Note: Similar to the David Lee and Klay Thompson Watches during the regular season, WarriorsWorld will spend the Round 2 Playoff Series versus the Spurs examining the play of Jarrett Jack. Why Jack? Like Lee, fans have a love/hate relationship with Jack, who can look great and terrible in the same game; even the same possession. He has led the Warriors to many victories this season as a key sixth man, but it can also be argued that he’s caused a few defeats. He is a free agent at the end of the season, and his performance in the Spurs series will play a major role in deciding whether or not Jack will be back with the Warriors next season.
We are providing an unbiased look by watching Jarrett Jack, and only Jarrett Jack, on both ends of the floor for the entire series. This first installment covers Game 1 in San Antonio.
Jack is the second player off the bench after Draymond and doesn’t check in until 4:23 of the first. Barnes out. 17-11 Warriors lead. He’s assigned to Neal on defense.
Jack immediately runs the point with Curry and Klay coming off screens.
After a Curry missed runner, in transition, Draymond picks up Manu and Jack retreats into the lane where Bogut and Curry are already situated. Jack leaves Neal wide open for a made corner three. With rim protection, there was no reason he shouldn’t have gotten right up on Neal. 17-14 4:02 left in the first quarter.
Later, Jack has Neal, who stands in the corner, waiting for a pass. Off a pick and roll, Manu gets in the lane but is guarded perfectly by Landry and Klay. Without a driving lane for Manu, Jack still decides to sag in the lane to help on the drive. Manu finds Neal wide open and he hits the corner three. Jack unnecessarily sagged off him. 22-19. 2:28.
Off a missed free throw, up 24-19, Jack gets the loose ball at the top of the key and makes a nice quick pass to Klay, but he misses a wide-open three.
Next possession, in transition, Jack drives into the lane and kicks it out to Klay at the 3-point line. Manu closes out, forcing Klay to drive into two Spurs for the offensive foul.
Jack is now working much harder on Neal late in the first.
He gets an assist off a one-handed bounce pass to Curry, who hits an elbow jumper coming off a screen. 26-21, 50.9.
After a Manu three, Jack brings the ball up, uses a Landry screen to get around Neal, crosses over Blair and hits a nice runner over Bonner. 28-24, 28.9.
He misses a runner on a very similar play as time ran out in first. 28-25.
Summary: Very bad start on defense, but finished the quarter well. Gave up two 3-pointers that he should have defended better. Made several nice passes and two good drives (made one and missed one).
Stays on Neal to start second.
Makes a nice swing pass to an open Landry, who travels while attempting to drive off a pump fake.
Stays home on Neal and lets Klay take Manu 1-on-1. Pays off, as Klay forces a miss and Jack gets in the lane to secure the defensive rebound.
Makes the same decision on the next possession with Draymond on Manu this time. Pays off again. Manu can’t kick it to Neal with Jack on him and forces a missed layup that is well defended by Draymond. Landry gets it to Jack off the miss and Jack takes it full court, sneaking by Neal and Bonner to convert a tough layup. Four points (2-3 FG). 32-27. 10:31 left in the second quarter.
Curry runs point and gets the ball to Jack on the wing. Jack tries to penetrate on Neal, Manu helps and reaches in for the steal. Manu goes at Klay on the break and dumps off to Neal for an easy layup. After losing the ball, Jack started that play ahead of Neal, but just stood there and Neal ran right passed him. If he hustles, he would have prevented an easy layup.
Jack continues playing off the ball. Off a Klay miss, Jack gathers the loose ball at the top of the key, and again, swings a one-handed pass to Klay. With no open shot, Klay drives but the Spurs tip the ball out of bounds.
Jack controls after a jump ball and runs the point. From the top of the key, he takes Danny Green 1-on-1 and gets an easy flip shot at the rim, but misses. He later gets it back after the offensive rebound and shoots a 20-footer over Neal at the top of the key that misses. Both misses were good shots he should take. Good shots he should make.
In transition, Jack drives and kicks to Barnes who swings to Klay for an open corner three. It misses.
Jack closes out strong on a Neal three, but Neal drives in and splits Jack and Klay, but missing the open layup. Solid Jack defense, but it leads to a Leonard offensive putback. 36-33. 7:22.
Side note: Klay hasn’t been hitting his threes, but my goodness, his defense has been amazing so far. Parker is really struggling against him. Huge benefit for the Warriors not having to rely on Curry or Jack to guard him.
Jack has done much better on defense since the first quarter. Working much harder and getting in the right spots.
With Manu in, Klay picks him up and Jack takes Parker. Off the ball, Parker curls around a Duncan screen on the block. Jack does a poor job fighting through the screen and Parker takes a pass and gets in the lane for an easy layup with Jack trailing behind him. Bogut didn’t offer any help, staying tight on Duncan the entire play. Based on Jack’s non-reaction, it looks like he did not expect any help from Bogut and understood he should have played that better. 44-37.
