Multiple Utah Jazz players have joined point guard Raul Neto in battling injuries, including big men Derrick Favors and Jae Crowder.
It’s crazy how fast things can change in the Association. Just a few, short days ago, I declared that a mostly clean bill of health was one of the four things that were going well for the Utah Jazz this season. At the time, only point-man Raul Neto had been put on the shelf.
Since then, the Jazz band has played two more games and, just like that, the injury report is suddenly looking a lot more crowded.
When the Jazz last took the hardwood against the Dallas Mavericks, both Derrick Favors and Alec Burks joined Neto on the sidelines. The duo could miss Utah’s next game — a Halloween night showdown with the Minnesota Timberwolves — too.
Favors is dealing with left knee soreness while Burks has a left hand sprain. Both are questionable to play.
Burks’ injury is likely of the least concern right now; in any case, expect his minutes to go to rookie Grayson Allen if he can’t go. Allen has performed pretty well in limited court time this season, putting up 5.5 points per game and shooting 54 percent from the floor and 40 percent from 3-point range over four appearances
Injury notwithstanding, Allen may have been on the cusp of taking some minutes from Burks anyway. Then again, Burks has been a net positive on the court so far this year, boasting a team-best net rating of 18.2.
Meanwhile, the Favors situation could be more serious. The big man has a history of knee issues and has just been so-so since scoring 18 points on 7-of-8 shooting against the Sacramento Kings on opening night.
His is an injury that will have to be monitored closely over the coming days.
Jae Crowder, who started in Favors’ place against Dallas, fell prey to a right ankle sprain during that game’s waning moments. The injury occurred on an egregious non-call when Crowder was undercut on a 3-point attempt with under a minute left and the Jazz up double digits on the Mavs.
The injury looked awful live, but X-rays were negative and Crowder is reported as probable to play against the T-Wolves.
If he can’t go, the Jazz do have some depth at the four spot in apparent super-sub Georges Niang, who is averaging 23.2 points per 36 minutes and shooting 59 percent from the field and 55 percent from deep, as well as Thabo Sefolosha, who just completed a five-game suspension.
As for Neto, he continues to be out with the hamstring injury that has bothered him since training camp.
The Jazz and the Wolves will go toe-to-toe at 6 PM MT of Wednesday from the Target Center in Minneapolis.