The Jazz might've gotten swept by the Spurs in the opening round last year, but every young team improves, and the series last year was definitely a learning experience for the team.
The rosters of these two teams aren't drastically different that last year. They essentially have the same core players.
The biggest additions for the Jazz in the offseason were Mo Williams and Randy Foye, and neither of these two players are drastic game-changers. The most important aspect about this Jazz team is that they've improved.
Hayward, Favors and the other youngsters are regularly eating up knowledge and NBA experience. It's only a matter time before they get their chance to show what they're capable of, and that time might come during the playoffs.
Overall, the Spurs have arguably the most well-constructed roster in the league, and it's headed by the greatest coach currently in the NBA. It would be hard for any team to knock them out of the playoffs this year. However, the Memphis Grizzlies proved two years ago that anything was possible.
Foye and Williams will provide some outside shooting to a team that certainly lacked it in last year's first round matchup.
In the paint, the Spurs showed last year that they still possess two great seven-foot defenders in Tim Duncan (obviously) and Tiago Splitter. Both will cause a lot of trouble for Jefferson in the post.On the other hand, Favors and Kanter are both great matchups for Duncan. They're both strong and agile, and could force Duncan to resort to perimeter jumpers by bothering him down low.
The Spurs also claim two of the best perimeter defenders in the league—Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green. Not only can they defend up to three positions, but they're both deadly three point shooters and they will have a field day if the Jazz don't tighten up their own defense.
The key in this series will be Millsap. Duncan is still a great post-defender, but he naturally won't be able to move as fast laterally on the perimeter. Millsap can score from anywhere on the floor, and the Spurs don't have anyone who is a good matchup against him.
In last year's playoffs, Millsap scored less than 11 points in three of the games (per Basketball Reference). If the Jazz want to have a shot at competing against the Spurs, they will need Millsap to aggressively step up and force himself to be the star, which would be hard for him to do because it's out of character.