With veteran big man Andris Biedrins sidelined by an ankle injury, the rookie Gobert has taken advantage of his opportunity to play as the third big in coach Ty Corbin’s rotation.
And Evans. They could sit Gobert if Evans was there too depending on match-ups and the availabilty of Favors and Kanter.
"The way he works every day in practice, you see his focus and determination to get better," Corbin said. "When he makes a mistake, he really beats himself up because he don’t want to make mistakes. It’s part of growing and I really appreciate his focus and his effort every night. He’ll continue to get better because he’s going to push himself."
Gobert will have to beat himself up over the 2-for-6 shooting from the free-throw line. But in his first season in the NBA after playing in France, Gobert said he’s adjusting.
"I feel better," he said. "The speed of the game is better for me."
Gobert was particularly pleased with limiting his foul trouble Friday. He had just one. "I’m getting better, trying to jump with two arms straight in the restricted area," he said.
He's a player. Ideally he spends some time in the D-League with Clark playing big minutes and working on his offensive game.
Through that 0-6 start, two of Utah's top young players, Alec Burks and Derrick Favors, were hovering right around 41 percent from the field.
Might be able to live with that from Burks but for Favors it's unacceptable.
Gordon Hayward, the guy who's supposed to be their best player, was barely over 43 percent
I'll take that considering he should be the main focus of the other team and he's in a role that is not ideal for him as the go to guy.
, and a couple of NBA veterans, Richard Jefferson and John Lucas III, were shooting less than 30 percent.
Jamaal Tinsley, never really known for his shooting, was barely over 21 percent from the field, including a woeful 1-of-14 from 3-point range. Thankfully, he didn't take a shot on Saturday.
In fact, only one Jazz player, center Enes Kanter, had managed to make more than half of his shots thus far this season.
The "can't shoot straight" malady may have even affected Utah's free-throwing efficiency, as the Jazz came into Saturday's game at less than 69 percent from the foul line. And their 3-point shooting is absolutely awful, too.
Not only can the Jazz not shoot straight, they apparently are having a lot of trouble passing the ball and dribbling it straight, too.
They were averaging almost 20 turnovers per game heading into Saturday, but only committed 14 against the Raptors. What's more, they made 20-of-24 free throws, so maybe there's some light at the end of that long, dark tunnel ahead for a frustrated team that has now fallen to 0-7.
OK, we knew the Jazz youth movement was going to struggle this season, and probably struggle mightily. Most preseason predictions had them winning anywhere from 20 to 30 games, but I was feeling optimistic and picked 'em to win 30, figuring they'd win around half of their 41 home games and a fourth of their 41 road games.
Based on what we've seen so far, though, maybe that was faulty logic. And far too optimistic.
Yeah I don't know how anyone could have expected much from them.
The Jazz performance has been decent at times, but absolutely abysmal on other occasions during this young season. After narrow losses at home against Oklahoma City and on the road against Phoenix, the Jazz built a double-digit halftime lead in their next home game against Houston, only to get clobbered and outscored by 27 points after intermission.
Saturday's loss to Toronto mercifully ended an 0-4 road trip which also included losses to Brooklyn, Boston and Chicago. But now they return to Utah for their next three games, and certainly there must be a win waiting for them out there somewhere, isn't there?
Maybe Monday against the Denver Nuggets?
Got a shot you'd think!
Perhaps it'll come Wednesday against those pesky Pelicans from New Orleans? Or Friday when the San Antonio Spurs come to town? (OK, probably not Friday).
Keep in mind that it's a long season, and that the Jazz have played five of their first seven games on the road.
They will get better, no doubt, provided they don't get so discouraged that they simply give up. That would make a bad situation even worse.
Some folks out there are blaming Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin. But keep in mind that Corbin's simply playing the difficult hand he was dealt.
And besides that, he's not the guy throwing up bricks or throwing the ball away for this Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight.
Most people seem to be blaming him as usual. This one is on the front office.
This was supposed to be where they were better. Some of that is obviously because the offense is a joke which isn't surprising.
The end result tied Friday’s 97-73 loss at United Center for the largest margin of defeat this season: 24.
