With minutes in short supply for Ian Clark and Rudy Gobert, the two Utah Jazz rookies have been shipped to the NBA Development League’s Bakersfield Jam.
Clark, an undrafted guard out of Belmont, had not played since Nov. 24 and Gobert, a 7-foot-1 center and a first-round draft pick out of France, had only logged eight minutes over Utah’s last four games.
“To play,” Jazz coach Ty Corbin said when asked what he wants the two to accomplish. “To get some time on the floor, to play, to get some extended minutes and learn. Do some of the things we talked about them getting better at and see them do it in a game situation.
Clark was averaging 2.8 points a game in his eight appearances this year. Gobert had made 17 appearances for Utah, averaging 2.2 points and 4.6 rebounds in just over 10 minutes an outing.
They are the seventh and eighth players in Jazz history to be assigned to the D-League.
Both players were expected to be in uniform for the Jam on Sunday when Bakersfield takes on the Reno Bighorns in Nevada.
‘A little bit more whole’
The San Antonio Spurs didn’t face point guard Trey Burke in their first trip to Utah this season. The rookie was still working his way back from a preseason injury.
Spurs coach Greg Popovich offered this assessment of Burke’s value: “He just makes things a little bit more whole; they make sense. … It makes everybody else a little bit more knowing of what they’ve got to do in their role.”
Popovich, who has a reputation for being one of the league’s surliest coaches with reporters, didn’t disappoint Saturday when asked in which areas of the game he wanted to see his veteran team improve.
“I love that question. Everybody asks it,” he said. “The same as every other coach on every other team. We would like to turn it over less. We would like to improve our transition game. We would like to improve our individual game. We would like to improve our defensive rotations as a group. We’d like to move more without the ball. We’d like to block out better. It’s basketball. It’s not physics. It’s the same with every single team; everybody’s trying to improve the same stuff.”