Utah Jazz Praying Paul Millsap Doesn't Miss More Games

By John Raffel
Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Paul Millsap missed his first NBA  game all season for the Utah Jazz on Wednesday when his team lost to the Atlanta Hawks 102-91.

The Jazz need to cross their fingers that he doesn’t miss any other games. Millsap is way too valuable for the Jazz, struggling for playoff positioning, to be without for a considerable amount of time.

Derrick Favors didn’t do too bad of a job in Millsap’s place with 17 points and 15 rebounds, but Millsap provides another key factor for the Jazz that makes Utah’s game more potent offensively and defensively.

Prior to his left ankle sprain, Millsap was averaging  15.1 points and 7.3 rebounds per game.

Again, he’s one of those players that rarely has an off night and his presence energizes the rest of the team. That’s why the Jazz can’t have him out of the lineup.

This season, Millsap’s career shooting mark of 51.7 percent was down to 49.1 percent this year, but his 3-point average is better this season at 35.3 percent. His career  average in assists of 1.7 per game is up to 2.5 for this season. His 15.1 points per game is above his career mark but is lower than what he’s been averaging the past two years.

The Jazz  need to build a winning streak, not a losing one, to stay in command of the playoff chase, but Millsap needs to play every game. He needs to  play like Paul Millsap in every game, no exceptions.

The Jazz, obviously, need to keep Millsap away from any situations where he could re-aggravate the ankle. They need a healthy Paul Millsap not an unhealthy one.

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