simply had an off night Wednesday.

But after two lackluster games and mounting frustration, it's clear the Jazz aren't going anywhere unless Jefferson suddenly regains his smooth touch.

"He's getting [the ball] off the block instead of on the block low. So we've got to find a way to get him the ball in his spots a little better," Utah coach Tyrone Corbin said.


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Lesser Al

Jazz center Al Jefferson in Games 1 and 2

FG FT Pts Reb Ast

13-31 0-1 13.0 6.5 2.0




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