The Utah Jazz aren’t necessarily blatantly tanking the 2013-2014 NBA season in the mold of the Philadelphia 76ers, but they also aren’t trying to compete for a spot in the postseason like they were last year, either. Their main focus this season is to give their young players opportunity to go grow and so the organization may assess their value heading to the future.
One such player that many people have been asking to get more run over the past few years and will get the opportunity to do so this year is power forward Derrick Favors. Over his three years with the Jazz and in the league, Favors has looked underutilized because he was forced to play behind Paul Millsap. In 220 career games he averaged only 21.4 minutes per game, but still averaged 8.4 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game while shooting 49.8 percent from the floor.
Still at just 22 years old, the Jazz are looking to unleash Favors this season and are ready to see him start realizing some of his potential. With Favors playing his first preseason game as the Jazz’s primary power forward, though, it’s apparent that he has some growing left to do.
Matched up against the Golden State Warriors this past Tuesday, Favors played 25 minutes and finished the game with only 10 points on just 4-11 shooting. However, he did also notch 14 rebounds and three blocks in his time on the floor.
When comes to his defense and his rebounding, Favors still has work to do, but he’s also already a quality player in that regard. Despite that, he still has to work on his ability on the offensive end. As of right now, he relies heavily on his power and size offensively and doesn’t exactly have a vast array of moves. He has the skill to develop moves, but actually developing them should be the next step for him.
Personally, I’m high on Favors’ potential as a big man in this league and think that he will turn some heads in his increased role this season. He still needs some work, as most young players thrust into a new and larger role do. However, there’s no denying the fact that the physical tools and potential for him to succeed are there.
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