Derrick Favors wants the minutes and he wants them now

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Derrick Favors isn’t pushy. He’s not unreasonable. He doesn’t mind coming off the bench. But he wants his minutes, and he wants them now.

In an interview with the Deseret News, the Jazz forward made it pretty clear he’s ready to have the training wheels taken off.

“I want to play more than what I played last year,” Favors admitted. “If it’s starting, cool. If it’s coming off the bench, cool. I don’t mind. I just want to play more. I don’t want to sit on the bench no more.”

via The next big thing: Utah Jazz’s Derrick Favors looking to have a breakout season | Deseret News.

The issue, naturally, is that the Jazz have forced themselves into a position where they have all these big men. For years, they’ve claimed this was a gift, not a curse, that it allowed them flexibility, depth, and options. But the problem is that eventually the younger guys are going to want minutes that the Jazz can’t provide by taking them away from the established players like Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap.

But there’s an easier solution, here.

Favors, Millsap, and Jefferson played just 110 minutes last season over 10 games, and were +30 in those games. There are obviously lineups where you can’t throw that combination out against and expect to survive. But in today’s position-flexible NBA, that’s not a bad option to have and implement on a regular basis. Favors is fast and athletic enough to hang with the more modern NBA small forwards, and the size on the other end gives them an advantage. They were +29.6 per 100 possessions with that trio, and that’s a pretty great number, even if it is a terribly small sample size. It might be worth exploring more.

But with Paul Millsap’s free agency looming on the horizon, consider this piece of information a potential bit of foreshadowing.

 

(HT: IAmAGM.com)

Dwyane Wade sinks halfcourt buzzer-beater (video)

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Dwyane Wade is secure in his legacy. He’s an all-time great, and an extra missed 3-pointer during his farewell tour won’t change anything. (It doesn’t hurt that his resumé already includes subpar 3-point shooting.)

So, when many players would hold the ball, Wade heaved in a halfcourt shot to end the third quarter of the Heat’s 110-105 win over the Spurs on Wednesday. It wasn’t the biggest shot of Wade’s season, but it still mattered plenty.

Miami’s lead when San Antonio began intentionally fouling late? Three.

Jonas Valanciunas hits game-winning free throw, spoils James Harden’s 57-point night (video)

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The Grizzlies blew a 19-point lead in the fourth quarter and a five-point lead in the final 30 seconds of overtime. James Harden scored 57 points, including 18 in the fourth quarter and all 10 of the Rockets points in overtime.

But Jonas Valanciunas saved Memphis from total collapse. He drew a foul on his putback and hit the game-winning free-throw with 0.1 seconds left to give the Grizzlies a 126-125 win Wednesday.

Report: Suns exploring signing Jimmer Fredette

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Jimmer Fredette remains a fascination because he scored a ton at BYU eight years ago and… other reasons.

He has been lighting it up in China, and his season there just ended. Now, the former No. 10 pick could return to the NBA after three years away.

John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7:

Phoenix still needs another point guard, and the 6-foot-2 Fredette looks like one. But he hasn’t shown the playmaking to play point guard regularly. He’s better, and sometimes even effective, off the ball.

Fredette could have stuck in the NBA with a different attitude. His long-distance shooting was an asset.

But he’s also now 30 years old. A new approach likely won’t be enough. His shortcomings, particularly defensively, will be even more pronounced as his athleticism has declined.

The Suns are bad and will remain bad, with or without Fredette. But their younger players have shown signs of progress lately. Fredette’s high-usage style could interfere with their development.

It’s hard to see the upside here other than a brief uptick in attention.

Marcus Smart shoves down Joel Embiid from behind, gets ejected (video)

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Marcus Smart recently bemoaned the lack of physicality in the NBA.

After Joel Embiid dropped his shoulder into him on a screen, Smart brought some to tonight’s Celtics-76ers game.

Smart shoved Embiid in the back, sending the center to the floor. A cheap shot? Yes. Embiid wasn’t looking. But Smart would surely argue Embiid started it. I also doubt Smart intended to push Embiid from behind. Smart just wanted to get at Embiid as quickly as possible, and Embiid happened to be facing the other way when Smart arrived.

Smart got a flagrant 2 and the accompanying ejection. Embiid received a technical foul.