Jazz notes: Minutes tighten with team at full strength

First Published      Last Updated Jan 08 2017 09:09 pm

Jazz notes » Snyder calls it a challenge, but a good one.

Memphis • Dante Exum came off the injury report Wednesday and George Hill followed two days later, which left the former in an unfamiliar spot.

For just the second and third times in his young career, Exum was a healthy scratch at Minnesota and Memphis this weekend. But with the Jazz finally at full strength, and still only 240 minutes to divvy up among 13 players each night, things will be a little tighter for a number of Jazzmen.

"Now it's going to be a different challenge for us," coach Quin Snyder said. "We're going to have guys who played significant minutes at important times who aren't going to be playing as much."

As challenges go, Snyder said, "I think it's a good one. I think all the players would agree."

Exum played seven minutes against the Toronto Raptors following a two-week absence caused by tendinitis in his left knee and didn't see the court Saturday in Minnesota.

With Derrick Favors getting closer to full strength, there have been fewer minutes to go around at power forward, too. Boris Diaw, who has started 19 games for the Jazz this season, played just three minutes in Toronto and 11 in Minnesota.

Meanwhile, shooting guard Alec Burks' continued progress could eventually create a bit of a logjam on the wing.

"Sometimes it's going to be a little harder to find your rhythm," Snyder said. "Minutes aren't always going to be as consistent. But then again, hopefully we won't be as fatigued. There are all those other things that come with that that are positive."

Sniping the sniper

Favors has been working to expand his range.

"I've got to," he said with a smile. "Got to find other ways to score. You can't dunk everything."

But even after calmly sinking the biggest shot of the night in Saturday's win over the Timberwolves — a corner 3-pointer late in the game, with the shot clock winding down — don't give Favors that stretch-four label just yet.

"It was just kind of a breakdown of a play," he said. "It just happened. It wasn't a designed play like that."

Favors' bucket gave his teammates a boost of confidence Saturday. But they may not extend that same confidence to the career 3-of-20 3-point shooter next time.

"If he shoots a 3," said center Rudy Gobert, "I'll go rebound."

Slow, steady

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