SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Jazz practiced on Thursday morning ahead of Game 3 against the L.A. Clippers Friday night. Head coach Quin Snyder, guard Joe Ingles, and center Derrick Favors spoke to the media.
Rudy Gobert out
Jazz PR announced that Rudy Gobert is officially out again for Game 3 Friday, due to the knee hyperextension and related contusion he suffered during the first play of Game 1. That's not especially surprising news, as the injury happened less than a week ago; injuries of this type usually take multiple weeks until a player is able to return.
"It's significant. We've talked a lot about Rudy's rolling, about putting pressure on the rim. Without Rudy rolling, it's different," Quin Snyder said. I think the other situation is offensive rebounding. He's a heck of an offensive rebounder, so we're not going to get many of those."
The Jazz did only get three of 34 available offensive rebounds. 16 of them fell within 3.5 feet of a Jazz rebounder, approximately arm's reach, according to data from NBA.com.
After DeAndre Jordan shot 0-3 from the free-throw line Tuesday in Game 2, many fans wondered why the Jazz didn't try to foul Jordan more to slow down the Clippers. Here's what Snyder said when we asked him about it Thursday morning:
"I think every situation, people consider that. There's a lot of factors that go into that," Snyder said. "Whether it's the bonus situation, time has an impact, the score has an impact, momentum has an impact. We'll use it if we think it's appropriate."
Snyder knows all of the research, and says the game situation hasn't called for it yet.
"People spend hours and hours analyzing the ups and the downs of it. We're aware of it," Snyder said. "It's something we consider during the course of the game, it just hasn't fit the game at this point."
I agree with Snyder. It doesn't make a ton of sense to use Hack-a-Jordan when you're down multiple possessions in the fourth quarter. The most likely scenario for any Jordan trip to the line (a 48.9 percent free throw shooter this season) is him making one of two free throws. That means what otherwise could be a 6-0 run might be turned into a 6-3 run. In other words, it's a pretty low-variance strategy, and the Jazz needed something bigger to break their way.
From a player's perspective, Derrick Favors wouldn't mind the strategy. "It doesn't matter to me. I just want to win," he said.
Crowd expected to be loud Friday night
It's the first home playoff game for the Jazz in five years. A win would be their first since 2010. So the Jazz's players and coaching staff are expecting a lot of noise in Vivint Arena late Friday night.
"It's loud. That's the biggest thing, just the decibel level of the arena," Snyder said. "Sometimes, I'm not aware of it much during the game, and then after the game, I can't talk after having to speak louder for the guys to hear me. That's my meter."
"They're great fans. I don't want to see a Clippers jersey either," Ingles said.
Will the crowd noise inspire the Jazz to new heights? "I might do a full 360 or something," Ingles quipped.
Jazz fans who want to get a 'do to match their favorite player's haircut can go to select barbershops around the Salt Lake Valley Thursday and Friday. Just ask for the Gordon Hayward or Rudy Gobert.
Here's some of the new looks so far: