His curve for learning is shortening. He's learning things on the fly. He's wanting to get better every night he steps on the floor —Tyrone Corbin, coach
Game 4: San Antonio Spurs (3) at Utah Jazz (0), 6 p.m. MT, Monday at EnergySolutions Arena (TNT)
SALT LAKE CITY — Coach Tyrone Corbin said he'd "probably" stick with the same starters tonight in what could be the Utah Jazz's final game.
But Corbin left the door open for inserting second-year big man Derrick Favors into the first five in this must-win Game 4 against the San Antonio Spurs.
"We'll look at that," Corbin said.
The second-year coach has been impressed with the play of the 20-year-old, who has averaged 10.3 points, a team-high 9.3 rebounds and played stifling defense in 26.3 minutes per game this series. Favors averaged 8.8 points, 6..5 rebounds and 21.3 minutes during the regular season.
"He's done a great job," Corbin said of the 6-10 Favors. "Whether (it's) him starting or just finding a way, I think we do need to find a way to get him more minutes on the floor. His development is coming up that fast. How we do that we'll see going forward."
Though Favors is only shooting 39.3 percent from the field, he's been the most consistent Jazz player overall this series. In fact, San Antonio has only outscored Utah by one point in the 79 minutes in which Favors has been on the floor. In the 65 minutes with Favors on the bench, the Jazz have been outscored by 57 points.
Corbin said Favors' "competitive nature and desire" have really stood out. His progression has, too.
"His curve for learning is shortening. He's learning things on the fly. He's wanting to get better every night he steps on the floor," Corbin said. "His determination and desire to win and compete is really showing now. Even though we haven't had success winning games that we want, he's really demonstrating that he has that other level in him."10 comments on this story
The losses are stoking a growing fire inside of Favors, his coach believes.
"He feel like somebody takes something away from him every loss," Corbin said. "You look at his face and you watch his demeanor — he's really (ticked) after the loss. You want it in everybody. It's great to see."
Corbin is excited to see what it makes Favors do, too.
"It's a bad taste in his mouth. He don't like it," Corbin said. "He want to get better and he want to compete, and that's the thing that will drive you to continue to work to get better."