The Utah Jazz (4-3) tip off tomorrow (I guess, technically today now that I look at the clock) against the Golden State Warriors (4-0) for their first game of the NBA Playoffs second round. The Warriors are formidable and star studded with Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala, Kevin Durant, and Draymond Green featured prominently. The Jazz do not boast such a top heavy roster, but have to try to make do with depth. That depth was challenged early and often this season as the team started and ended the season with 2+ rotation players being out. Over all there were 23 different starting line-ups and no one group saw much more than 150 minutes together on the court.
That depth is going to be tested again in the second round. (You know, because missing Raul Neto and Rudy Gobert was so easy in the first.) Derrick Favors (#3 pick, 2010 NBA Draft) is listed as questionable for Game 1 tomorrow. Alec Burks (#12 pick, 2011 NBA Draft) is both out of the rotation and potentially out for the season.
Tribune sources: Alec Burks may be shut down for the remainder of the playoffs with current knee injury. Final decision yet to be made— Tony Jones (@tribjazz) April 30, 2017
Favors being questionable is hopefully something that resolves itself with some good hotel rest. (Oakland is too exciting, I guess, it can make someone really focused in their hotel room.) Burks being possibly shut down sucks for me, a Burks homer. His athletic ability, ability to force the ref to make a call, and defensive potential (is it still called potential so many years after he was drafted?) could make him someone who could flourish in a GSW series.
But he was out of the rotation anyway (because Shelvin Mack is The Way and The Light), which doubly sucks for me.
I hope Alec is able to regain some stability at some point, and be healthy. He has not been at all since his 78 game third season in 2013-2014. If we think mike/cookie analogies still matter, he was under 1000 minutes as a rookie, over 1000 as a soph, then played over 2000 in his third year. He was under-dripped, and when he finally was he started to look really good.
Acute injuries and a chronic shoulder injury helped him play 27 games, 31 games, and 42 games over the last three seasons. That’s really bad luck.