The Jazz were without two of their most veteran players Friday, when Paul Millsap and Jamaal Tinsley missed the game against Oklahoma City at EnergySolutions Arena.
Millsap left Friday to attend the funeral of his grandmother in Atlanta, while Tinsley was away for undisclosed personal reasons. Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin said he hoped both would rejoin the Jazz during the team's three-game, five-day trip to Los Angeles, which starts Saturday against the Lakers at Staples Center.
Millsap's absence opened up the starting role for at least one night for Derrick Favors, the 21-year-old former lottery pick whom many Jazz fans have clamored to see with the first five.
"Derrick is a big part of what we do," Corbin said. "All the guys are going to play; whether they start or don't start, they're important to what we're doing."
Until Earl Watson, who is rehabilitating from April knee surgery, and Tinsley return, combo guards Randy Foye and Alec Burks are expected to spend more time at point guard.
New guys debut
Marvin Williams, Mo Williams and Foye on Friday made their EnergySolutions Arena debuts as members of the Jazz.
All were well familiar with Salt Lake City before the Jazz added them to the roster through trades and free agency. Mo Williams, who started at point guard, spent the 2003-04 season with the Jazz after they drafted him in the second round, while Marvin Williams and Foye played plenty of games here.
"Coming to Utah has always been very difficult," Marvin Williams said. "In my seven years in Atlanta, we always tried to really prepare to get a win here but I don't know how many times we've actually done it."
In fact, all three of the newcomers struggled at the home of the Jazz. Marvin Williams was 2-4 as an opponent, Mo Williams was 2-7, and Foye was 2-8.
The Maynor event
Oklahoma City guard Eric Maynor returned to Salt Lake City on Friday. The only player on the Thunder roster with Jazz ties, Maynor was drafted by Utah in 2009 but was traded before the end of the calendar year to the Thunder.
Maynor missed all of last season with a knee injury and appeared be fully healed going into this season. However, Maynor seems to have moved down the Thunder depth chart, after coach Scott Brooks gave the majority of the backup point guard minutes to second-year player Reggie Jackson in the Thunder's preseason-opening loss at Houston.