“Back to what I do” says a calm, cool, and collected Derrick Favors to a group of reporters Monday morning following shoot-around. “I’m ready for it” he assures, when asked about his increased workload following the news of All-NBA Center Rudy Gobert’s knee injury.
Favors has been here before. As a integral piece of Utah’s scheme for nearly the past decade, Favors has found himself in this position before in answering questions regarding switching positions and increasing/decreasing workload.
It happened in 2015 when Gobert missed 20+ games with a knee injury. It happened last season in the playoffs when Gobert when down just seconds into game one against the Clippers. Favors’ flexibility and positive attitude have come through for the Jazz in similar times before, and Utah is hoping they come through once again this season.
Losing Rudy Gobert for a solid chunk of the season is an unfortunate curse for the Utah Jazz, but squinting at the situation one might find some silver linings in what may come to pass for Derrick Favors these next four to six weeks.
In the final year of his four-year, $46 Million deal with the Utah Jazz, Favors finds himself needing to prove his worth yet again. Whether he resigns with the Jazz or elsewhere this summer, He can use this time as the primary option in Utah’s front court to earn him some more money. and another good contract to further his career in the NBA.
In the first game this season sans Gobert this season, Favors turned back the clock and played arguably his most impressive game in years. He scored 24 points on 9-15 shooting, and grabbed 12 rebounds along with 2 blocks. Only once previously had Favors posted such a stat line, which came back in 2015 when he was the feature piece of the Jazz offense.
Favors also seemed to develop some chemistry with point guard Ricky Rubio, something that had not yet came to pass for Rudy Gobert. The Rubio-Favors duo came up big for the Jazz in the pick and roll Saturday night as the Jazz picked up their first win in nearly two weeks.
Seeing Favors cut through the lane on a roll and slam it down over the defender may have convince viewers that they were stuck in 2015. But it’s 2017, and Derrick Favors looks healthy, strong, and ready to roll (definitely pun-intended).