It had to happen sometime.
The Utah Jazz enjoyed one week of training camp without injury, but that will change for Wednesday night’s game against Maccabi Haifa. The team reported at shootaround that guards Donovan Mitchell (hamstring tightness) and Raul Neto (quad tightness) will not play.
If the injuries sound somewhat minor and the Jazz seem overly circumspect about dealing with muscle tightness, that’s because they are. Mitchell and Neto were suited up for shootaround Wednesday morning (Mitchell missed Tuesday’s practice), but the Jazz aren’t about to push injuries in the preseason.
“We had planned on doing that anyway frankly,” coach Quin Snyder said. “We practiced really hard yesterday. We knew that, anticipated it a little bit testing our depth.”
That opens the rotation in the backcourt against Utah’s Israeli opponent. Alec Burks and Royce O’Neale should be in the mix earlier in the game, while players who didn’t get on the floor against the Sydney Kings actually may get off the bench Wednesday.
Look for Nate Wolters, Nazareth-Mitrou Long or Taylor Braun to perhaps get their first minutes with the Jazz. Snyder said he appreciated how the men on the end of the training camp roster had composed themselves so far.
“Those guys have been terrific. It’s hard to be 16 through 20 in camp,” he said. “I’ve been through that with the Spurs. … They want to be in the NBA, you don’t get as many reps. Psychologically, you just have to be ready to go.”