Utah Jazz Notes

Jazz update: With Rodney Hood out, who starts in his place?

First Published      Last Updated Jan 16 2017 04:21 pm

Phoenix • With Jazz shooting guard Rodney Hood out of tonight's game against the Suns, who are the candidates to start in his place as Hood rehabs from a bone contusion in his right knee? Here are the options that Jazz coach Quin Snyder will have.

Joe Ingles • He's the most obvious guy. Ingles has been a revelation this season defensively. He's actually been in a few of Utah's closing lineups, even with Hood healthy. He's just a steady force, on both ends. He's been a knockdown 3-point shooter. He's also been a guy who can make plays off the pick and roll, and is a capable and instinctive passer offensively. He works well with Gordon Hayward. And although he's not a big scorer, Ingles is someone who can have a great effect on a game very quietly.

Joe Johnson • He's the best scorer of the candidates, and he sat out of Saturday's win over the Orlando Magic for rest purposes. Johnson's someone who's had a very positive effect on the Jazz this season in the plus/minus column, and he can get most of the shots he wants off the dribble or in the post — even at an advanced age. If he were to start, Gordon Hayward would shift down to the shooting guard spot.

Alec Burks • Would be a natural replacement, in the sense that he's a shooting guard and he slides in. But despite a very good showing on Saturday, Burks may not yet be ready for starter minutes. However, his athleticism, his rebounding and slashing ability make his a candidate either way. Even if he doesn't start, Burks will see a bigger role in the rotation with Hood out. He's at least proven to be ready for that.

Dante Exum • He's probably the least likely of the candidates, but he could get the nod if Snyder wants to keep his wing rotation intact off the bench. More likely, Exum will continue to play off the bench in a backup point guard role.

The prediction • Ingles.

— Tony Jones