Utah Jazz notes: Hayward's shooting struggles continue

Published February 25, 2014 4:29 pm

Jazz swingman shooting 30% during six-game stretch.
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Gordon Hayward was on the practice court early Tuesday morning, working with Jazz player development assistant Johnnie Bryant, watching film and trying to hone a shooting touch that has failed him all too often of late.

In what has been a disappointing season as a whole when it comes to his shot, the last six games have been particularly rough for the fourth-year swingman, who is converting just 30 percent of his attempts — and only 19 percent from 3 — in that stretch. For Hayward, advice on how to fix things has come from all over.

"I have people telling me all kinds of things," he said.

Jazz coach Ty Corbin, who has praised Hayward for contributing in other ways when his shot hasn't fallen, does not believe it's a matter of mechanics.

"He maybe rushed a couple," Corbin said of Hayward's 4-of-11 night against Boston, which included a pair of missed layups. "But mechanics-wise, other than not being ready and rushing when he gets it, his shot's good and his form up top is good. … He's just rushing. It's just a little something that clicks and you've got to get it click back. That's all."

First-year Celtics boss Brad Stevens said he believes his former star pupil will pull out of his funk soon enough.

"I wouldn't be concerned if I were you," Stevens said Monday. "His mental makeup is high level."

Popcorngate

A day after center Rudy Gobert's car was filled with popcorn, retribution for failing to fulfill his rookie responsibility of bringing donuts to shootaround, no one around the Jazz camp was willing to take responsibility.

Corbin, Hayward and Derrick Favors all offered "no comments" and smiles.

Looking back on his rookie year, Hayward said his car never got the popcorn treatment because he "never messed up. Me and Jeremy [Evans] were the best rookies this team's ever seen."

As proof, he offered a YouTube video of he and Evans as rookies singing happy birthday to Al Jefferson at a practice in 2011.

"I haven't seen anybody beat that," Hayward said.

Feeling good

Favors, who played 29 minutes Monday after missing three straight games with injury, said his right hip was holding up well Tuesday.

"It feels good," he said. "It's a little sore but not too bad."