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Utah Jazz Big Three Round-Up Week 8: Stepping up is hard

When the team needs a hero . . . no one came to show up

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Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

OH MY WHAT A HORRIBLE WEEK! The Utah Jazz went 1-2 and as a team things are not going very well. The Jazz played each game without two starters, and in another were out an addition Australian player. It wasn't pretty. Utah got taken out behind the wood shed by the San Antonio Spurs (118-81 loss). The team responded to that embarrassment by letting the New Orleans Pelicans win one in Utah, in a come from behind victory late in the 4th quarter, 104-94. The Jazz avoided losing five straight games by beating the Denver Nuggets 97-88. Clearly this team isn't very deep, and will be in trouble every game they don't have all three of their Big Three of Gordon Hayward, Derrick Favors, and Rudy Gobert playing. Did anyone step up this week? Did anyone at least 'maintain'? Yikes.

Let's check it out:


Gordon Hayward:

Gordon Hayward is supposed to be our star guy. He's the only guy who gets called to Las Vegas to run with Team USA. He's on the side of the building. He's the face of the franchise. And well, he's the focus of the defense. Right now he's not equal to the task at hand. He played 97.37 minutes, and it would have been more this week had the team not been in such a blowout against the Spurs. (How bad was it? In 22.08 minutes against San Antone, Gordon was -44 in +/-.) Hayward still averaged 32.46 mpg this week, by far it was the most of any player on the team. As a result we'd expect the greatest on-court performance as a result.

His shooting was a mixed bag. He only shot 11.00 times a game, but still shot only .3939 FG%. He did take 4.67 threes a game, and made half of those. That's good. He also got to the free throw line 7.00 times a game, that's great! Unfortunately he only shot .8095 FT% from the line. That's good, but not great. It's not all about scoring for Gordon, but at some point he needs to lead this team offensively. Other stars do, despite having all the defensive attention on them. G-Time needs to get more Miller time in his game.

This Week's Performance: 16.67 ppg (.3939 / .5000 / .8095), 3.67 rpg, 2.67 apg, 0.33 spg, 0.00 bpg

Star Meter: I think a first option who only scores 16 ppg is not a first option you can build around. Even Kendall Gill used to drop 20+ a night with the New Jersey Nets when he was the first option on a lotto team. Gordon's star is dimming.

Star Star Star


Derrick Favors:

I think no one misses Rudy as much as Derrick does. Being forced to play center once again Favors is good enough, but not great. He played the second most minutes on the team, 94.83 total, and 31.61 mpg. He had poor shooting nights against the Spurs and the Nuggets. But still found a way to contribute on both sides of the court. One good thing about Derrick has been his ability to be such a game changer on defense with both steals, blocks, defensive boards, and straight-up not getting beat by his man.

One bad thing about Favors is that he's just not able to be on the court for massive minutes, as a result he may end up being someone who has less of an overt impact on the game due to his minutes being perpetually closer to 30 than 36. If I'm going to knock Gordon for failing to hit 20 for the week, I'm going to have to knock Derrick for his rebounds. Agreed, a huge part in both issues is the Spurs game (4 points for Gordon, 3 rebounds for Derrick), but that game still counts against the record. And the record shows that this week Favors wasn't as big as we needed him to be.

This Week's Performance: 15.00 ppg (.4865 / -- / .6923), 6.33 rpg, 1.67 apg, 1.00 spg, 0.67 bpg

Star Meter: I think that Favors is too often forgotten by his teammates down the stretch. He has Karl Malone 20/10 potential. He's just playing with a bunch of guys who are less patient with setting him up. A week's work of 15 and 6 isn't good enough, so I have to drop him from four stars to three.

Star StarStar


Rudy Gobert:

Once again Rudy didn't play. And we miss him very much.

This Week's Performance: --

Star Meter: The team looks like they can beat anyone with Rudy in the lineup. And they look so vulnerable without him. He may very well be our brightest star after all.

Star Star StarStar



Stepping Up:

With two starters up you need bench players to step up. We didn't exactly get that this week, but we had a number of players putting in work when their numbers were called.

  • Trey Burke: Burke has been putting in work all season long, this week he averaged 11.67 ppg, 3.00 rpg, 3.00 apg, and was perfect from the free throw line. While he only shot .4194 FG% this week he was still effective off the bench, especially in the only win of the week.
  • Trevor Booker: Booker averaged 25.17 mpg this week, fourth best on the team. In that time he averaged 8.33 ppg, 5.33 rpg, 1.67 spg, and was instrumental in the Nuggets victory. While he has made a name for himself with missing layups, he did shoot .6000 FG% this week, and made a huge three down the stretch against Denver.
  • Rodney Hood: Hood continues to start and played 25.53 mpg. He did not shoot very well, but still has the green light (and really, on this team we need him to have that). He averaged 8.33 ppg, 2.67 rpg, 2.33 apg, and made sure to stretch the defense when he could. He did shoot 2.67 threes a game, but only made .2500 3PT% of them. It wasn't a great week for Rodney.
  • Alec Burks: It was an even worse week for Alec in the shooting department -- he actually shot worse than Hood did this week. Alec did still average 8.00 ppg, 3.33 rpg, 1.67 apg, and got to the free throw line 4.00 times a game off the bench. But man, you can't shoot 1/7 from deep the same week Hood shoots 2/8. The "Shooting Guard" spot kind of becomes an ironic statement then.
  • Raul Neto: Raul shot great. He was on fire going 11/15 from the field, 5/6 from three, and 1/1 from the free throw line. He averaged 9.33 ppg in 15.38 mpg. That's a super high scoring rate. He also added 1.33 rpg, and 1.00 apg as the starter. That said, well, is 9 / 1/ /1 good enough from a starting player? Yeesh.
  • Joe Ingles: He played in two of the three games this week, and averaged 4.50 ppg, 2.50 apg, 1.00 rpg, and 2.50 spg. He only shot 1/6 from deep this week, but it's nice to see his defensive effort and hustle even if he's not playing a lot.

Honorable mentions: Jeff Withey averaged 4.33 ppg, 3.00 rpg, and 1.33 bpg this week, can he play more? . . . Trey Lyles averaged 19.98 mpg this week and he shot .5000 FG%, baby steps . . . Elijah Millsap and Chris Johnson are probably not rotation players on a playoff team . . . Tibor Pleiss was recalled to the Jazz from the Stampede.


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