There is a quote, commonly (though possibly inaccurately) attributed to Albert Einstein, that goes something like this: "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results." That's what this Jazz season is starting to feel like, especially after last night's narrow loss to the Detroit Pistons. True, one variable has changed: Derrick Favors returned from his longer-than-expected injury absence. And he made his presence felt. But the result was the same.
But there is another quote, commonly seen on awful t-shirts from, like, Hot Topic or something, that says, "I don't suffer from insanity. I enjoy every minute of it." So let's go with that one for the moment.
Hey, Derrick Favors is back! And he looked good, if rusty, in the 20 scant minutes he played. Fav-o finished with 14 points on 5-8 shooting, with five rebounds and an assist. Not bad after so many games on the sideline.
Of course, when God opens a door, he closes like three windows, blows off your shutters and freezes your pipes, because Favors' return coincided with another injury, as Raul Neto caught the business end of a Rudy Gobert elbow. Neto left the game with concussion-like symptoms and didn't return. He was officially diagnosed with a concussion after the game, and while the official NBA concussion policy avoids specific timelines, it can take a few days before symptoms run their course.
In the meantime, rather than bumping up Trey Burke's minutes, the Jazz often played the rest of Monday's game without a point guard, letting Rodney Hood, Gordon Hayward, Joe Ingles and even Chris Johnson handle the ball. Burke, for his part, notched six assists, but threw up a goose-egg 0-8 shooting performance. Moreover, he got torched defensively, as Reggie Jackson pretty much ate every Jazz perimeter defender for lunch. It's another one of those trends that hasn't changed as the Jazz continue to trot out the same personnel. Not that it's easy to alter the roster mid-season, or magically make Dante Exum heal faster, but seeing the same flaw over and over can be maddening.
Speaking of Dante, I can't remember if this was mentioned here before, but earlier this month Red Bull grabbed a brief interview with the young Aussie:
On your team, who's most likely to give up on his New Year's resolution first?
(Fellow Australian) Joe Ingles, because he can't commit to anything.
As the kids say, the proverbial shots have been fired.
Rejoice, my brothers and sisters, for we have FanPosts! We've been over the Gordon Hayward nicknames that jazzyman highlights here, but Combojazz has a more pressing question (that might have a different answer now that he's healthy): Would you trade Derrick Favors?
Derrick Favors is my favorite Jazz player (besides Thelonious Monk). He is demonstrably our best player. However, that doesn't mean much if he's not on the court. If he can't reliably give us 70 games per year, he might be more valuable as a trade asset than as a player.
Also, he has the most trade value compared to anyone else on the team...except Rudy. His contract is a bargain for a high scoring/rebounding/good-at-defending big man, and I'm sure he is highly valued across the league. We could easily get a few good bench players for him, a lottery pick, or with the right package, maybe a blue chipper like Jimmy Butler.
(Extra props for the Thelonious Monk reference.)
Here's an unusual power ranking list, one that attempts to calculate the value of each NBA team's draft picks based on a number of factors. The Jazz rank ninth:
The best part is the bounce right off Drummond's head:
Gordon to Rudy for the SLAM is tonight's @AFCU #InstantRewind ⏪ #DETatUTA https://t.co/M9APprt6zC— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) January 26, 2016