Derrick Favors feels comfortable moving into the starting center spot for the Jazz with Rudy Gobert sidelined, Mike Sorensen of the Deseret News reports. Favors did the same thing for 18 games two seasons ago when Gobert was injured and once again during last season’s playoffs, Sorensen notes. Favors piled up 24 points and 12 rebounds against the Nets Saturday. Gobert is expected to miss at least a month of action due to a tibia contusion. “It’s the same as last year, same as the year before that when Rudy went down and I had to move to the five spot,” Favors told Sorensen. “Even before that, I was starting at the five, so I’m ready for it.” Favors, who is in his walk year, can boost his stock in free agency if he plays well in Gobert’s absence.
In other developments involving the Jazz:
- The Jazz contacted the league office regarding the play in which Gobert was injured but no action was taken, Tony Jones of the Salt Lake Tribune tweets. Heat guard Dion Waiters dove to the floor while chasing a loose ball and rolled toward Gobert body, causing the injury. The league told the Jazz that a foul against Waiters should’ve been called but it was deemed not intentional, Jones adds.
- Donovan Mitchell‘s competitive drive has made him one of this year’s draft-day steals, Brian Lewis of the New York Post opines. The combo guard, taken with the No. 13 overall pick, scored a game-high 26 points against the Nets. “His competitive spirit is something you can’t teach,” Jazz coach Quin Snyder told Lewis and other media members. “There’s certain things you can’t teach. You can try to train them and improve them, but that’s been there from the first day.”
- Shooting guard Rodney Hood has lost his starting job to Mitchell but he’s handling it well, as Eric Woodyard of the Deseret News relays. Hood still leads the team in scoring and accepts his new role as the top option on the second unit. “Just being a professional and not taking a step back and don’t think nothing less of myself,” Hood told Woodyard. “I know I can play with the best of them, regardless of when I’m getting in I’ve got to put in work so that’s how I approach it.”