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Utah Jazz mailbag: What’s up with the slow offense? Is Favors actually healthy?

First Published      Last Updated Apr 20 2017 01:02 pm

Tribune Jazz beat reporter Tony Jones will answer readers' questions in a Twitter mailbag after each playoff game. You can submit questions using the hashtag #TonyTalks. Here are the questions after Game 2.

Tony's reply • Trey Lyles is out of the rotation at this point, and the only way he gets meaningful minutes in this series will be as a last resort.

The Jazz are starting Boris Diaw at power forward. Joe Johnson will soak up a lot of minutes, and Joel Bolomboy would see minutes there in the case of extreme foul trouble.

Lyles has a bright future with the Jazz, but he's not in the current rotation.

Tony's reply • I don't think Derrick Favors is 100 percent, but he looks a lot better than he did a month ago. The rest has done him well.

He's regained some of his lift and explosion off the floor. He's rebounding the ball, and he's rolling to the basket and dunking the ball with authority.

This has to continue for the Jazz to have any shot at winning the games Rudy Gobert misses with his hyperextended knee. With Gobert sidelined, Favors is Utah's best hope at a counter for DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin. So he's an important piece right now.

Tony's reply • Good observation. Pace is one of Utah's biggest negatives offensively through the first two games in this series. They are getting into sets late, and that's had a big impact on the quality of shots the offense is yielding.

The Jazz never are going to be the Houston Rockets or Golden State Warriors. That's just not what they do.

At the same time, there's a big difference between the Jazz getting into their sets with 15 seconds remaining on the shot clock versus getting into their sets with 10 seconds remaining. It's been the latter for the Jazz too often in this series.

The Clippers have a hand in this. Chris Paul and Raymond Felton, their two point guards, are pressuring George Hill and Shelvin Mack full court, making them advance the ball against pressure, and it's working. The Clippers also are denying simple passes on the perimeter, making the Jazz catch the ball a step farther out on the court than they are normally used to. Utah can counter this with more backdoor cuts in the offense.

The Jazz also can have the guys Paul and Felton aren't guarding — people like Gordon Hayward, Joe Ingles and Rodney Hood — bring the ball up the floor and initiate the offense.

Tony's reply • It's got to be Aaron because he always demands we leave the hotel four hours before the game, thus cutting my pregame naps short.




 

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