When it comes to facing the San Antonio Spurs, the fundamental things apply.
Led by power forward Tim Duncan, known around the NBA as “The Big Fundamental,” the Spurs come into EnergySolutions Arena Wednesday for an ESPN-televised game with the Utah Jazz.
The Spurs (18-4) own the NBA’s best record while the Jazz (12-10) sit in second place in the Midwest Division.
Duncan is averaging 17.7 points and 9.9 rebounds per game. Teammate Tony Parker is averaging 18.9 points and 7.6 assists per contest.
The Jazz counter with six players averaging double figures, including center Al Jefferson, who averages 17.2 points and 10.7 rebounds a game.
“Tim Duncan is Tim Duncan, man,” Jefferson said. “He’s a vet, a professional. He’s been doing it for many years.”
Utah has won three in a row, including a win over the Lakers Sunday at Staples Center. San Antonio, meanwhile, is riding a five game winning streak.
“I think there’s a little bit more (emotion) just because we’re playing the Spurs,” Jazz forward Paul Millsap said. “(San Antonio is) the top team in the Western Conference right now. With it being on TV, it don’t hurt.”
The Jazz were swept out of the playoffs by the No. 1-seeded Spurs last season. Counting those four playoff games, the Jazz have lost 11 of their last 12 against San Antonio.
The Spurs aren’t flashy but their methodical execution can be crushing for opposing teams.
“It’s difficult for everybody else but it’s just simple basketball for them,” Millsap said. “That’s the beauty of it. Nothing they’re doing is spectacular, everything they’re doing is just simple basketball plays (and) making the right decision.”
The Jazz lost to the Spurs 110-100 Nov. 3 in San Antonio.