The Spurs appear to have a “Klay’s not guarding Tony” play. This time Curry is on Parker and he takes him 1-on-1 for an easy baseline jumper. 44-39. 3:52.
Jack runs the point and drives after a pick and roll with Bogut. He keeps dribbling and Danny Green reaches from behind to knock the ball away. Klay picks it up with the shot clock running down and hits a difficult running bank shot to bail Jack out.
Neal loses the ball on the baseline and Jack goes to the ground to get it. He rushes a quick pass to Barnes that glances off his shoulder right to Manu. Leads to two Parker free throws. Scorekeeper gives Barnes the turnover, but that was Jack’s fault. Bad pass. 46-43 2:37.
Parkers crosses Jack over at the top of the key and Jack goes down. Not good. Leads to two Duncan free throws. 48-45. 1:50.2
Jack makes a nice one-handed bounce pass to Bogut off a pick and roll. Bogut is fouled and makes one of two free throws.
Jack plays better defense on a Parker/Duncan pick and roll and hustles to defend a Parker jumper that misses.
The Bogut foul session by the Spurs begins.
Parker misses another jumper over Jack, who is working hard to get around Duncan screens at the top of the key. He didn’t like getting crossed over earlier and is responding well.
Plays tough defense after switching onto Duncan, but ref calls him for a foul in the lane. Duncan hits both free throws. 53-49 3.3.
Summary: 53-49 at the half.
Jack had five solid defense possessions and three poor ones, including not hustling back on defense after a turnover and giving up a layup. Deserved a second turnover after a bad pass to Barnes. Made one good pass and converted a tough layup.
Finishes half with four points (2-5 FG), one assist, one steal and one turnover.
Never came out after checking in late in the first quarter.
Jack sits most of third. The Warriors extend their lead to 78-70 with 3:11 left when Jack checks back in. Klay comes out with four fouls and Jack guards Manu. Curry had 10 points in nine minutes on the floor without Jack.
Curry keeps running the point with Jack in. After a barrage of baskets, Curry finally misses, but Jack hustles over as the ball rolls to the sideline, dives to gain possession and calls timeout before he or the ball go out of bounds. Excellent play to keep the possession alive. 83-72. 1:46.
Jack is guarding Neal now and staying tight on him at the 3-point line.
Jack gets the ball on the inbounds, but quickly gives it right back to the red-hot Curry, who dribbles the ball up the court and hits a running baker.
Jack makes a smart swing pass to Draymond, but he misses the wide-open corner three. Barnes rebounds and dunks it in. 92-75. 13.5 seconds left.
With four seconds left, Jack puts Neal in a headlock and is called for the foul. Very costly play and an obvious foul, yet Jack complains to the ref for some odd reason. 92-80 after the free throws and a missed running 3-pointer by Jack at the end of the quarter.
Summary: In three minutes during the quarter, Jack basically got to stand around and watch Curry make crazy shots, as he scored 12 of his 22 third-quarter points with Jack on the floor.
He made a great hustle play to retain possession, one good pass and one bad foul that allowed two points at an inopportune time.
Curry continues to run point. He gives it to Jack, who quickly finds Barnes. After dribbling a bit, Barnes gets it back to Jack with five seconds on the shot clock, forcing Jack to drive and force a tough runner over Neal that misses. No other player was open, so Jack did not have a choice there.
Jack plays solid defense on Neal, who forces a three off the dribble that misses.
With Curry blanketed, Jack drives the lane from the top of the key and forces a foul. Hits both free throws. 96-82. 10:23.
Jack finds Curry curling off a Barnes pick. Curry hits the three, but Barnes is called for a moving screen.
On defense, Jack again stays home on Neal at the 3-point line as Manu drives and forces a bad shot.
Up 98-82, Jack helps off Neal and Parker finds him for a wide-open three. But it misses.
Key play on the next possession, as Klay is fouled on a layup attempt, but there is no call. Leads to a Leonard free throw and what should have been a 100-82 lead is now 98-83 at the 8:02 mark and momentum ends for the Warriors.
In transition, Jack goes for a Duncan fake pass and leaves Parker open to drive the lane. He misses, but the Spurs rebound and Danny Green makes a running layup as the Warriors scramble on defense. 98-85. 7:30.
Jack runs the pick and roll with Landry at the top of the key and misses a good look. On the next possession, the exact same thing happens, this time with Bogut screening before the Jack missed jumper. After the miss, the Spurs come down in transition and Jack runs to Danny Green at the 3-point line as the ball goes over his head to Leonard, who makes the layup and is fouled by Curry. Tough to fault Jack here, but if he ran towards the basket opposed to Danny Green, he could have tipped or stolen the ball. After the Leonard free throw, it’s 98-88. 6:19. Jack is just 2-9 FG with six points for the game.
