The Utah Jazz will be without their star center Rudy Gobert for at least two more weeks.
Gobert, who has missed the last two weeks with a sprained knee he suffered against the Boston Celtics, was re-evaluated on Saturday. The Jazz said he is making progress toward a return, but that he will need at least a few more weeks in the healing process.
“The thing about Rudy is, he’s been great about staying connected to the team,” Jazz coach Quin Snyder said. “But we don’t have an advent calendar, or anything, trumpeting his return. We see him every day, so we know it’s going to be when it is, and we’ll be glad to have him back when he’s ready.”
Without Gobert, the Jazz have been starting Derrick Favors in the middle, but it’s been clear the Jazz have missed Gobert’s defensive presence and finishing ability on the offensive end.
This is the difficult part: When Gobert went down against the Celtics, he was just getting back to being himself after originally missing 11 games with a knee sprain and a bone bruise.
So when he comes back, whenever that is, the Jazz will have to reintegrate him into the offense for a second time this season.
“It’s going to be an adjustment when he comes back,” Snyder said. “But it’s something that we will have to go through and get through.”
Gobert’s making progress. He’s back on the floor in non-contact situations, getting a few shots up with assistant coaches. He’s a fixture in the lockerroom before and after games. He sits with the Jazz on the bench during games. He’s doing everything he can to remain an active part of the team.
Now, as January comes, the Jazz just want him to get healthy and stay healthy for the remainder of the season.
Jazz point guard Ricky Rubio was formally honored before Saturday night’s game against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Rubio was given the NBA’s Community Assist Award for November on Friday. Rubio went on to score 10 points, grab six rebounds and hand out four assists against the Cavaliers in Saturday’s first half.
Cleveland forward LeBron James and Utah forward Thabo Sefolosha were handed technical fouls early in the third quarter after getting mixed up following a turnover. Sefolosha started his second consecutive game at power forward, after not playing against the Denver Nuggets earlier in the week.