The rhythm and touch are not consistently fluid. His best offensive moves suddenly appear, draw raves, then just as quickly evaporate.
But make no mistake: Jazz forward Derrick Favors is feeling more confident than ever with the ball in his hands, and the 20-year-old’s on-the-court evolution is on schedule.
“It’s just me being comfortable out there and sort of picking my spots. When and where to score, and just knowing when I’m going to get my shots in the offense,” Favors said.
The No. 3 overall pick of the 2010 NBA Draft entered the game Saturday against the Los Angeles Lakers averaging 7.8 points and 5.9 rebounds, while shooting 47.6 percent from the field during his second season. Favors’ scoring and boards are up compared with his rookie year. But it’s an arsenal of still-developing offensive moves — pump-and-go drives, spin-and-roll attacks and mid-range jumpshots — that has Utah excited.
“It’s coming. It’s getting better,” Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin said. “It’s getting better to where we can go to him some and not just secondary stuff. We can call a play to get it to him in his spot, and he can make something good happen.”
While Jazz CEO Greg Miller and Hall of Fame forward Karl Malone engaged in a war of words Friday and Saturday, Utah still had a game to play against the Lakers.
Corbin hoped the feud between two big-name Jazzmen wouldn’t affect his team’s focus. But he acknowledged it was impossible to completely ignore the fight during the Twitter era.
“It’s part of our family. … The guys hear about it, they have to deal with it,” Corbin said. “We just have to move forward, man. There’s always going to be something in this business.”
Utah received good news on the injury front Saturday after being hobbled Thursday during a road loss to Golden State. The Jazz were out three players and limited to just one point guard against the Warriors, with starter Devin Harris being a last-minute scratch.
Saturday, first-unit players Harris (strained left hamstring) and Raja Bell (strained right adductor) returned to action, while backup point guard Earl Watson (sprained right ankle) was also cleared.
With their return, all 13 players on Utah’s roster were again active.
“They worked out a little bit [Friday] and they came in … during shootaround and worked on some stuff,” Corbin said. “They still feel good, so I’m excited to have everybody back in uniform.”