This was the fourth game in a row in which the Jazz have trailed by 20 points or more. Corbin appreciated the “fight” at the end of the game to at least whack 14 points off of the Raptors’ biggest lead.
Utah has now lost eight straight, dating back to the final game of the 2012-13 season. The Jazz haven’t tasted victory this year in 14 consecutive games, including preseason.
The fact they hadn’t been beaten in Toronto since 2004 exemplifies how this season’s going.
“We’re searching for the answer. We’ve got to keep working, trying to get through this rough patch. We’re struggling,” Hayward said. “You just try to not make the same mistakes. We’ve got to find out something. We’re finding out about ourselves right now, and hopefully we can push our way through it.”
This shellacking came on the tail end of a brutal beginning to the season in terms of the schedule. In 11 nights, the Jazz played seven games in six cities, four time zones and two countries.
The Jazz continue to play shorthanded as well, with Trey Burke (finger), Brandon Rush (knee rehab), Jeremy Evans (rotator cuff) and Andris Biedrins (ankle) still out indefinitely.
“We’re a little beat up,” Corbin said. “But you know what, they’re young. They’ll get through it. We’ll take (Sunday) and reflect on some things.”
The team flew back from Canada after the game and will take Sunday off — to rest and reflect — before getting at it again at home against Denver (1-4).
“It’s over,” Kanter said of another road loss, “and now we are going to go home where we have three games and we’ve now got to think about them.”
Before Saturday’s game, the 28-year-old Rush reconfirmed that his surgically repaired knee is doing fine. That isn’t what is keeping him out for now.
“I’m doing great. No pain. No discomfort. No anything,” said Rush, whose surgery took place in January. “The biggest thing is just getting some practice time. That’s what we decided on.”
The problem, he added, is that he wasn’t quite ready to return to action with a new system after participating in a limited amount of scrimmages.
“I didn’t go to training camp. I hardly know any plays. It’s my first time playing five-on-five in a year,” Rush said. “I think it will be better for me just to get some more practice time before going out on the court again.”
And he’s fine with that scenario.
“I feel great about it. I feel that’s the best situation,” Rush said. “I think it’s going to come the more I play and the more I do stuff in practice.”
Shooting guard Alec Burks has been the team's most consistent player off the bench this season, but he came in as the team's first backup point guard ahead of John Lucas III instead of in his usual position Saturday.
Corbin wanted to use Burks' 6-foot-6 size against the smaller Kyle Lowry, the Raptors' 6-foot starter, in hopes of infusing some offensive punch into Utah's struggling offense.
Burks later played alongside Gordon Hayward, with Marvin Williams, Enes Kanter and Derrick Favors.
"We’ll juggle and move whatever we can. We’re limited. I thought even about starting him," Corbin said. "But Alec’s been leading us off the bench in scoring, so if we put him in the starting lineup we’ll struggle there (reserve offense) some."
He should be getting most of the minutes there. He is the best option they have besides G.
One coach who could have cause to be nervous is Utah’s Tyrone Corbin. The Jazz will be the last team to win a game, starting the year with five straight losses, and are dealing with inexperience all over the roster. Sure, there are injuries, but Corbin points out that there is no cavalry waiting to rescue the Jazz, and the players will have to fight the temptation to throw in the towel. “This is where we are. ... We don’t want to give up and start thinking we can’t get over the hump. We have got to continue to fight. One of the fears you have with a young group, because they haven’t been through it before, is to know how you get over the hump.”
The losses have piled up early for the Jazz — more in one stretch than Kanter or point guard John Lucas III can ever remember in their careers.
"I don’t think I’ve ever lost three games in a row," starting point guard Jamaal Tinsley said. "It’s frustrating for me and I hope everybody else in this locker room is frustrated. … We’re all in it together. We can’t point fingers."
Jazz didn't lose 3 games in a row the past two years?
In a rebuilding season, when most of Utah’s victories are expected to be of the moral variety, there is always the chance that mounting losses could stunt development.
"I hope not," Corbin said. "That’s always a concern. I’ve been on young teams. I’ve been on expansion teams in this league. You have to fight against it, man. You have to do everything you can not to allow that to creep in because it’s a long season."
