Health concerns regarding Rudy Gobert will remain with the Jazz for the rest of the season, writes Brad Rock of The Deseret News. Gobert, who has missed 26 games this season, returned to the lineup with 23 points, 14 rebounds and three blocks Friday against the Knicks and followed that with 16 points, seven rebounds and three blocks Saturday against the Clippers. Gobert, who is playing limited minutes, is coming off a sprained PCL in his left knee and a bone bruise in his tibia.
“I just try to stay present and deal with those things as they present themselves,” coach Quin Snyder said about Gobert’s health concerns. Utah is four and a half games out of a playoff spot and will need its Defensive Player of the Year candidate to make a run at the postseason.
There’s more from the Northwest Division:
- The Jazz may be in the market for a stretch four before the trade deadline, tweets Spencer Checketts of 1280 Sports in Utah. “I knew when we traded [Trey Lyles] we’d be looking for a 6-10 player who can knock down 40% of his threes,” said GM Dennis Lindsey, “and sure enough, that’s what we are currently looking for right now.”
- Knicks guard Trey Burke, who was considered a bust in Utah, admits he wasn’t fully focused on basketball early in his career, relays Marc Berman of The New York Post. Burke spent three seasons with the Jazz before being traded for a second-round pick in 2016. “I do feel I did a great job my rookie season,” he said. “Second year, they drafted another point guard [Dante Exum] — which kind of messed with my mind. It played with me a little bit. That’s where it went wrong. My rookie season the coach [Tyrone Corbin] gets fired. Going into the second year, it’s a whole new coaching staff to get used to. Sometimes it don’t work out.’’
- Nuggets coach Michael Malone promised “changes” after Friday’s loss to Phoenix, and Gina Mizell of The Denver Post offers some ideas of what they could be. Short of a trade, Denver has a few options to shake up a team that has gone 2-6 in its last eight games. She suggests removing Wilson Chandler from the starting lineup, switching Will Barton back to shooting guard, giving Kenneth Faried another shot at the rotation and giving more minutes to Malik Beasley.