Utah Jazz notes: Kanter-Favors combo turns some heads
Jazz notes • The two young bigs who rarely play together were impressive Friday.
Published: March 15, 2014 06:57PM
Updated: March 15, 2014 08:37PM
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Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune Utah Jazz center Derrick Favors (15) with the dunk over the Los Angeles Clippers during the first half of their game, Friday, March, 14, 2014 at Energy Solutions Arena.

San Antonio • Blake Griffin liked what he saw in Enes Kanter and Derrick Favors.

“They are good. They are physical guys,” Griffin, the Clippers’ all-star forward said Friday night after his team had edged out the Jazz at EnergySolutions Arena. “They can both finish. They can both provide what they need inside. They are still young, so they are still getting better. The sky is the limit for those guys.”

Was Jazz coach Ty Corbin similarly impressed with his young frontcourt?

After Kanter and Favors combined for 29 points and 24 rebounds, Corbin said he’s seeing progress in the pairing of his two young bigs. But he was noncommittal about whether they might see more playing time together if regular starting forward Marvin Williams is healthy enough to play Sunday.

“We’ll look at it. We’ll see how Marvin is and see how much we can get back to it,” Corbin said. “We want to give guys opportunities but we want to play a certain way and make sure guys are earning what they get.”

Kanter and Favors had played 48 minutes together in the first six games of March. But with Williams sidelined Friday, the duo started and logged 24 minutes together against the Clippers.

In that time, they had an offensive rating of 121.4 and a defensive rating of 114.9.

“I love to play with him on the court,” Kanter said of Favors.

“I’m so comfortable. It’s been three years now. I know what he’s going to do and he knows what I’m going to do. So I would like to see more minutes me and him on the court together.”

Breaking through

Jazz point guard Trey Burke looks like he’s busted through the so-called rookie wall.

Over his last four games, Burke is averaging 17 points. But more importantly, the Jazz’s young floor general is hitting his shots. Burke is shooting 50 percent from the floor in that stretch and better than 40 percent from 3-point range.

“That makes it easier for everybody else,” Favors said. “He’s out there knocking down shots. It means guys have to start guarding him and that makes it easier for bigs and the other players.”

The tipping point

The Jazz have been out of the playoff picture for a while.

But now it’s official. According to playoffstatus.com, Utah was mathematically eliminated from contention for the postseason when Memphis beat Philadelphia on Saturday.