Oh. Huh. That WAS last week. And Rodney's missed the last three games with his persistent foot injury. And Patrick Christopher, who started against the Hawks but promptly injured his knee five minutes into the game, has now been waived by the Jazz. It's a cruel league sometimes.
Then again, on the fringes of the NBA, one man's loss is another man's gain:
D-League Santa Cruz G Elliott Williams is expected to sign a 10-day contract with the Jazz soon,sources said. He is in SLC taking a physical— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) January 6, 2015
The news hadn't been made official at time of writing, but the waiving of Christopher leaves little doubt about this report's veracity. Thus, Elliot Williams will become the latest contestant in Dennis Lindsey's Marginal NBA Swingman Roulette Extravaganza.
The Jazz are getting a good look at a lot of guys. Chances are Dennis Lindsey will find his Danny Green.— David J. Smith (@davidjsmith1232) January 6, 2015
Amar's got a more detailed write-up here. Normally, the signing of a D-League player to a 10-day contract on a team with a full roster would barely merit a mention, but as Dustin said on Monday...that's just the kind of season we're dealing with. And as he also said, it could be worse.
Anyway, this could be more than just a 10-day flyer on a relative unknown, because of the Jazz's injury situation. Hood's status is uncertain, but with Burks out for the year, Christopher cut, and Ian Clark seemingly solidified in a backup PG role, Williams can step right in and fight fellow 10-day hopeful Elijah Millsap for backup swingman minutes. (It seems likely that, in Hood's absence, either Joe Ingles or Dante Exum will start, assuming Trey Burke is healthy.)
Millsap played 18 minutes against the Pacers on Monday, though some of that was due to Burke's illness and Exum's consequential starting role. On the other hand Patrick Christopher started against the Hawks, and he seemed ready to play serious minutes that game before his injury. So it would appear that Lindsey and Quin Snyder are, as they've said, not afraid to "kick the tires" on these NBA hopefuls.
That's good news for Elliot Williams, and at least another storyline wrinkle for us Jazz fans. Something to keep an eye on, anyway.
Speaking of Joe Ingles, he's been a fascinating player to watch this season. His counting stats are marginal at best -- around three points, two assists and two rebounds in 17 minutes per game -- but his increased role due to injuries has him averaging nearly eight points, four assists and five rebounds over the last three games. Advanced-stat wise, he's just about at replacement-level. But he's a sure ball handler, a willing passer, and created several turnovers late in Monday's game against the Pacers to keep the Jazz in it.
Maybe that's why he's gotten so much playing time from Quin Snyder -- Ingles seems completely willing to be the cog in the Jazz machine that helps wheels like Gordon Hayward turn.
Here's a snippet from the DN's Mike Sorensen on that point:
Ingles prefers to talk about the team than himself and understands the team concept.
"When you're missing three pretty important players, it's a whole different game,'' Ingles said. "The good thing is our team and our offense and they we play is pretty team-oriented and everyone passes the ball.''
He was encouraged by the way the Jazz hung in against Indiana after falling behind by 19 before nearly snatching a win in the final seconds.
"The best thing about playing with these guys is the attitude, and obviously we were missing some guys tonight and others had to step in, but we never gave up,'' he said. "That is impressive and now we need to build on that for the next trip.''
What do you think about Ingles' play? He's likely to see even more minutes as the Jazz continue to battle injuries, and I wouldn't be surprised to see him start until Rodney Hood gets healthy. Would you rather see more minutes for Exum, Millsap or the incoming Elliot Williams? I'm listening.
I think Amar already gave this post a shout-out on Twitter, but longtime Dunker BC7 has been keeping track of the referees that have worked Jazz games so far this year:
In the post I wrote last April I explained some of my reasons for tracking referees and the impact they may have on the final score, I won't rehash that here but I will mention that for this season I have expanded my analysis to include the in depth tracking of every Jazz game, rather than just a select few. As mentioned in that post, this includes charting from which position on the floor (lead, trail or center) each official makes a foul call, what percentage of his/her foul calls are against the Jazz, win/loss record (home, away and overall) for each official in Jazz games, and the total number of free throws attempted by each team in Jazz games that official has worked.
And because nobody can get enough of Rudy Gobert these days, here's a twofer of Stifle Tower posts, first from parelkid on his league-wide comparisons:
I recently read an exchange here on the Dunk about Gobert and his rim protection dominance. Jordan Cummins was convinced that Gobert is the best of the league, while jazznerd was skeptical and threw out Andrew Bogut as a possibly better rim protector. This got me thinking about the same topic, so I first did a little digging into who was better between the two at putting the lock and key on the iron. It didn't take long for this adventure to spiral out of control, and I went on to compare him to 14 other guys in the league that seemed to have a dog in the fight.
Meanwhile, Uber_snotling asks if Rudy might just be the Jazz's best player already:
Is Rudy our best player? Maybe. Hayward and Favors are his only competition on the Jazz.
Let's look at some All NBA level accolades. Note that most of these come from basketball reference.
Thanks for the posts, folks. Y'all nailed it.
Speaking of Rudy Gobert, he could have had an even bigger impact on Monday's game against Indiana, but he got into foul trouble early, including a rather questionable call involving C.J. Watson. Well, on Tuesday the NBA doled out this official ruling:
NEW YORK - Indiana Pacers guard C.J. Watson has been fined $5,000 by the NBA for violating the league's anti-flopping rules for the second time this season.
The incident occurred with 7:07 remaining in the first quarter of Indiana's 105-101 victory over the Utah Jazz on Monday, Jan. 5, at EnergySolutions Arena.
I can't embed the video, because the NBA is silly and apparently does not live in the year 20-freaking-15. But take a look and see for yourself if justice was done.
I don't know if you follow Velociraptees on Twitter, and I can't remember if this was featured here over the holidays, but I'm posting it again because it's awesome.