Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) pushes up a shot with Utah Jazz center Tony Bradley (13) and Utah Jazz forward Jeff Green (22) defending as the Utah Jazz and the Philadelphia 76ers play an NBA basketball game in Salt Lake City at Vivint Smart Home Arena on Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2019. | Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
SALT LAKE CITY — Quin Snyder doesn’t want to say it, but it seems obvious.
The Utah Jazz bench isn’t as good as it’s been in recent years.
After fielding one of the deepest teams in the NBA over the past couple of seasons, the Jazz bench has become thin this year and a bit of a liability, forcing the Jazz coach to play his main guys longer minutes and having fewer options to turn to when the starters are struggling.
For instance, in Wednesday’s win over Minnesota, Donovan Mitchell played nearly 38 minutes, his most of the season and three more than his season average of 34.9, which is up a minute over last year. Rudy Gobert, who doesn’t have a reliable backup with Ed Davis sidelined with a broken leg, played 35 minutes, slightly above his season average, up more than three minutes from last year. Bojan Bogdanovic played 36 minutes Wednesday.
It’s really not too much different than last year when Mitchell, Gobert and Joe Ingles all averaged more than 31 minutes per game and Ricky Rubio and Jae Crowder averaged 27. The difference comes further down the line.
Last year three more Jazz players averaged more than 20 minutes per game — Derrick Favors at 23.2, Royce O’Neale at 20.4 and Kyle Korver at 20.1. Four more players, Dante Exum (15.8) Thabo Sefolosha (12.2), Raul Neto (12.8) and Grayson Allen (10.9) averaged double-figure minutes, although they didn’t play in all games.
This season, …read more
Source:: Deseret News – Sports News