The Jazz have been impressed with the production they’ve seen out of backup big man Ekpe Udoh, Mike Sorensen of the Deseret News writes. The 30-year-old returned to the NBA this offseason after spending the last two campaigns abroad.
“It’s great, when I’m on the bench, I’m able to relax,” Rudy Gobert, the man ahead of Udoh in the depth chart, said. “When you have someone who plays defense like he does, you know the team is in good hands. He makes us better as a team.”
Through five games this season, Udoh has blocked an impressive 2.4 shots per. Gobert, perhaps the league’s most vaunted defensive big man, has averaged just 2.2 despite playing nearly 20 more minutes per contest.
It’s not just the gaudy per-36 statline that has the Jazz organization impressed. Head coach Quin Snyder sees Udoh’s length and competitiveness as valued intangibles as well.
There’s more news out of Utah:
- Injured guard Dante Exum underwent surgery on his shoulder Tuesday. Per Mike Sorensen of the Deseret News, the 22-year-old’s return timeline remains indefinite.
- The Jazz don’t look much different than they did last season, Jonathan Tjarks of The Ringer writes in a comprehensive account of life in Utah sans Gordon Hayward. The scribe notes that Rudy Gobert had always been their most valuable player anyway.
- The league has handed forward Joe Ingles a $15K fine for the groin shot on Steven Adams over the weekend, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN tweets.