Auburn Hills, Mich. • After seemingly taking an early-season detour on their way to becoming the Utah Jazz’s frontcourt of the future, Enes Kanter and Derrick Favors could be getting back on track.
Concerned about the team’s offensive performance with the duo on the floor together, Jazz coach Ty Corbin pulled Kanter from the starting lineup after 14 games and began staggering Kanter and Favors in his rotations.
But after a series of strong showings by Kanter and what Corbin said was the frontcourt’s best outing in tandem “in quite a while” Wednesday in San Antonio, Corbin says the two could see more together.
“As the season has gone forward, they understand a little bit better how they can space and read each other more,” Corbin said Friday. “We can go to Enes on the block and get the other guy out of the way. If we run the pick and roll, [they understand] the space we have to have. … We can’t have both guys clogging up the middle. They’re growing in that area and they’ve got to continue to grow so we can have them together on the floor more.”
Over Utah’s 10 previous games coming into Detroit, Kanter and Favors had been paired up in seven of them for a combined 44 minutes. Kanter and Favors played just 11 minutes together in San Antonio, but in that time, the Jazz outscored the Spurs by 22.
“I feel really comfortable playing with [Favors] on the court because I know he’s always got my back and he plays really hard,” Kanter said.
The Jazz are in a rebuilding year and have one of the youngest rosters in the league. But no team’s starters are younger than Detroit’s.
Brandon Jennings, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Josh Smith, Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond make up the youngest starting lineup in the league, with an average age of 23 years and 175 days.
Growing up in the Seattle area, Marvin Williams played AAU basketball with Detroit’s Rodney Stuckey.
“Believe it or not, he was the tough guy on the team,” Williams said of the Pistons guard. Stuckey showed a little mean streak Friday, picking up a flagrant foul for hip checking Alec Burks on a breakaway.