Back To Future With Favors On Bench

On the official score sheet, it was the midway point through the fourth quarter on Monday night.

In the minds of those laying the foundational bricks for the Jazz, it was a hopeful glimpse into the future.

Denver’s Danilo Gallinari had missed a 3-point shot from the left wing and Enes Kanter was there to gobble up the rebound. He looked up and fired a pass to Jamaal Tinsley, who was in a full sprint up the sideline. Tinsley swung it across the court to a sprinting Gordon Hayward and, with barely time for the ball to settle into his hands, Hayward hit the runaway freight train that was Derrick Favors barreling back on the left with a perfect feed for a slam dunk.

Six seconds, three passes, two points and not once did the ball hit the floor.

Some day down the line this should be a steady part of the Utah offensive diet — a huge helping of the 6-foot-10 Favors filling the lane on the fast break and filling up the box score.

In his third season, Favors is tugging at the reins to get loose, and eventually there will come a time when coach Ty Corbin won’t be able to keep him out of the starting lineup.

There were plenty who thought that time for the third-year power forward was the beginning of this season, and they were ready to move veteran Paul Millsap or center Al Jefferson to make room.

With his team playing unevenly a little more than a week ago, Corbin made his own move to put Favors into the starting lineup in place of Marvin Williams in an attempt to go big across the front line with Millsap and Jefferson.

However, that experiment lasted only two games — wins over Washington and Houston — as Favors could not find a comfort zone with his fellow bigs, shooting just 3-for-10 and 2-for-7, respectively. Favors’ overall scoring and rebounding numbers did not go up as his minutes stayed roughly the same, and the move actually left the Jazz more vulnerable defensively with Millsap at a decided disadvantage trying to keep up with opposing small forwards.

Perhaps the biggest downside to using all of the big men together as starters was making the Jazz more deliberate and ponderous on offense at a time when the league is more about quickness and pace.

Favors scored 16 and grabbed 14 rebounds in his first game back as a reserve in Friday’s win over the Kings, then was handcuffed by foul trouble and didn’t manage a field goal in the rematch the next night in Sacramento.

With the Nuggets running the floor and making shots, they built a 16-point lead on Utah Monday night. Then, Favors came on strong — scoring 12 of his 19 points and playing powerfully around the basket to spark a second-half comeback in a 105-103 win.

The win kept the Jazz 6-0 at home, the first time they’ve started that quick since the 2008-09 season, and yet they remain rather inept on the road and appear in their current state no threat to be much different than the just-better-than-.500 team that sneaked into the No. 8 spot in the playoffs last season.

Without a sudden change in character, it will keep the heat on the Jazz to think about moving Millsap or Jefferson ahead of the February trade deadline.

Though it’s consistency out of him that would force the issue, it’s a thought that gets more tempting every time the Jazz run a break that end with Favors barreling toward the hoop with another glimpse of the future.

13 Comments

  1. cds1 says:

    So NOBODY here actually read the article?
    The Jazz would NEVER trade Favors, He(and Hayward) are the future of the franchise.
    All three big men can’t play at the same time because although Paul can play the 3 spot and has developed a three point shooting game he can’t guard it very well. What Ty is doing wrong is playing the wrong bigs at the wrong time. Al and Favors should be on the floor together starting and Paul and Kanter should be off the bench. Paul is a better player on both ends than Al is, but Al is kind of a black hole on offense Paul doesn’t get any touches. When Al and Favors are together Favors thrives, he covers Al on defense. If Paul played with Kanter Paul would have the offense run through him and get his numbers back to average.
    Seriously Lakers fans…Gasol for Favors? Jazz wouldn’t trade Favors for anyone but a committed superstar

  2. Wes says:

    6 tech’s called in this game, sure sounds like the refs had it under control

  3. Chester says:

    They should keep all 3 big men and start millsap at the 3, favors at 4 and jefferson at center. they are a powerhouse team when they play big like that, corbin started a few games with that lineup and it worked. beats marviln williams at sf

  4. googergieger says:

    This game was a travesty. Why was Iguodala thrown out of the game? I mean look Denver should have made more free throws, Karl should have called time out when Faried got the steal, but the referees clearly let Utah back into a game they had no business winning. Then when they began giving Denver some much deserved make up calls, it was too late to get the game under control and it just became awful both ways. However make no mistake about it, the officiating clearly led to a Utah win and a Denver loss. It is bad enough Denver has this ridiculous schedule no other team(that has deep playoff run potential) comes close to having. It is bad enough they had two Miami games where they had more than double the paint points/attempts and at best came out with three or four more free throw attempts and at worst attempted less some how. Now they have to put up with a loss like the one against Utah? Then they go to face Golden State Thursday, Lakers Friday, and meanwhile the Lakers have three days rest heading into that Denver game?! I wonder what are the odds we’ll have a fair game called on Friday! The league will hopefully at the very least issue an explanation for Iggy’s ejection and hopefully apologize or at the very least acknowledge some VERY questionable officiating that happened on Monday. Just when it seems Denver is finally starting to get it together, they get their heads and confidence rattled by being reminded as long as you aren’t one of four teams in this league, you will have a built in bias heading into almost every game.

