Jazz’s Rudy Gobert out Game 2, but making progress

first_imgEncore?Saturday was Utah’s first playoff win in seven years, but the Jazz expects the Clippers to play differently in Game 2. As Snyder acknowledged, “Good teams are ready to play.”“We expect the whole team to be a little bit more aggressive,” Favors said of the Clippers. “I’m pretty sure they feel the same way. So we have to come out ready.”Snyder dismissed whether the Clippers might feel compelled to play that way to avoid an 0-2 deficit before facing a hostile crowd in Utah for Games 3 and 4.“I think they’d be ready to play, regardless,” Snyder said. “There’s no desperation in a series. It’s one game. It’s nice that we won it. There’s just two days between games to think about it. But it’s one game. If we think about it the other way, we won’t be as good.” “His focus now is to try to get back. Whether he can do that is another story,” Snyder said. “Players always think that they can come back as quick as they can.”Otherwise, the Jazz sounded nonchalant about losing Gobert, who is among the favorites for the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year award. The confidence is likely because Utah has fielded 23 starting lineups for a roster that missed a combined 167 games because of injuries.“I’m pretty sure for the rest of the team it’s just another day. For me personally, Rudy has been a bully down in the paint while I was out,” said Favors, who missed 31 games this season with knee injuries. “I’m trying to return the favor for him and do what I’m supposed to be doing while he’s out.”Favors returned that favor in the Jazz’s Game 1 victory, contributing 15 points and six rebounds while going 7 for 10 from the field in 32 minutes.“A little bit of a surprise for me,” Favors said. “I wasn’t as ready as I wanted to be, but I had to be ready quick. I had to get my mind right and my body right and just be ready to go.” LOS ANGELES >> Their prized big man moved freely around the court without crutches. He even took a few jumpers and foul shots. In other words, Utah center Rudy Gobert seemed in better shape than when he left only 17 seconds into Game 1 of the Jazz’s first-round playoff series against the Clippers on Saturday night.Gobert suffered a bone bruise and hyperextension in his left knee and was ruled out for Game 2 on Tuesday at Staples Center. Utah plans to reevaluate Gobert later this week, but offered no timetable on a possible return.“He’s out there limping and shooting; that’s like you and me working out,” Jazz coach Quin Snyder joked with a reporter after practice on Monday at UCLA. “Obviously, from what we thought at the moment he was injured, your mind raced. So being able to get out of a crutch, that’s more progress than maybe we thought.”Utah forward Derrick Favors observed that Gobert’s “spirits are high right now” before holding out hope he could return in the “next week or two.”center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img