SALT LAKE CITY - For some reason it doesn't seem like the Jazz's plan was to start the big lineup for a minute then just decide to go back to how they've been playing, but sometimes plans just don't go the right way.
The big line, the supersizers or the people's lineup, any way it gets written down it was supposed to take Energy Solutions Arena by storm. Fans have been asking for it by name and they got it. The starting lineup with Al Jefferson, Derrick Favors and Paul Millsap was brought out with a bang and ended in with a whimper.
Two points into the game coach Tyrone Corbin has to change his plan and go in a different direction, which lead to a 102-91 victory over the Rockets.
That plan didn't have a good start once Favors got his second foul just a minute in, actually it was seconds away from being a disaster.
"It was funny cause I was in the bathroom when the game started," Favors' replacement Marvin Williams said. "And I walked out and when I got there D-Fav got his second foul. I hadn't even sat down yet when coach turns to me and says 'Marv.' So, I had to mentally get ready to get back in there."
Williams had been the starter until last game in Washington when Favors was inserted, but he certainly wasn't expecting to play with the starters right away. He did play well off the bench ending perfect on 3-pointers, 3-3, finishing with 12 points and four rebounds.
It was funny cause I was in the bathroom when the game started. And I walked out and when I got there D-Fav got his second foul. I hadn't even sat down yet when coach turns to me and says 'Marv.' -Marvin Williams
But, the plan for the Jazz is to have someone always ready, so when the plan fails the backup isn't that far away.
The easy part for this situation the Jazz went through was they didn't need to go too far back to remember how to play without Favors.
"It doesn't change much, he goes out and we're back to the starting lineup," Paul Millsap said. "We go back to guys we've been playing with all year."
Millsap might have the biggest adjustment with the big line. He starts the game playing the small forward guarding an athletic Chandler Parsons, then he goes to the power forward playing the bigger Patrick Patterson.
Millsap said there isn't much difference going up to the bigger bodies, but when he has to go down to play the faster small forwards he has to adjust a little depending on the match up.
In Washington the Jazz started slowly with this starting group and they did it again against the Rockets. They were down 9-2 before going on a run that put them up 17-12. It wasn't the big men that carried them, but it wasn't their downfall either. Millsap ended with 10 points and 8 rebounds while Jefferson had 14 and 16.
Really, the non-starters were the reason the Jazz won this game. The two starters who were, according to Corbin, "not benched, they just didn't start," Williams and Gordon Hayward came off the "not bench" and led the team in the plus/minus while they were out there. Hayward led the team in scoring with 15, on a +24 night, and Williams was +18.
When a starter goes out it really shouldn't be that easy to bounce back, but the Jazz have that plan in place for when it happens.
"On other teams it would be tough. But on this team, Favors goes out, Marvin comes in and Paul goes to the four," Jefferson said. "You know we keep moving. That's the good thing about this team, we got a lot of guys that can play different positions."
They haven't figured out everything, but there is very little drop off from the starters to the second-unit. That is why the minutes are down every game and it could be a key as to why they are still healthy.
The Jazz only have one player in the top-50 of minutes played, Mo Williams, four in the top-100, and that includes a triple-overtime game where Mo played 50 minutes.
It wouldn't work everywhere. The superstars would want their minutes and touches, but the plan is to have a team. That is what Corbin believes they have here.
"As we've said before, this is a great group of guys and they're all ready to play and unfortunately Derrick got two early fouls and Marvin was sitting ready to go."