The Utah Jazz played four games this last week. They started things off with a tough loss on the road to the Sacramento Kings 114-106. Utah followed it up with a second game in two nights rare win over the New York Knicks, 106-85. Utah finished the week off with a home and home against the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Jazz dropped both games 94-90, and 104-98 (OT). Overall the team is struggling to finish games, but easy to struggle when you're playing without two starters. But how did the "Big Three" players , , and do?
Let's check it out:
is playing this era starter minutes, hogging 35.30 mpg, and 141.18 total minutes of on-court action. He hasn't shot better at any other point in the season, got for .51 / .63 / .79. Sure, the whole team is leaving points on the table with the poor free throw shooting, but Gordon has been taking and making shots all over the court. He knows he has to step up to help this team win games, and he's doing just that.
Hayward dripped 12 of 19 threes over the past week, and put in work on the glass as well. One thing holding him back is his turn overs, he had 11 in the four games, and only 15 assists. That's the pressure you're under when you're the best player on a team playing without two starters.
This Week's Performance: 20.75 ppg (.5091 / .6316 / .7895), 6.0 rpg, 3.75 apg, 1.75 spg, 0.25 bpg
Star Meter: With Gobert out, and more of the focus put on him, Gordon will have to go into his "Butler" mode more and more. He loves pressure. He lives for this. It's not secret this was his best week of the season, when his team needed him most. His star will continue to rise with performances like he had in the last four games.
Lots of people see that with Gobert out the biggest change falls on Favors' shoulders. It's true. For one, Favors is now playing Center again. Second, the Jazz are playing small most of the time now as well. (And yes, you're still playing small with Booker out there, he's 6'7 in socks.) He's seeing more pressure in the paint on defense, and despite an excellent offensive game against the Knicks (20 points, 8/13 shooting, 4/4 from the line) he didn't produce the way the team needs of him right now. That's not a failing on his part, that's just that right now he needs to emerge as a star player on both ends of the court.
He played 140.87 minutes this last week, and that's a lot of time on the court for stats. I don't think that he was happy with his performance this week.
This Week's Performance: 15.25 ppg (.4643 / -- / .6923), 8.75 rpg, 1.25 apg, 0.75 spg, 0.75 bpg
Star Meter: With Rudy out Favors has more of the limelight to soak up. I think he will this coming week.
Rudy didn't play. The Jazz' struggles will help the national conversation keep Rudy in mind if he's still out of sight. If the team was rolling with him out it would diminish his perceived value.
This Week's Performance: --
Star Meter: I'm keeping him at four stars right now, I expect to see him pick up from where he left off.
It's not just a two man team without Rudy. Other players are stepping up all over the place, even if the team only went 1-3 over the last week.
(133.38 mins, 33.46 mpg): 13.50 ppg, 3.50 rpg, 2.00 apg, 0.75 spg, 10/27 shooting from downtown, .3704. A huge part of that was the first game where he went 5/8 from outside, and the last game of the week where he went 4/9 from outside. The middle two games had him struggle with 1/10.
(112.92 mins, 28.23 mpg): 16.00 ppg, 3.00 rpg, 3.00 apg, 0.50 spg, 7.50 FTA/Game. Alec did not shoot well this week (.3704 / .3077 / .6667), but still found a way to be only -2 this week in a three loss week.G-Time was a -1. It was a tough week.
- (99.15 mins, 24.79 mpg): 8.00 ppg, 6.75 rpg, 1.25 apg, 0.75 spg, 0.25 bpg. Booker is getting a lot more minutes now that Rudy is out, and he's putting his energy to use on the box score. He's not effective game to game, but for the week he did manage to shoot .5652. A big part of that is that he only took one three this week. And a point there is that if he's not spacing the floor with threes, then he's just with a thicker body out there.
- (91.58 mins, 22.90 mpg): 13.25 ppg, 3.50 apg, 1.75 rpg, 0.75 spg, .3913 from deep, making 2.25 threes a game. Trey's minutes are down from previous seasons but he continues to flourish in his role. He finished this week at a +15 in +/-, second only to Booker's +20 out of the big minute guys.
Honorable mentions:needs to start, he continues to be small sample size amazing with 4.00 ppg, 4.75 rpg, and good work on defense in the 13.73 mpg he gets . . . somehow played 91.35 minutes this week, at least he's averaging 5.50 rpg . . . has supplanted this week playing 45.90 minutes to 3.02. He didn't hit anything (going 2/11 and 0/6 from deep), but his defense was appreciated . . . is quietly getting better, but few are noticing . . . went 2/8 from deep this week. I do not expect him to ever shoot that poorly from there again.
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