The Warriors are definitely trying to get the ball in Curry’s hands and let him run the point. After Barnes grabbed a defensive rebound, Jack and Mark Jackson both told him to give it to Curry, even though Jack was right next to Barnes. And yes, Curry looks gassed, but he just hit two finger-rolls. 102-88. 5:34. It happens again after a Bogut rebound and everyone points for Curry to get the ball.
Curry is stopped by Parker and Jack gets the ball with the shot clock running down. He drives the lane and forces a foul. Nice play. After the free throws, it’s 104-88 with 4:31 left. A sick Duncan goes to the locker room at this point.
Key point #2. Curry drives, loses the ball, and Draymond picks it up but misses an up-and-under layup he would normally make 9-out-of-10 times. Klay then fouls out with 3:57 left and Richard Jefferson checks in. After the free throws it’s 104-90.
Curry gets the ball to Jack, who takes six dribbles then misses a jumper over Parker.
104-94 and Jack brings the ball up. Off a double screen for Curry, Jack fires a poor one-handed pass at Curry that bounces to the Spurs. It leads to a transition layup for Leonard. 104-96. 2:42.
Jack brings the ball up, nearly loses the ball against Parker, gets Diaw on the switch, dribbles into the lane and forces a shot that misses badly. To his credit, he was fouled by Manu – worse than the other two drives where he received the foul call. The miss later leads to a steal by Draymond and those two awful free throws from Jefferson.
Guarding Manu, Jack switches to Leonard after a screen. He closes out too late once Leonard gets the ball from Manu. Leonard hits the three over Jack. Bad defense by Jack there. 104-99. 1:41.
After a Curry blocked three, in transition, Jack seems to pick up the dribbling Parker, but as Parker passes half court, Jack fades over to Manu, leaving Parker free to drive the lane. Parker glides through Curry and Barnes for the layup. 104-101. 1:18. Coaches always preach, “Stop the ball” in transition. I see what Jack was thinking there by fading to Manu, especially after he didn’t close out on Leonard on the previous possession, but that play hurt the Warriors.
Warriors run a set play for Landry in the post. It leads to a miss, a foul and two Diaw free throws. 104-103.
After Curry misses a forced shot, Warriors rebound and get to Jack at the top of the key. He starts the play with 11 seconds on the shot clock, 35 left in the game. He dribbles left towards the basket on Parker and hits an extremely difficult step-back jumper over Parker, Green and Manu. 106-103. 29.0 seconds left.
The love/hate relationship with Jarrett Jack is a real thing for Warriors fans.
Spurs ball. Jack on Leonard. Based on the ensuing play, the Warriors are switching on screens. Jack is screened by Danny Green. Curry takes Leonard. At first, Jack goes with Leonard, hesitates, then runs to Diaw as Danny Green runs to the 3-point line. Barnes was on Diaw and his job appears to have been to get around Diaw to close out on Green. Diaw held Barnes for a beat, which was long enough to leave Green open for the three. It’s good. 106-106.
Now, Jack started the play by not reacting quick enough on Green’s screen. He should have stayed with Green, because Diaw’s pick was not even close to Jack or Green. It was like he knew the Diaw screen was coming, so he went to Diaw when he didn’t need to. This forced Barnes to perform a near-impossible closeout when Jack could have stayed on green the whole time. On the flip side, if Jack and Barnes both go to Green, Diaw is open for a two with the Warriors leading by three. He probably doesn’t shoot and the Spurs look for a shot again with 16 seconds left on the shot clock.
Analyzing defense is a tough job because there are so many variables. But man, it looked like we can blame that on Jack.
The Spurs last possession was executed perfectly. The Warriors last possession was a hot mess. Overtime.
Summary: Jarrett Jack. Hate him or love him. Here’s what he did in the fourth by my account:
Good defense on Neal to force a missed three. He twice made good plays to drive the lane, force a foul and get free throws. At a crucial moment, he drove the exact same way, was fouled worse than the other two, but didn’t get the call as he missed badly. He made bad decisions on transition defense on two separate occasions that helped create a Spurs basket. He missed two jumpers he normally knocks down. He forced one bad jumper over Parker that missed and forced one bad step-back jumper over three Spurs players that went in at a crucial time. Made an awful pass to Curry that led to a turnover and a Spurs layup. Bad closeout on Leonard three that went in at crucial moment and bad defense that allowed Green to hit an open three to tie the game on the Spurs final possession in regulation.
Jack plays the full five minutes of OT. He has possession off the jump ball and hits a tough pull-up jumper of Parker. 108-106.
