The guy who is perhaps the biggest key to a Jazz victory on Wednesday doesn't remember an NBA without Tim Duncan playing for the San Antonio Spurs. More importantly, he still doesn't know if he will be able to play.
Derrick Favors missed his fifth game Sunday with plantar fasciitis in his right foot after pulling himself out of the lineup after warmups preceding the Jazz's 117-110 win over the Lakers in Los Angeles.
"I went out there and worked out before the game," he said. "It felt good, but I still felt a little pain it so I decided to shut it down."
The Jazz (12-10) can only hope Favors has recovered fully by Wednesday, when they host the Spurs. In parts of three seasons with the Jazz, Favors has played some of his best games against the Spurs (18-4) and Duncan whom the Spurs drafted when Favors was 6 years old.
Favors recorded double-doubles in games 3 and 4 of the Spurs' first-round sweep of the Jazz in last year's playoffs.
"I wanted to win at least one of the games," he said. "Just going out there, playing hard."
In 17 games this season, Favors is averaging 9.3 points, 7.5 points and 1.88 blocks per game. After missing five games, in which the Jazz went 3-2, Favors practiced Tuesday and is expected to be a game-time decision against the Spurs.
Whether his foot is better or not, Favors is ready to return.
"It's tough sitting back there in the locker room watching the team play," he said.
However, he said he knows he can't rush his recovery.
"It's just something I've got to deal with," he said, "and just be responsible about it."
Whoa and woe
The Jazz and Spurs couldn't be more different when it comes to their road performance. Despite a convincing win over the Lakers on Sunday, the Jazz are just 4-9 on the road. The Spurs, however, have been more dominant away from the AT&T Center than they have been at their home arena.
The Spurs are 11-2 on the road and 7-2 at home. However, something will have to give when they come to EnergySolutions Arena, where the Jazz are 8-1.