All it took was a glimpse of Rudy Gobert on the video board during introductions, and it was a playoff atmosphere at Vivint Arena. Then the game started and it was the 24th game of an 82-game season. The only suspense in Monday’s 47-point rout of Washington involved Gobert and Derrick Favors. The Jazz kept their lead above 30 points all night, as their starting center resumed his role. And what role is that? Owning the paint, of course. That’s where it gets tricky. Is there room enough for two? A ferocious stretch of opponents lies ahead later this month, but for now, the Jazz are coiffed and ready. Their “everybody gets to play” approach is working. Monday’s game, though, added a dramatic touch, following Gobert’s 11-game absence. He looked agile and fit, playing 21 minutes. In the first nine minutes, he seized nine rebounds and scolded a Marcin Gortat shot back to Poland. He finished with four points, 10 rebounds and two blocks. The only worry was that as well as the Jazz had been playing, maybe the 7-foot big man would gum up the machinery. That’s hard to imagine, considering Gobert is destined to be the team’s next All-Star. Returning him to an evolving lineup is a good thing. But with Favors playing some of his best basketball during that 11-game stretch, the old concerns of a Favors-Gobert frontcourt has again surfaced. Not that you’ll hear any complaints from Quin Snyder. Favors, who finished with nine points and eight rebounds, has been more effective as a center than a power forward. Since neither Gobert nor Favors is a stretch-4, they together tend to congest the paint. Snyder says he’s working on it, but oh what a wonderful dilemma.
If Jazz traded Favors, it would help him and Gobert
Deseret News | Dec 6