The losses are indeed difficult, Casey said.
"You don’t grow through losing, but that’s part of starting young is losing," Casey said. "Experience wins in the league. Talent wins in the league. Experienced talent wins in this league. To go through [a rebuild] you’ve probably got to take some lumps, and you have to remind yourself of that as an organization."
The Jazz are the league’s worst offensive team —both in points per game (87.7) and offensive rating (90.7) — and have been beaten by an average of 18.5 points on this road swing.
Defensively, the Jazz are allowing 105.3 points per 100 possessions, the fourth-worst in the league.
"Way too many points, easy points, dunks, wide open threes. Defensively, we weren’t there," Hayward said after the most recent loss.
So a return for three games, beginning Monday with the Denver Nuggets, is "nice," point guard Jamaal Tinsley said. "But if you’re not competing for 48 minutes, no matter if you’re home or not, it can still happen."
Where's Big Al and Foye when you need them? I thought they'd be better defensively anyway and maybe be able to push the ball off their D. Figured they'd struggle in the half court with no proven go to guys.
The question naturally becomes whether coach Tyrone Corbin can last even until his contract expires at the end of the season.
Corbin definitely deserves an opportunity to coach Trey Burke, who broke a finger during the preseason. But to say Corbin is exempt from firing just because the Jazz think of themselves as different from other pro sports franchises would be ridiculous. All disclaimers aside, there’s a point in the proceedings when keeping the coach is counterproductive to any team’s growth.
The Jazz are not at that stage yet. Seven games in the NBA is the equivalent of one college football game. With a road-heavy schedule and the absence of Burke, while forwards Marvin Williams and Brandon Rush are working their way into the rotation, there’s not enough material to judge Corbin.
Having said that, the Jazz’s performance is disturbing. At various stages in last week’s trip, they trailed Brooklyn by 26 points, Boston by 25, Chicago by 29 and Toronto by 38.
That’s unacceptable, even in what’s already being written off as a season of draft positioning. Corbin also is looking bad in comparison to coaches of the teams in similar rebuilding positions. Phoenix’s Jeff Hornacek (5-2), Philadelphia’s Brett Brown (4-3) and Boston’s Brad Stevens (3-4) are a combined 12-9, with the 76ers and Celtics both having beaten Miami.
Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey can say the Jazz are above the "blame-the-coach culture" of the NBA, but he’s obviously aware of what Hornacek (an ex-Jazz assistant coach), Brown (Lindsey’s former colleague in San Antonio) and Stevens (Gordon Hayward’s college coach) are doing with their teams.
And Ty isn't his guy. That's the main reason why he could go. Doubt it gets that bad during the year though. Front office isn't going to pay him not to coach and they want to lose. Lucas/Tinsley and a bunch of prospects and scrubs was their idea not Ty's. A new coach might light a fire under them and they might start winning some game. Winning bad M'kay!
This week’s three-game homestand is critical to Corbin, if only from a perception standpoint. The Jazz have been competitive and entertaining at ESA, even while losing to Oklahoma City and Houston.
At least for a half against Houston. Been all down hill since the 2nd half of that game.
That was not the case on the road, where last week’s four losses contributed to the Jazz’s woeful statistics of 40.1 percent shooting and 87.7 points through seven games, worst in the league in both categories.
I was misguided in believing the Jazz could piece together decent point guard play until Burke was available. John Lucas III and Jamaal Tinsley have combined for only 8.3 points and 5.0 assists in 41.1 minutes, while shooting barely 30 percent.
Depends on the goal. Was obvious signing Lucas as a rotation palyer that they weren't looking to win. Tinsley just added to the fun!
That’s why Corbin can be judged only by Burke’s development. Ever since taking over for Jerry Sloan in February 2011, Corbin has faced difficult circumstances. He deserves the opportunity to coach the 2013-14 team as it’s designed — up to a point, of course.
The Jazz fired Scotty Robertson with a 1-14 record in the franchise’s inaugural season. Corbin will last beyond 15 games, even if he’s 1-14. But the day may come when the Jazz have to do what everybody else does, and blame the coach.