Well, this is one way to clear the logjam in the Jazz frontcourt.
Paul Millsap wasn’t too keen to address it, and Tyrone Corbin would prefer not to think about it, but the Jazz face the very real possibility of playing Friday against Toronto without Al Jefferson and Derrick Favors, two of their most important big men.
“You try not to think about it,” said Millsap. “They’re two big pieces to our team, and for them to miss it would be tough on our team, but we still got to find a way to pull it together to win a game.”
Favors returned to practice with the Jazz on Thursday after missing three games with plantar fasciitis in his right foot. Jefferson, meanwhile, continued to be evaluated for back spasms he experienced at the end of his 31-point, 15-rebound performance in Wednesday’s win over Orlando.
Both are listed as game-time decisions.
“We have a plan in mind,” Corbin said, “but hopefully it doesn’t get to that point.”
Corbin said the Jazz would use the absences of Jefferson and Favors as an opportunity to get Enes Kanter and Jeremy Evans more time on the floor. But the team would likely miss Jefferson’s scoring punch and the defense he and Favors both provide.
They combine for more than 18 rebounds per game.
The last time the Jazz and Raptors met, the result was a sprawling epic, stretching more than three hours and yielding more than 270 points.
In triple overtime on Nov. 12, the Jazz beat Toronto 140-133 behind 34 points from Millsap and 24 points and 17 rebounds from Jefferson.
“Long night,” Millsap said. “That’s all I can remember about it.”
Corbin said he has watched the first meeting in its entirety — which seems like it should be enjoyed in segments, like a miniseries — but that the Raptors have changed so much that it’s not entirely instructive.
Point guard Kyle Lowry has returned from injury and leads the Raptors with 18.3 points per game.
“I’ve started watching it again,” Corbin said. “Just pieces of it, but more, ‘how are they playing now?’
“Because Lowry’s back they have a little bit different rotation than what they had when we played them.”
Raptors at Jazz
P At EnergySolutions Arena
Tipoff • Friday, 7 p.m.
TV • ROOT; Radio • 1280 AM, 97.5 FM
Records • Jazz 10-10; Raptors 4-15
Season series • Jazz 1-0
About the Jazz • Al Jefferson (back spasms) and Derrick Favors (plantar fasciitis) are both listed as game-time decisions. ... The Jazz beat Toronto 140-133 in triple overtime on Nov. 12. ... Randy Foye and Toronto point guard Kyle Lowry were college teammates at Villanova. ... Mo Williams averages 6.8 assists per game, but has upped that to 8 in his last four games.
About the Raptors • After missing seven games early in the season, Lowry has returned from injury and leads Toronto with 18.3 points per game. ... DeMar Derozan scored 37 points earlier this season. ... Toronto has lost eight of its last nine games, and only once on the road all season.