Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Utah Jazz notes: Gordon Hayward hits stride in starting role
Jazz notes » Forward says teammates’ trust bolsters his game.
First Published Mar 31 2012 09:08 pm • Last Updated Apr 01 2012 12:39 am

Los Angeles • Gordon Hayward’s been in the starting lineup, out of the first unit and back in the initial rotation this season, and the Jazz still have 13 games to go.

The Utah small forward’s latest promotion occurred March 20, when Josh Howard was lost to knee surgery. But after bouncing all over the place for the initial three months of the 2011-12 campaign, Hayward has finally been able to lock in.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

In turn, he’s played his best ball since joining the Jazz. The No. 9 overall pick of the 2010 NBA Draft entered a game Saturday against the Los Angeles Clippers averaging 15.8 points, 5.6 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 1.6 blocks and 1 steal during his past five contests. Hayward’s defense had been stronger than ever, while his ballhandling was often superb.

And one of the primary ideas behind Utah coach Tyrone Corbin’s March 5 decision to promote Howard and send Hayward to the bench — putting the ball in the latter’s hands and allowing him to create off the dribble — had quietly been tossed aside.

Not because Corbin was wrong — he was dead on. But with Howard out of action and Hayward constantly attacking as soon as he takes the court, the Jazz’s Al Jefferson, Paul Millsap and Devin Harris have had no choice but to feed the 22-year-old kid who keeps growing.

"I think it’s teammates trusting a little bit more. Just passing the ball out and allowing us to make plays," said Hayward, who entered Friday ranked third on the team in average scoring (10.8) and assists (3.1), while pulling down 3.4 boards. "When they do that, it allows me to be a little freer out there and just kind of play my game a little bit more. I know that they have confidence in me, so I can just do my thing."

Turkish flavor

Utah rookie center Enes Kanter took on veteran point guard Jamaal Tinsley during a playful but intense pregame one-on-one session.

But while Kanter worked on his low post moves, a more intriguing development occurred in the 100 section inside Staples Center.

story continues below
story continues below

A group of about 150 Kanter fans chanted his first name, adding to their devotion with a Turkish flag and a poster of the No. 3 overall pick in 2011.

"They do it for every Turkish player," Kanter said. "But I didn’t know it was that big. It was pretty cool."


Twitter: @tribjazz


Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.