Jazz notes: Rudy Gobert officially out for Game 2; Favors 'good to go'

Jazz notes: Rudy Gobert officially out for Game 2; Favors 'good to go'

LOS ANGELES — Rudy Gobert was at practice with his teammates Monday afternoon and was even shooting free throws and short jumpers during media availability at the UCLA gym where the Jazz held their workout.

While encouraging that the center is moving without crutches after his injury early in Game 1 two days ago, Utah will be without him for the near future.

Gobert has been ruled out for Game 2 against the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday night. The Jazz lead the first-round series 1-0 after shocking the No. 4 seed with a 97-95 win Saturday night.

“His focus now is to try to get back; whether he can do that is another story,” Jazz coach Quin Snyder said. ” Our players … they always want to come back as quick as they can, and he’s no different.”

The Jazz will re-evaluate Gobert later this week and have not provided a timetable on his return. He has been diagnosed with a bone bruise and hyperextension in his left knee.

“His spirits are high,” said Jazz big man Derrick Favors, who’ll start in Gobert’s absence Tuesday. “Hopefully, we’ll get him back in a week or two.”

Playing without a key contributor is nothing new for the Jazz, who have used 23 different starting lineups and had 167 missed man games this year because of medical issues.

“All those disadvantages that we had earlier in the year, with guys going in and out of the lineup due to injury, I think really strengthened our team up,” Jazz point guard George Hill said. “It gave a lot of guys who may not have had a lot of experience some experience to play.”

Hill credited his teammates for rallying together after Gobert went out only 17 seconds into Game 1.

“I like how the guys reacted to that last game,” Hill said. “Jeff Withey, Derrick Favors came in and played big minutes, with Boris and Joe playing some backup big. It just gave us a lot of confidence knowing that we’ve been in that position before, so we’re fine.”

Backup point guard Raul Neto (sprained left ankle) practiced for the first time in more than a week. He is listed as questionable for Game 2.

CENTER OF ATTENTION: Favors was as surprised as anyone when he was forced into action only 17 seconds into Game 1 after Gobert’s injury, but he felt like he got into a groove after calming down. He ended up playing 32 minutes.

“I feel good,” he said. “I was a little fatigued after the game, but overall my knee feels good, my body feels great, so I’m ready for the next game. I’m good to go.”

Favors will start at center for Gobert on Tuesday night.

“I know Game 2 is going to be a lot more physical,” he said. “We’ve just got to be ready for that and come out with the right mindset.”

Hill credited Favors for his efforts in The Stifle Tower’s absence.

“He’s been a warrior all season really trying to fight back from injuries,” Hill said of Favors, who’s battled knee soreness all year. “We know what he’s capable of when he’s healthy and he’s rolling. He gave us a huge spark off the bench for us last game.”

TUNED IN: Snyder was appreciative of how supportive and animated his reserve players were during Game 1, and it was not by accident. The coach credited veteran Boris Diaw for encouraging the subs to be into the game at the end of the bench.

Snyder believes that helps backups play better when their number is called, too.

“One of the best ways to be ready is to be engaged in the game,” Snyder said. “Oftentimes, if you’re emotionally engaged, that allows you to throw yourself into the game — if you’re emotionally engaged on the bench, paying attention, watching the game, seeing how they’re playing pick-and-roll, noticing, observing.”

GAME 2: The Jazz stole home-court advantage away from the Clippers in Game 1, but they’re not satisfied to return to Utah tied 1-1. They want to come home up 2-0, but they know that will be a tough task.

Game 1 hero Joe Johnson said the team needs to remain confident and resilient. He’s expecting the Clippers to play “very hungry and desperate to come out and get a win” against Utah.

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“We’ve got to be just as desperate in Game 2. We can’t be satisfied with just getting one game here,” Johnson said. “Obviously we want to come out and try to be a little greedy, but it’s going to be tough. We can’t play satisfied. We can’t be satisfied.”

RUGBY STYLE: Because of his background and his physical style, Jazz forward Joe Ingles was asked if he ever played Australian Rules Football.

“My shorts are too long for that. They have little baggy shorts on,” the Aussie joked. “Obviously a lot of us grew up playing that sport. It’s a physical sport, but I didn’t like the outdoors and the rain and the mud. I’d much rather the heated gym.”

EMAIL: jody@desnews.com


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Published at Tue, 18 Apr 2017 02:10:00 +0000