Up 111-106, Jack blocks out Leonard nicely on a Spurs miss, helping a falling-out-of-bounds Draymond get the rebound and toss it to Jack.
After an open missed three from Barnes, Jack is guarding Parker and get crossed over as Parker goes baseline. But Jack quickly recovers and gets in good defensive position with his hand is Parker’s face. Parker pulls up for the shot anyway. It goes in. Good defense, better offense. 111-108. 3:22.
Jack is double-teamed driving baseline. He turns, jumps and fires it to an open Draymond in the key. Draymond rushes the shot as Diaw jumps out at him and it misses badly.
On the next possession, Jack defends Manu well, as Manu drives and Jack receives help from Bogut. Manu forces a bad pass and Curry steals it and goes in for the layup. 113-113. 1:16.
Leonard has Jack in the post 1-on-1. He turns in the lane and hits a jumper over Jack. Not good defense. Not bad. 113-115.
Under 30 seconds to play, Jack brings the ball up the court, crosses over at the top of the key to get into the lane and converts on a difficult driving layup to tie the game. 115-115. 20.3 left.
The Spurs hold for the last shot. Jack is off the ball guarding Bonner and Manu misses at the buzzer.
Summary: Excellent play by Jack in the first overtime. Scores four of the team’s nine points, including a clutch layup to tie the game. He made no bad decisions and had two solid defensive possessions with no bad ones.
Nobody’s going to fault me if I just quit right now, right? Screw it. I’ve come this far. Let’s finish this up.
Spurs win the jump and Jack is on Manu. He helps as Leonard cuts through the lane. When Bogut tips the ball away, Jack is there to corral the ball and start the break. He goes 1-on-3 at the rim and finds Barnes at the basket. But Barnes forces a tough shot and misses, but gets his rebound. Jack gets the ball and swings it to a wide open Curry, who fakes, then misses an open three. Warriors retain possession as the Spurs knock it out. Curry takes the ball and gets it to Jack curling off a screen. He dribbles five times against Parker, goes between his legs and loses the ball, regains it and dribbles seven more times as Parker is playing solid defense. Diaw comes over to help, Jack picks up his dribble and forces as bad pass to Bogut that Danny Green steals.
The Warriors are up 120-119 as Curry runs the point, and drives and dishes to a wide-open Barnes who misses the three. Draymond is incorrectly called for a foul as he goes for the rebound and he is out with six. 2:24 left.
Down one, on a set play, Jack passes the ball into Landry but Danny Green shifts behind him and tips the ball away, leading to a Parker jumper. 120-123. 1:47. Landry has to do a better job sealing off the defender there.
Curry is rejected at the rim and Jack grabs the loose ball, dribbles to the top of the key, crosses over Parker to get in the lane, drives and is fouled. Apply, lather, rinse, repeat.
Jack misses one free throw. 121-123.
Has Jack made a lot of errors so far? Yes. Some critical. But no one on the Warriors gets in the lane and creates fouls and free throws except Jack. He deserves some credit for that.
Under a minute to play and the Spurs are up three. Manu has Jack 1-on-1 at the top of the key … and Manu shoots a very deep three with 11 seconds on the shot clock? What was he doing? The shot misses badly.
The Warriors close to one. Then take the lead on the crazy Bazemore layup.
If I’m giving credit to Jack for his drives, I have to discredit him here on the final Spurs possession.
127-126. 3.4 seconds to play. Jack starts on Diaw, Jefferson on Leonard who is inbounding. Parker comes around to receive the ball as Barnes is in full sprint guarding him. As Diaw cuts into the lane, Jack yells for Bazemore to take Diaw and he does. Problem is, Barnes was never screened, so Jack needed to rotate to Bazemore’s man, Manu. But Jack rushes at Parker, who is well guarded by Barnes. Leonard sees Manu wide open at the three point line and throws it to him. Jack watches as Bazemore sprints out from under the basket and tires to distract Manu. But it’s too late. The shot goes in. The Warriors lose.
Jack needed to rotate to Manu. He didn’t.
Summary: After a great first overtime, Jack failed in the second OT. On one possession, Jack did all this: Right place right time to get the loose ball on a Bogut steal, makes a nice drive and dish to Barnes, who misses, but Jack gets it back and makes a nice pass to Curry, who misses an open three, then Jack gets the ball again, dribbles five times, loses it, regains it, dribbles seven more times and then throws it away.
Later, he made a nice drive to get free throws, hitting just one, but he then finished the game by allowing Manu to get a wide-open three pointer to win it for the Spurs.
Overall Scorecard: No need to tally everything up. No matter how well he played, Jack made several critical errors that led to the Spurs stealing the game. Bad game for Jack.