The Utah Jazz is playing a strong brand of basketball (7-5), but they are going to have to learn to overcome the loss of their big man Derrick Favors. The center will be out for tonight’s game against the Chicago Bulls. There is a possibility he could miss much more. Favors has been battling a bone contusion in his left knee which has been limiting him since the start of the regular season.
The injury sparked up on him when playing the Memphis Grizzles on Monday night. Listed as questionable before tip-off. Even though he did play, it didn’t take long to notice that he was not his usual self. In just 21 minutes, he attempted six shots, making two, while two more were air mailed. He ended with six points and two rebounds. Favors struggled to run the floor which was noticeable when he was trying to be explosive or jumping for a ball.
“Hopefully, he can get healthy,” Jazz coach Quin Snyder said. “Obviously, there’s a fine line between being sore and being and able to play and being ineffective. He felt he was ineffective. So, until he gets healthy, it’s going to be a challenge for everybody, him first and foremost.”
In 11 games this season, Favors has been averaging 24 minutes with 10.5 points, 6.7 rebounds and one block per game including shooting 46.9 percent shooting from the field. He has only played more than 30 minutes twice this season.
On Wednesday, Favors underwent an MRI, and the Jazz announced that “his status will continue to be re-evaluated moving forward.” They found no structural damage.
The Jazz became excited after Favors’ last season breakthrough performance. He averaged 16.4 points to go along with 8.1 rebounds a game. He did suffer through back injuries which limited him to just 32 minutes a night.
“It’s very frustrating to Derrick,”Wallace Prather told The Salt Lake Tribune. “Right now, this is limiting him to 20 minutes a game, and we need to find a way to get this taken care of so that he can get back to playing 30 minutes a night and playing like himself.”
Favors was chosen third in the 2010 NBA Draft by the Brooklyn Nets. More than halfway through his rookie season (56 games) he was traded to Utah. Favors has continued to improve each year going forward increasing his point average from 6.8 to 16.4 per games played. He also has grown and maintained a solid rebound average. In 2010 he was grabbing 5.3 per contest and now is averaging 8.1 a game.
Without Favors, look for the Utah Jazz to turn to veteran Boris Diaw to provide the leadership while Rudy Gobert to provide the defense. Gobert averaged 11 rebounds and 2.2 blocks last season. Also, the Jazz can take a better look at their number 12 selection in the 2015 draft Trey Lyles. With the additional playing time, he will be able to develop more of his talent on the court.
Look for Derrick Favors to be out at least 4-6 weeks depending on the pain, location and size.