Injuries (and Pilars) pile up as Jazz prepare for Bobcats
About the only way one might think the Jazz could lose to the 13-44 Charlotte Bobcats on Friday is if they failed to show up for the game. But, the Jazz are waiting, as curious as anyone, to see who actually does show up.
Al Jefferson is doubtful with a sprained left ankle, Paul Millsap is a game-time decision with the same injury and DeMarre Carroll will also be a game-time decision with a bone bruise and patellar tendinitis in his left knee.
The Jazz host the Bobcats on Friday at 7 p.m. at EnergySolutions Arena.
Meanwhile on Thursday, both Millsap and Randy Foye were away from the team for the births of daughters. Foye and his wife had their third daughter, Pilar, while Millsap and his girlfriend became parents to Paular (pronounced the same as Foye's daughter, "puh-LAHR").
Same birthday and nearly the same name.
"It's cool," Foye said. "We didn't actually know that they were going in on the same day to be induced until probably three, four days ago. We joked about that. I've never heard about that before I think that's probably once in a lifetime." So shorthanded, though, were the Jazz at Thursday's practice, that 6-foot-8 Gordon Hayward slid over to play center, defending Enes Kanter.
"He did pretty well," said Kanter, who will likely get his second career start against the Bobcats. "He's pretty strong."
Hayward was sheepish about his role, although Mo Williams said the backup swingman drew a travel against Kanter.
"I was mainly just a screener," Hayward said. said. "They needed me for defense, blocking shots, that sort of stuff."
Millsap has already missed one game with the injury, Wednesday's loss to the Atlanta Hawks. Derrick Favors started in his place, finishing with 17 points and 15 rebounds.
After missing only 14 games due to injury in his career, Millsap said his status for Friday would depend on whether his lateral movement improves. He said he was able Friday to run in straight lines and get some shots up.
If both Jefferson and Millsap sit against the Bobcats, it would likely mean the first time Kanter and Favors, third overall picks in back-to-back drafts, start a game together.
The Jazz have lost three games in a row, and start a four-game Eastern Conference road trip Monday at Milwaukee.
"We're just not lucky right now," Kanter said. "We've struggled the last three in a row and two of the best players got hurt but you can't do anything about it. We just go out there and just play."