The Jazz desperately need Derrick Favors to be productive this season.
He delivered in the second half against Portland on Wednesday night.
Favors finished with 10 points, 17 rebounds and two blocked shots during the Trail Blazers' 99-92 preseason victory over Utah at EnergySolutions Arena.
After going scoreless in the first half, however, Favors went 4 for 5 from the field and grabbed 11 rebounds in only 13 minutes. It was a breakout performance for the Jazz's young power forward, who had scored only 19 points on 7-for-26 shooting in Utah's first three preseason games.
"Just getting into a rhythm," Favors said. "Just finding my rhythm [and] being patient. I've been thinking too much trying to be somebody I'm not. I just have to be myself. â¦ I have to go out there and play my game."
According to coach Tyrone Corbin, Favors facilitated his second-half performance against Portland by being more active.
"I thought he moved," Corbin said. "We were able to get him the ball on the move more. â¦ The guys did a good job finding him going to the basket."
Inside, Favors' presence helped the Jazz limit the Trail Blazers to 42 percent shooting.
"I thought he did a tremendous job on the boards 15 or 16 defensive rebounds and he controlled the paint for us," Corbin said.
Some progress on defense
The Jazz were defenseless in a 106-74 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers last Saturday night and, at times, they struggled with Portland's pick-and-roll.
Still, Corbin was encouraged by what he witnessed especially during the Blazers' 41-point first half.
"Our hands, our effort," he said. "We got a lot of hands on a lot of balls tonight because we were in the right spot. â¦ For the most part, we were up early and had active hands. The rotations on the weak side were pretty good. I thought we showed a lot of good signs."
Mo makes coach happy
Ex-Jazz point guard Mo Williams scored a preseason-high 17 points for Portland.
"Mo did what we want him to do," said Blazer coach Terry Stotts. "That's one of the reasons we got him. He's a secondary ball-handler [and] creator. He can make shots [and] make plays for everybody else. He's got speed. â¦ He has composure. He knows the game."