Gordon Hayward of the Utah Jazz/Photo courtesy of ESPN.com
The Utah Jazz were impressive in their 101-97 defeat at the hands of the Clippers on Monday at Staples Center. Missing one of their two point guards – Alec Burks – to injury, they gave the Clippers everything they wanted. Clippers coach Doc Rivers believes the Jazz will soon be a force with which to be reckoned.
“I like this young team,” Rivers said after his team had escaped with the victory. “They are going to be a really good team. They have two very good big men, and they have a great point guard. (Gordon) Hayward is also obviously good. (Rodney) Hood is going to be a good player, too. They are a young and athletic team.”
It wasn’t clear which point guard Rivers was speaking of; the other one is Trey Burke. The two big men are Enes Kanter and Rudy Gobert. Kanter is 6-foot-11, Gobert is 7-1.
As for Hayward, he is Rivers’ man-crush. The 6-8 small forward – in his fifth season – is averaging 19.0 points. He’s just 24.
There is only one player on the Jazz over 30 and that is reserve small forward Steve Novak, who is 31.
Burke is 22, Burks is 23, Gobert is 22, Kanter is 22, Hood is 22, starting power forward Derrick Favors is 23 and reserve shooting guard Dante Exum is just 19.
The Jazz are 10-21, but had won four of five before Monday. One of those victories was at Memphis.