    • dattebayo says:

      Denver is a great fast break team that wants to push the tempo. All these layups and dunks in transition are recorded as points in the paint. Why on earth should Denver get more whistles, just because they score a lot of points that way? Last year they had a game with 96 points in the paint, that doesn’t mean that they should have also had 40 freethrow attempts.
      On the other hand, the double T on Iguodala and Jefferson was questionable at best, but who knows what they said. You can’t show up the referees or badmouth them, because you will get called for it. Iguodala sure didn’t complain about his ejection, but who knows.
      And please, the Nuggets had major help from the refs in Minnesota and on the deciding play the baseline referee fell for Gallinaris flop and called Love for an offensive foul. Galinari made both free throws and iced the game at 96-90. I still can’t believe that call.

      • googergieger says:

        So those 96 points were all fast break points? It is a known fact most of Miami’s FT’s attempts come from being in the bonus as a result of touch fouls, even though Miami on average gets called for about five. Iggy got tossed for talking to a team mate. He wasn’t yelling, wasn’t throwing his arms around, wasn’t talking to a ref, just a team mate, and tossed. You do realize at a time thirteen straight foul calls were called on Denver right? But yeah, same Wolves game that had Faried in foul trouble with a few touch fouls called? Game where he had to sit after a clean block on Love? Where he got a technical for litterally walking away from the ref and foul call. Where before that flop a minute or so before, Lawson got called for back to back fouls after two back to back Barea flops?

      • dattebayo says:

        Dude, you need to calm down a little. I generally like Denver and their style of play. None the less they will never get many foul calls because they don’t have a player like James Harden, that draws a lot of fouls on scoring drives to the rim and they don’t have a strong postplayer (besides Miller) either. You just keep mentioning points in the paint as a measuring stick for fouls and that is deceptive because of Denver’s up-tempo style of play, they usually have a lot of fastbreak points. Lawson has been a disappointment so far and he needs to play harder and better. Kenneth Faried on the other hand has been huge, he is a joy to watch. The game against the Wolves was poorly officiated and there were bad calls on both sides that frustrated every player. At one point Adelman called a timeout just to regroup and refocus on the game instead of the officials, at one point they took the entire flow out of that game. You might have me there with Barea, I have to use the replay every time to judge whether he flopped or if it was legitimate foul. What Gallinari did though was a clear flop. He felt Love in his back and just flopped and even though the referee had a great look, he still called Love for an offensive foul. Thats just an unbelievable call to me and Gallinari hasn’t even been warned yet.

  5. Bok says:

    Favors for Pau Gasol? Lakers are aging I hope the management can work this out.

    • Bob says:

      @Bok You can’t be serious

    • Troy says:

      No GM would ever make that deal ever. Typical Laker fan, expecting something from nothing.

    • seriously? says:

      Absolutely no way that would happen. Deron Williams got Sloan fired and then when that wasn’t enough to keep him happy management “hit reset” and sent him to New Jersey. The entire point of hitting reset is to build for the future, using both cap space and the draft. The Jazz managed to infuse themselves with young talent while staying relevant. Let’s ignore the fact that the salary difference wouldn’t allow a straight up trade. Favors is a very young, very talented big who has lots of very good if not great years ahead of him in the league. Pau Gasol is an all-star big who is getting older. If for some odd reason the Jazz made the trade they would go from 2 bigs who deserve starters minutes to 3 bigs who deserve starters minutes. 3 guys getting 32 minutes a night means no development for Enes Kanter, and not using a 3rd overall pick is beyond stupid. While Favors (and LeBron and Chris Paul and D Wade…) would look good next to Dwight Howard, the management team of the Jazz isn’t dumb enough to make that trade.

    • dattebayo says:

      This is exactly how the typical Laker fan mind works. This player costs a lot of money, but he isn’t good enough. Let’s get a great, young, up and coming player for much less money, that another team developed for multiple years. This is a fair trade and should be made. It also helps out the other team, because poor play for much money benefits teams that aren’t winning and need to stay under the salary cap.
      The Lakers will not get rid of Pau because he isn’t playing well. The only teams that might be interested in him are contenders that could use a skilled 7 footer like him and that ain’t happening. Pau can’t help teams like the Jazz and they will not give up a young talent like Favors. Also, didn’t Kobe mention last year, that Pau will be a Laker as long as Kobe is a Laker, what up with that?