Utah Jazz notebook: Jazz teammates have injured point guard Trey Burke on their minds
Matt Gade, Deseret News
SALT LAKE CITY — Trey Burke wasn’t around the Utah Jazz on Wednesday, and understandably so.
The rookie point guard remained at his Utah home to rest a day after undergoing surgery Tuesday afternoon to repair his fractured right index finger.
Burke wasn’t with his teammates for the morning shootaround or for Wednesday’s game against Portland, but he remained on his teammates’ minds.
John Lucas III, who’s holding down the fort at point guard until Burke’s return, wanted to let the first-year player rest Tuesday but planned on reaching out to him Wednesday.
“He is one of our teammates. He’s our brother,” Lucas said. “He’s going to be a leader on our team, so we’ve always got to have each other’s back.”
Derrick Favors had some simple words of advice for Burke, who will be re-evaluated in three weeks.
“The only thing that you can tell him at this point,” Favors said, “is just to keep his head up, don’t let that injury get to him, make sure he stays in shape.”
ROUGH START: In three starts coming into Wednesday’s game, Favors was struggling to find his scoring touch. The Jazz’s 6-10 big man only hit 26.9 percent of his shots in Utah’s first week of preseason play, averaging just 6.3 points.
“I’m just missing shots," Favors said. “My shot's off right now, but I’ve been working on it. Hopefully, it will start falling.”
Favors said teams haven’t been paying extra attention to him in the paint. He put the blame on himself and said he’s still “getting the chemistry down with everybody” on this revamped Jazz squad.
“(I’m) just trying to find that comfort zone and getting into a rhythm,” he said. “You know where you get your shots from. Just get the flow of the offense down.”
Favors scored 10 points on 4-for-7 shooting with 17 rebounds in Wednesday's preseason loss to Portland.
HIS CHANCE: Lester Hudson was a late invitation to the Jazz’s training camp after former Weber State guard Nick Covington couldn’t attend for unspecified reasons. The point guard had only played in one game before getting a chance to back up Lucas on Wednesday.
Hudson, who played collegiately at Tennessee-Martin, is hoping to convince Jazz brass to keep him on the team instead of former Iona star Scott Machado.
“I’ve shown them that I can play both spots (point and shooting guard) and have energy on both ends of the floor. I can make shots. I can defend,” Hudson said at Wednesday’s shootaround. “I’ve just got to show them when the opportunity comes. You can’t just show them in practice. You’ve got to show them in the games, too.”
Hudson, who recorded the only quadruple-double in NCAA history, was drafted by Boston late in the second round in 2009. The stocky 6-3 playmaker also spent limited time with Washington, Cleveland and Memphis in the past few seasons along with stops in the D-League and China.
The benefit of bouncing around from so many teams?
“Learning from different teams and different coaches that you’ve got to learn things quick on the fly,” Hudson said. “There’s no excuses, so you’ve just got to go out and work hard and pay attention.”
Hudson played 27 minutes Wednesday, scoring nine points with four rebounds and two assists. Machado didn't play.
TINSLEY TIME? Former Jazz point guard Jamaal Tinsley and Utah have "mutual interest," according to his agent, Raymond Brothers. The Jazz are in need of point guard help in Burke's absence, but it remains unclear whether the organization will look outside — to limited available free agents or via a trade — to find a No. 2 or No. 3 point guard.
Tinsley is a possibility and could come in with a good grasp of the system after playing here for two seasons. However, his agent added, "There's nothing going on right now."
INJURY LIST: Four of the Jazz’s 19 players currently on the roster were unable to play Wednesday: Burke (finger surgery), forward Dominic McGuire (sore right ankle), forward Marvin Williams (Achilles' heel) and guard Brandon Rush (knee).
HE SAID IT: Lucas at shootaround Wednesday after the Jazz had lost back-to-back preseason games in blowout fashion: “We’re not stressing. We’re not panicking. We’re going to come in. We’re going to play. We’re going to learn from our mistakes and make sure we don’t make the same mistakes twice.”
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