Sports / Utah Jazz / 
Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry, center, shoots between Utah Jazz center Derrick Favors, left, and forward Royce O'Neale, right, during the first half of an NBA basketball game in San Francisco, Sunday, March 14, 2021. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

AP Photo, Jeff Chiu

From the comments: We might need to start talking about Derrick Favors

By Ryan Miller, KSL.com | Posted - Mar. 15, 2021 at 11:48 a.m.



SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Jazz have lost four of six after falling to the Golden State Warriors 131-119 Sunday. It's been a rough stretch — let's go to the comments.

"Very disappointed in their defensive effort. No excuse for this loss." — GuyIn801

Quin Snyder was asked about Derrick Favors' health following Sunday's game. The reserve center had been listed on injury reports in the early parts of the season and hasn't looked great recently, so maybe health was partially the reason why he was so ineffective on the defensive end against Golden State.

Snyder didn't comment on any injuries, but didn't want to blame the loss on Favors' minutes, either, saying it was up to the entire team to defend better. That said, it might be a Favors issues or, maybe more fairly, a lack of Rudy Gobert issue.

The Jazz's defense held the Warriors to 112.3 points per 100 possessions when Gobert was on the court. That number ballooned to 148.5 with him on the bench. Or in Layman's terms, the Jazz were outscored by 23 points in the 16 minutes Favors was on the court.

Early in the first quarter, Kelly Oubre drove inside, but when he got near the hoop he thought better of shooting. He wanted nothing to do with challenging Gobert at rim. So he passed it back out and the Warriors had to settle for a contested 3-point shot, which missed.

Once Favors replaced Gobert, though, those decisions changed. Just a few minutes later, Oubre once again got inside and hit a floater over Favors — who didn't even challenge the shot.

In the last six games, four of which have been losses, the Jazz are allowing 121 points per 100 possessions when Gobert is not on the court. That number would rank dead last in the NBA by a significant margin, and was exactly the problem Utah was hoping to fix by bringing back Favors.

Full season numbers, however, are less worrisome: The Jazz have a 109.6 defensive rating with Favors on the floor over the course of the season, which is more than respectable. But if the recent trend continues, there are some questions that need to be answered before the playoffs roll around. Is Favors hurt? Do the Jazz need to try Juwan Morgan? Or does Gobert simply need to play more?


"Pretty confident Jazz would have won this game if Ersan (or anyone else on the bench) would have played in place of Bojan! The inconsistency of Bojan is driving me crazy...when he cannot shoot he is a Major liability on the floor!!" — tymcdaniel

After what Bojan Bogdanovic did last season, it probably hurts many Jazz fans to be critical of the Croatian sharpshooter. Bogdanovic was one of the best second options in the league in 2019-20, mostly due to him shooting 41% on a high-volume of 3s, but he hasn't quite regained that form.

Bogdanovic came to Utah with a solid drive game. In his final season in Indiana, he shot 52% on nearly seven drives per game. Last season, he upped his drive total to 9.1 per game but shot just 45% on those possessions while his turnover rate increased. This season, his shooting percentage on drives has plummeted down to 41.6%.

A Bogdanovic drive is not a plus-play right now, and so he should start being a little more selective when he does it. For example: not against Draymond Green or when he has even a remotely open 3-point shot.

Bogdanovic had four turnovers while trying to drive on Sunday.

The good news: It wasn't the most effective play last season, either, and he was still extremely good on the offensive end. Despite his struggles this season, he's still shooting 39% from 3-point range. That's still more than good enough to keep him on the court, and to help the Jazz win.


"Lackluster effort." — Dave F.

It's no secret the Jazz haven't had their best showings since getting back from the All-Star break. There are external things that can help explain some of it: They had a close friend and colleague pass away last week, and had to play a road game with an early start on the day everyone moved their clocks forward.

But if that really is the problem, the Jazz could be in trouble.

This current road trip is a beast when it comes to travel. On Monday, the Jazz will fly completely across the country from San Francisco to Boston. They'll also make trips to Washington D.C., Florida and then Chicago before heading home. That's a lot of time zones and a lot of flight miles.

"Everybody in this league is gonna have a trip or two that's unusual — ours is coming up," Mike Conley said. "We got a six-hour flight (Monday) to Boston, so it's something that we have to take day by day. Go in and get our minds right. Some nights were not going to sleep as well as others; some nights we got to go to bed early; sometimes we gotta get up a little earlier. So just get our minds right for that kind of traveling, and the competition that is going to come from it."

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