When you play with two big guys, like any team in the league we have to try to maximize what those guys can do, and what means is the spacing’s different and the other guys have to adjust to that and get better. —Quin Snyder
SALT LAKE CITY — Coach Quin Snyder seems to be getting a little tired of answering questions about playing Rudy Gobert and Derrick Favors at the same time, even if he says, “I’m not going to get tired of answering these questions because they’re legitimate."
Snyder has been asked variations of the question about his two big men several times over the past week since Gobert came back from his leg injury that sidelined him for 11 games over three weeks. Sometimes the Jazz coach will even interrupt the questioner as soon as Favors' or Gobert’s name is brought up and go on a long discourse about re-integrating the two players.
“We need to be a good team no matter who’s on the floor, and those guys are going to play together differently than if Joe Johnson’s at the 4 or Fave’s at the 5 because those players have different strengths,” Snyder said. “When you play with two big guys, like any team in the league we have to try to maximize what those guys can do, and what means is the spacing’s different and the other guys have to adjust to that and get better.”
Snyder said both the coaches and players need to adapt to playing with Gobert and Favors at the 5 in different situations.
“It’s nuanced and we need to figure those things out on the court,” said Snyder, who gave an example about passing into the post.
“Fave might be the best in the league at catching the bounce pass, Rudy’s one of the better guys at catching the lob pass,” Snyder said. “We need to try to figure how to play the best we can to help our players succeed, put them in positions to succeed and put them in combinations to succeed.”
The Gobert-Favors combo didn’t work so well in Saturday’s game, even though the Jazz called a play for Favors to get a 3-point basket in the left corner, which he made, in the opening 30 seconds of the game.
After that 3-pointer, the Bucks went on a 16-2 run before Snyder replaced Favors with Jonas Jerebko at the 6:44 mark. The Jazz fought back and were within nine at halftime, but another slow start to the second half, when they scored just three points in four minutes, doomed Utah.
JAZZ NOTES: In scoring 12 points against Milwaukee, Donovan Mitchell scored under 20 points for only the second time in eight games, stretching back to Nov. 25, and is second on the team in scoring at 17.3 ppg. Rodney Hood, who has missed six straight games with a sore knee, leads the Jazz at 17.7 ppg. After leading the league for much of the season, the Jazz are tied with Cleveland for third in free-throw shooting at 80.7 percent. The Jazz are also third in 3-point shooting at 38.6 percent behind Golden State and Indiana. Along with New York, the Jazz have played more home games than any other team in the NBA, with 16. Both the Jazz and Knicks are 11-5. Utah’s next home game is Dec. 21 against San Antonio, followed by a game against Oklahoma City on the 23rd.