Halloween? Nah. Not me. I leave that for my kids. I’m past that now. —Derrick Favors
SALT LAKE CITY — Unfortunately, Utah Jazz players will not receive holiday pay for Halloween.
Even after a big win Monday night against the Dallas Mavericks, players were right back in the office at the practice facility Tuesday morning.
While some players aren’t in the Halloween spirit, many are looking forward to the celebration.
Jazz forward Derrick Favors has been so busy that he nearly forgot about the day.
“Halloween? Nah. Not me,” Favors said, laughing. “I leave that for my kids. I’m past that now.”
Thabo Sefolosha doesn’t plan on wearing a costume, either, but he said his two young daughters are very excited for the night. One is dressing as a werewolf and the other as a character from the Disney Channel movie "Descendants 2."
“They are going trick-or-treating somewhere,” Sefolosha said.
Rookie Donovan Mitchell said he’s “kinda” celebrating the day. He knows his sister will be dressed up as something but hasn’t asked her exactly what she’ll be just yet.
“She’s definitely big on that,” Mitchell said. “She goes to my old high school, so they all get dressed up for a big dance and have fun together.”
Due to his busy schedule, coach Quin Snyder said he hasn’t been around his family for Halloween in a while. He generally doesn’t talk about holidays or his personal life to the public, but in this case he made a special exception — the day after his 51st birthday.
“I carved some pumpkins and I’m going to take my kids trick-or-treating,” Snyder said. “They’re going to absolutely dress up. They’re excited to dress up.”
But once the Halloween hoopla wears off, the Utah Jazz (4-3) will host a spooky opponent in the Portland Trail Blazers (4-3) at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Vivint Arena.
Star guards Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum emerged as the league’s hottest scoring tandem last season, but the Trail Blazers are coming off a rough 99-85 loss to Toronto on Monday. A horrific six-point second quarter set the team back although Lillard posted 25 of his season-high 36 points in the second half.
Utah and Portland split the season series, 2-2, in 2016-17 and are facing each other for the first of four regular season meetings.
“The second half of last year, they were one of the top teams in the league,” Snyder said of Portland. “They’re just very good they’re balanced.
“They’re a tough matchup for us.”
Portland’s ability to knock down tough shots and create individual shots off the dribble is what poses a major threat. Monday’s six-point second quarter was indeed bad, but Sefolosha knows better than to think that’ll happen again with Lillard and McCollum on the floor.
“That was an off game; we don’t think about that too much,” Sefolosha said. “We want to focus on us. They’re a dangerous team.”
McCollum enters the game averaging 23.2 points and 4.5 boards while Lillard is putting up 24.3 points, 5.7 assists and 4.7 rebounds per game. On any given night, the guards are capable of dropping 40 or more points.
On April 8, Lillard went off against Utah for a career-high 59 points to set the franchise scoring record.
Utah players can enjoy their candy tonight, but better be recharged tomorrow to keep the home four-game home streak alive.
“It’s going to be key for us to start the game off right and not letting them get going and keying in on what we’re going to do on the pick-and-rolls,” Sefolosha said. “They’ve got a different skillset, but they’re definitely going to be involved in a lot of pick-and-rolls.
“They can shoot the 3 really well and drive and get to the free-throw line so we’re going to have to be very solid.”