And here’s your weekly Utah Jazz wrapup
One. Finally, Derrick Favors has returned.
** On how painful his back got: I couldn’t tie my shoe. You know, I couldn’t [bend] down, put my shoes on. I couldn’t, you know, put my shorts on. It was hard for me to walk a little bit. I couldn’t really get out of bed without feeling pain. So I mean, it was tough — and let alone try to run and jump…It was definitely frustrating, ’cause I didn’t know how long it was going to last. You know, I was thinking — a lot of stuff going through my head.
** On his first game back: I was excited…I’m an emotional person, and you know, I was happy to get out there. You know, be with my teammates, play basketball again and you know, just try to make a playoff push.
Favors, answering the question below
** On getting the start against the Timberwolves: I guess all my hard work paid off. You know, coach finally believe in me, you know, to put me in the starting lineup. You know, hopefully, you know, I could maintain that starting lineup spot and you know, just try to help the team win…I’m used to playing 20 minutes ’cause I was coming off the bench, so you know, 30 minutes, that’ll be a little bit tough to handle, but you know, hopefully, you know, I’m in good enough shape to be able to handle 30 minutes.
Two. Rodney Hood and Raul Neto, All-Star (Weekend participants).
Raul Neto on what the Rising Stars selection means to Brazil: It’s a big deal for my country. I think I’m the second Brazilian player play in this Rising Star game. Nene was the first one, I think 2003, 2004. And it’s a big deal. We never had an All-Star player. I know that’s too far away from the All-Star player, but it’s just the beginning. I think it’s a big thing for my country and for me too.
Looks like we’re finally getting back (or closer) to that time when a Jazz player charters his own plane to the All-Star Game but there are so many Jazz players participating in All-Star events that there isn’t room on the plane for the young guys.
Three. Quin Snyder on what effect Rudy Gobert and Derrick Favors’ returns will have on the Jazz’s 3-point attempts: You know, we, you know, our, one of the things that I feel about the way we play offense is, you know, hopefully it’s malleable to our personnel…
Clearly, our spacing will be different because neither one of those guys are a 3-point shooter. So, it probably won’t be coming from them, but hopefully we can continue to space in a way — I think it’s not just our bigs or those guys being out. It’s our guards have gotten more aggressive taking those shots. Our spacing has really improved.
But again, when those two guys are on the court, the spacing’s gonna be different, and we’ll see how people defend us. That’s one of the biggest things, and you know, we’re gonna try to keep taking them, that’s for sure.
Snyder, asked if making the playoffs is a goal or if he’s just focused on continuing with the process: I think the two go hand in hand, to be honest with you. I think, you know, whether we make it or not, you know, I think it is something you strive for. And for sure, I think you can do that and at the same time, you know, keep trying to improve.
Part of development is winning, and beginning to, you know, to have that experience of winning, know what it feels like. So, you know, and continue to crave it, more towards it. And that’s part of the growth process, you know, where you start to feel like you belong. And you know, I think we’re a team right now that’s relevant.
We wanna be a team that’s in the mix, and you know, even if we, you know, if we’re that eighth seed and we limp in and have a tough time against someone like Golden State, I, it’s hard for me to think that you don’t benefit, you know, from that. And you know, so I would like to see this team achieve as, you know, as much as we possibly can.
Frankly, it would be an unbelievable accomplishment for this group, given everything that’s happened, with Dante [Exum] this summer, and you know, we get Alec [Burks] back in March, and, so. You know, it’s not something that we’re talking about every day, but I think our pl–you know, our players are competitive. They know what’s going on out there. We don’t need to fixate on that because I don’t think that is the goal in and of itself.
This isn’t a — but I do believe that as our team improves, you know, that we’ll continue to climb that ladder. And as I said, you know, it’d be nice to be in the mix and have an opportunity just to experience that. To go through the playoff preparation process, to, and all those things.
And at the same time, I, you know, I’m not gonna be, you know, I don’t think this season, w–you know, if it doesn’t happen, I don’t think we’re, you know, blaming anyone for it not happening as much as we are, we look back and say, “OK, how can we, you know, how can we use this to get better?” And that’s been crucial for us in the last few years.
Snyder, asked if he will do anything differently against the Bulls in an attempt to get the Jazz’s first three-game win streak of the season: I’m in search of consistency, so maybe we’ll just lose and keep it steady and go that way.
Four. Rudy Gobert, telekinetic.
