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SAN FRANCISCO — KSL.com Utah Jazz beat writer Andy Larsen attended Tuesday's shootaround in San Francisco, before the team takes on the Golden State Warriors in Oakland. Quin Snyder, Gordon Hayward, Rudy Gobert, and Joel Bolomboy spoke to media.
Derrick Favors out
The Jazz announced that Derrick Favors would not be playing tonight against the Warriors due to normal rehab protocol as he returns from his knee injury. In short, because the Jazz have a back-to-back tonight and tomorrow night, Favors could play in only one of those games, and the Jazz chose Wednesday's home contest.
"Essentially, this is similar to a minutes restriction," head coach Quin Snyder said. "He played the other night and had some soreness, which is to be expected. He'll be doing rehab yesterday and today, and we'll see how he's doing tomorrow. He'll likely play tomorrow. We want to be daily conscious of where he is and how he's doing. It's in continuing with everything we're doing thus far."
George Hill's rehab
George Hill's rehab from a sprained toe is continuing as well. Two days ago, Snyder told reporters that toe's injury is more "days to days", not "day to day."
Today, we watched as Hill underwent an extensive, hour-long workout with assistant coach Igor Kokoskov. The pair worked on Hill's jump shooting, in both catch and shoot and dribbling situations. The drill was clearly designed to test Hill's ability to move in game-like ways.
That's significant progress from the ground-bound shooting he was doing at the end of last week. But still, Hill clearly isn't 100 percent yet: neither the jump shot nor the movement were up to his standards, which frustrated Hill.
Still, the Jazz seem to be targeting a return either next week or the week after that for the team's lead point guard.
Sometimes, the opposition is just too good
Tonight's opponent, the Golden State Warriors, won their last game by 45 points against the Portland Trail Blazers. They dismantled the Blazers in ridiculously efficient fashion: for example, Kevin Durant had 34 points on just 13 shots. Is there any chance to win against the Warriors when they're shooting that efficiently from outside?
"Nope. You're going to lose. They're that good," Snyder said. "That doesn't mean you don't try. But if they're having one of those nights, sometimes there's nothing you can do, but you don't know if you don't try. If it ends up like that, you lick your wounds and try to learn from it."
After playing a super physical, grind-it-out style of game in Memphis, the Jazz travel to the other end of the NBA spectrum in Oakland against the Warriors.
Snyder marveled at "the speed at which they play, not only physically but more importantly mentally."
"They just get from play to play so quickly that you don't have a chance to get to the next breath. It's something you have to adjust to quickly, or else you get buried."
Does he have a preference on what style of play he'd prefer to be matched up against?
"I would hope you could play both. That's the versatility you would like your team to have. Just from a pace standpoint, we'd probably prefer the other way, but that doesn't mean we can't think quickly. It's more of a function of players and what they're comfortable doing."
In the last Triple Team, I wrote about how dangerous this play is, where Memphis' Jarell Martin undercut Gordon Hayward on the alley-oop.
Gordon Hayward gets undercut on the alley-oop attempt: pic.twitter.com/2SEfWPfykC — Andy Larsen (@andyblarsen) December 19, 2016
I asked Hayward about that play today. He wasn't pleased.
"The one where I went up for the oop and got undercut was really dangerous. That one could have been bad. That's a dirty play. It is what it is, and it happens sometimes, but if they're going to look at some of those fouls, they should look at undercuts and things like that."
Hayward still says he'll try to go for the play. "You can't be not doing something because you may or may not get hurt."
Rookie forward Joel Bolomboy traveled directly to San Francisco to join the team after playing incredibly well in the Salt Lake City Stars' last game: 28 points (on 10-15 shooting), 19 rebounds and six blocks in a rare Stars win.
The call-up wasn't due to the performance, though. Bolomboy said he knew he was headed to San Francisco when Bart Taylor, the Jazz's basketball operations executive in charge of the Stars, gave him his schedule early last week. That schedule runs through Christmas.
"It's good to play with the D-League once in a while, and make most of those opportunities," Bolomboy said.
Bolomboy's a fantastic shot blocker at the D-League level, but watching him and talking to the Jazz's coaching staff, he still has a way to go at the other parts of his defensive game. Managing the floor space available and defending pick and rolls is a big part of what he'll be asked to do in the NBA. The Jazz think that he has the agility required to defend, but just doesn't have the precision yet.
On offense, Bolomboy gets most of his opportunities from lobs and rebounds. But he's developed a capable 3-point shot, which is very nice. He's still a little bit awkward holding the ball on the perimeter, handing the ball off and setting solid screens.
I'm starting to believe in him as a real prospect, though. He'll need to continue to work hard on his play in a team construct, but if he can figure that out, he can contribute at the highest level in the seasons to come.