Tye Corbin, the young Head Coach for the Utah Jazz, has plenty of NBA experience and even has in depth experience with the San Antonio Spurs since they were the team that drafted him into the NBA as the 35th overall selection in the 2nd round of the 1985 draft. Corbin spent his first two seasons with the Silver and Black before signing on with the Cleveland Cavaliers (and nine teams after the Cavs) before ending his 11 year career.
Still, Corbin experienced a panic attack before game 1 against his former team.
“I felt fine right up to the beginning of the game, and then the jitters started,” he said. “I started thinking: ‘Are we ready? Did we cover everything? Are the combinations right? Is the lineup right? Do the players understand everything?’ It just started spinning like that.”
The Spurs are hoping that the Jazz pick up on that for, if the top man is in doubt…
“I’ll have to get better,” he said. “Make sure I’m relaxed.”
The Spurs, meanwhile, have no such problems with their head man. Popovich is one of the most savvy coaches in the NBA and such things just don’t happen to him once he takes the court. For Popovich, this is just another chapter in a long history of Spurs playoff basketball.
Still, don’t expect the Jazz to just lay down and die.
“It’s just one game,” Jazz Point Guard Devin Harris said after their 106-91 loss in Game 1.
While that may be true, what is even more true is that the Spurs have proven playoff experience having been in the Western Conference playoffs 22 of the last 23 seasons with four NBA Championships to show for it.
What is even more unfortunate for the Jazz is that SG Manu Ginobili is 100% healthy and the possibility of another first round meltdown such as the one against Memphis last season is highly unlikely to repeat itself and, you can guarantee the Spurs have yet to forget about it.
“Everybody knows what happened last year,” PG Tony Parker said. “Everybody is motivated.”
Still, the young coach for this young Jazz squad should look at this loss as a learning experience and learn from it as the Spurs did trying to get over the hump with the Lakers throughout the 80’s.
“They just know what it takes to put you away,” said Ty Corbin. “They don’t just play guys. The guys they put on the floor are very effective at what they do.”
Effective, yes. Happened overnight, no.