Al Jefferson controlled the final five minutes of the game, Paul Millsap put up an impressive 25 point, and 10 rebound performance, yet Derrick Favors was the best player on the floor as the Jazz beat the New Orleans Hornets 104-99 on Wednesday night. Despite the starting line-up’s best effort to put the Jazz in an insurmountable hole, the Gordon Hayward-less bench saved the Jazz once again and allowed the team to go into half time leading 51-47 after trailing 27-15 near the end of the first quarter.
If Dennis Lindsey’s main concern about moving either Paul Millsap or Al Jefferson is losing their offensive output, Derrick Favors performance tonight should help calm some of those worries ahead of the February, 21 trade deadline. Favors had 15 points on nine shots, and showed he could handle being a go to option throughout the second quarter. Over the past six games, Favors is averaging 13 points, nearly six rebounds, one block, shooting 58% from the floor in only 22 minutes per game. Averaged out to 36 minutes a game and those numbers are roughly 21 points, 10 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks a game. Currently, there are no players in the league averaging over 20 points and 10 rebounds a game.
It’s time to stop asking whether Derrick Favors’ defense can make up for the potential loss of Jefferson or Millsap’s offense; Favors is showing he can provide on both sides of the floor at an elite level. The only real question left is when do the Jazz give the former number three overall pick the keys to the car?
Jazz coach Ty Corbin on Favors play: