LOS ANGELES — The Jazz didn't practice after their big win Saturday night in Game 1 of the Western Conference playoffs, but they did watch film as a team and meet with the media afterwards. Shotmaker Joe Johnson, wing Joe Ingles, and head coach Quin Snyder spoke with the media.
Officially, we still don't know more than we knew after the Jazz took the MRI last night on the knee injury Rudy Gobert suffered 11 seconds into the game Saturday. Then, the Jazz released the following:
Gobert was initially examined at STAPLES Center by the Utah Jazz medical staff and underwent X-rays on his left knee, the results of which were negative. He was then transported off-site for further magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) testing, which revealed no ligament damage. He has been diagnosed with a left knee hyperextension and bone contusion. He will continue to be reevaluated and further updates will be provided when appropriate.
That's the facts of the situation, but sometimes you can get a little bit of color from the players and coaches around the situation. Johnson, for example, said, "It's great to see Rudy walking around. He looks normal. Hopefully we can get him back as soon as possible." That's the kind of optimistic quote that will send Jazz fans' spirits soaring.
Snyder was more concrete. "I don't think we're ready to say today, tomorrow, a week, two weeks," Snyder said. "I think it's literally that wide open."
The moment Gobert went down is just so dramatic, even on replay. So early in the game, and Gobert's literally crawling along the floor, trying to find a footing or even feeling in his knee.
"I felt awful for him. I made eye contact with him and you could just see this kind of helplessness," Snyder said. "Any time anyone invests so much and cares so much about something, there's a devastating feeling."
Gobert tweeted about it, too.
At least the news is good. And while I'd be very surprised if Gobert suited up for Tuesday's game, a return in this playoffs doesn't seem improbable, as it did 12 hours ago.
Update: Tony Jones of the Salt Lake Tribune reports that Gobert will be out for game one.
Breaking: Rudy Gobert will be ruled out for Game 2 against the Clippers, league sources tell The Salt Lake Tribune - https://t.co/Jiu87VadwK— Tony Jones (@tribjazz) April 17, 2017
Rebounding without Rudy
Obviously, the injury to Gobert hurts the Jazz in so many different ways, but one key one is on the glass. The Jazz really rely on Gobert to get so many rebounds, especially tipping the ball to himself and away from like-minded board-chaser DeAndre Jordan. Without Gobert, Jordan can either corral many rebounds himself of tip them to teammates.
That's why it was so important for the Jazz's wings to help out on the glass, and they did with abandon last night. Truthfully, most of the credit should go to Gordon Hayward, who finished up with 10 rebounds. According to the SportVu tracking data, he finished with 10 rebounding chances, in other words, 10 times the ball came within 3.5 feet of him. He got the ball all 10 times.
Compare that to Derrick Favors, who had only six rebounds despite 17 rebounding chances. That's one area where it's easier to see Favors' explosion limited by his knee, and Jordan and the Clippers are able to prevent him from getting boards. Bur Favors' teammates were there to help.
"It's about trying to be hungry, pursue the ball, and be aggressive, and do it collectively," Snyder said. "Gordon had 10 last night, and I think our smalls really have to rebound."
Joe Ingles' defense on J.J. Redick
J.J. Redick was not his typically effective self Saturday night for the Clippers. He finished with just seven points on only six shots, added four turnovers and finished with a game-low -10 plus-minus.
Part of that was because Joe Ingles played some incredible defense on him, especially early. Like, look at this block.
Rewatching the game... Joe Ingles did such a ridiculously good job on J.J. Redick defensively. This block is great. pic.twitter.com/JKpTvK58j7— Andy Larsen (@andyblarsen) April 16, 2017
And this steal, he just stays big and deflects the pass right out of Redick's hands.
But this steal is even better. pic.twitter.com/BhRmlirudd— Andy Larsen (@andyblarsen) April 16, 2017
Keeping Redick in check was huge for the Jazz, and it allowed them to win the shooting guard battle.
"To guard him takes a lot out of you. When you see Joe Ingles miss a couple of threes, that's J.J. Redick's offense on defense," Snyder said. "We have to match his intensity."
"He's tough to guard. He just doesn't stop," Ingles said. "Gets a good look, jumps in the air, passes it, then gets another hand off. I'm just trying to make it tough. They run some really good stuff for him, as well."
Plan for Easter Sunday
The Jazz didn't practice Sunday, but did still get together as a team.
"We just watched some film, obviously went through some stuff," Ingles said. "It was good to get a win, but we still have a lot of stuff. I think the first half, we didn't execute too much of what we wanted to do. We were tired at half. We watched some film, some of the guys went and worked out to stay ready."
What did Snyder point out in the film study?
"Our activity defensively was good," Snyder said. "I think we played aggressive defensively. On the offensive end, their pressure really bothered us. And that's going to be a theme for the series, how we handle their defensive pressure early."
Luckily, the hard part of Ingles' Easter Sunday is over.
"I'll go have a little nap after this," Ingles smiled.