Five. When Stan Van Gundy met Jerry Sloan:
Following a 95-92 victory over the Jazz, Van Gundy was walking from the locker room into the tunnel to do his post-game presser with the media. Right before he exited the locker room, a Pistons official caught former Jazz coach Jerry Sloan walking through to the exit. He stopped him and wondered if he’d like to say hello to Stan. Van Gundy walked out of the locker room door and was taken aback by the presence of the Hall of Fame coach. They chatted for a couple minutes, said their goodbyes, and Van Gundy walked to the scrum beaming.
“That’s a bigger thrill than the win right there,” Van Gundy admitted. “That’s one of the all-time greats there. That’s fun. I’m not in awe very often, but I am around him.” (CBS)
Six. Gordon Hayward on the officiating this season:
** After the Pistons game: Teams are definitely being physical with us, and you know, we gotta find ways to, you know, get the defense off of us and get where we wanna go. If they’re not gonna call it, we gotta find a way to get the job done, so.
** Before the Hornets game: They’re letting guys hold us, especially at the end of games. You know, I don’t know — you try to talk to the refs and tell them and it just doesn’t seem to matter, so. We’re just going to have to be sharper and maybe push them back.
Speaking of Hayward, he shaved his scruff. He never really believed he could grow facial hair, though.
Seven. Joe Ingles is a father-in-waiting.
** On his initial reaction: It was obviously a bit of a shock and you get, you find out that you are pregnant and then obviously the news of twins comes a little bit later. But yeah, a little shocked, surprised. Obviously really excited. Something that we’ve always wanted, I guess, but never kind of planned…Just kind of waiting for the right time, and it happened, and we don’t do anything half-assed in the Ingles family, so you got two of them.
** On his usage of “half-assed”: I wasn’t sure if I was allowed to use it in Utah.
** Ingles, asked if his wife called him from Australia to tell him the news and how did it all work: No, so she was here when we found out. Obviously, we needed to be together for that to happen anyway. So, yeah, we found out [about] two or three weeks ago now.
** Ingles, asked about the long-distance logistics of playing away from home: No, I’m not having my kids here. I’m having my kids in Australia.
** Parenting plan: It’s gonna be tough, but they gonna have — when they get to about two years old, they’re gonna play with each other. We’ll lock them in a room, and they can play with each other, and soundproof the walls, and they won’t, we won’t even hear them, and life will be great.
Eight. Dennis Lindsey on roster-building while keeping Gordon Hayward’s impending free agency in mind: I think that the best thing we can do is get out of the way and let Quin work, and then continue to add good, young pieces around him…Quin really knows what he’s doing. I think Gordon recognizes that.
Nine. New Jazzman Erick Green on getting called up from the D-League: I found out last night, late last night, like 10:30 or something. And I didn’t answer the phone for the first two calls because I didn’t, I don’t never answer the call if I don’t know your number. That’s just how I always am.
So, I didn’t answer and my agent called me and was like, “Answer your phone. Utah’s calling you.” So I answered real fast then…I pick up the phone. They told me they excited to have me. And I was exci–I couldn’t even sleep last night.
Ten. Unintentional Dirty Quote Machines of the Week (UDQM)
** Craig Bolerjack: It’s the man that can put the six hot dogs down all by himself. My partner, Matt Harpring.
** David Locke to Rodney Hood: Do you mean, I mean, to some extent, you had to hit the lowest moment to be able to kinda come back up?
** Beat writer to Derrick Favors on his first game back: Do you think you could’ve gone even longer than the 20 minutes, though?
Favors: I don’t know. You know, I was good if it’s 20 minutes.
** DJ/PK to Joe Ingles: I think fans find that intriguing. Will–seriously, Quin and the coaching staff will have a list of a bunch of things you blew and show you film of stuff that went wrong.
Ingles: Probably not a bunch or a list, but there’s always things, and I’m sure it’s probably nothing major…You never know, it might be a day we come in and it’s all positive stuff about what we can do next time that was great, and to keep doing it.
** Gordon Hayward on slow starts and other issues: Those things are things that definitely keep me up at night, and you know, watching film helps that.
** Boler during the Pistons game: He couldn’t explode from the waist down. (H/T @JazzRaytion)
** Boler during the Timberwolves game: Nice, soft, just stroked it deep. (H/T @5kl)
** Harpring during the Timberwolves game: When you play hard, you’re going to touch people every now and then. (H/T @5kl)
** Harpring after the Timberwolves game: I’ve seen bigger. (H/T @5kl)