All he can do is continue to do what he’s doing and try to prepare himself when he’s able to come back. —Utah Jazz head coach Quin Snyder
SALT LAKE CITY — Jazz coach Quin Snyder and Rudy Gobert both used a version of the same word when asked about the possibility of Derrick Favors’ return before the playoffs.
“I’m hopeful,” Snyder said at Friday’s shootaround session.
“Hopefully,” Gobert said, echoing his coach a few minutes later.
While their hope won’t get Favors back any sooner, it does seem like a good sign that they’re optimistic about having the team’s starting power forward back where he belongs in time for the squad’s first postseason appearance in five years.
Favors hasn’t played since March 6, having missed 12 straight games with a left knee bone bruise that’s bothered him since the preseason.
“He’s working really hard,” Gobert added. “He’s getting a lot of treatments, still working on his game, so hopefully we’ll get him back as soon as possible.”
Overall, Favors has missed 29 games this season.
“Those are things that are out of our hands or out of Fav’s hands,” Snyder said. “All he can do is continue to do what he’s doing and try to prepare himself when he’s able to come back.”
Snyder and the Jazz medical staff want to make sure Favors is ready to contribute and be fully healthy when he does return.
“He’s tough,” Snyder said. “He’s going to going to play if he can, but we have to have him effective, too.”
Same goes with the team’s other players, Snyder pointed out.
“That’s what happened with George (Hill) with his groin. You can see just he’s fighting through everything, but he’s not effective,” he said. “We need those guys not only to be out there but to be in a place where they can be effective.”
Hill has also missed 29 games this season, having dealt with a sprained thumb and big toe, a lip laceration, a concussion and now a right groin strain.
MR. INTERRUPTION: Gordon Hayward was asked a question about 3-point shooting during Friday’s shootaround when he paused before answering. He wasn’t thinking about his response. He was listening to teammate Joe Ingles, who was humorously interrupting yet another interview.
“We’re talking about threes,” Hayward said to Ingles. “Your specialty.”
“I’m the best in the league,” Ingles told Hayward. “They should be interviewing me.”
Ingles was only slightly off.
Though outside shooting has been Ingles’ specialty this season, the Aussie forward is actually second in the NBA in 3-point percentage. His 44.4-percent clip trails Kyle Korver, who’s shooting 44.7 percent beyond the arc this season.
PLAYING THROUGH PAIN: Guard Rodney Hood played well again Friday for a second straight game after missing time with knee soreness. He said Thursday’s off day really helped after the knee felt sore following Wednesday’s game.
“All year I’ve been playing through pain: hamstring, hand, whatever,” Hood said. “It’s just about being out there for your teammates. I know we’re a better team when I’m out there on the court regardless if I’m scoring two points or 20.”