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Utah Jazz: Favors tutoring Jefferson on defense

Published April 3, 2013 8:25 pm

Jazz notes • Veteran big man soliciting tips from young teammate.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

As it turns out, Derrick Favors is quite the help defender.

When Al Jefferson is seeking input on improving his offensive game, the starting Jazz center turns to the lankier, more athletic Favors.

"I learn defensive stuff from him and I've been in the league nine years," Jefferson said. "D-Faves, it's only his third year. Never too old to learn things and pick up things from younger players."

Jefferson, who leads the Jazz with 17.5 points and 9.1 rebounds is frequently criticized for his pick and roll defense. Where Favors' athleticism, as coach Tyrone Corbin said, "gives him an opportunity to recover on plays … Al has to position himself to cheat a little bit more."

Jefferson said playing with Favors and starting power forward Paul Millsap, whom Jefferson called a "great defensive player," helps him improve.

Favors joked that it's "kind of awkward" offering tips to a veteran, but that he's grown into the role.

"Al's coachable," Favors said. "Sometimes he might come up to me and ask me. So he's very coachable."

And the relationship goes both ways. Favors said he soaks up lessons on offense from Jefferson.

"Sometimes I can get a little bit impatient," Favors said, "make a move too fast. So, he just tells me to take my time."

Miller misses meeting

Representatives from groups competing to either keep the Kings in Sacramento or move them to Seattle made their best pitches Wednesday in New York City to a group of owners that makes up the NBA's finance and relocation committees.

The committees will offer a recommendation to the full board of governors and its April 18 and 19 meeting, but on Wednesday, the seven-member relocation committee was without at least one member. Jazz CEO Greg Miller did not attend due to another obligation.

Mavs fan

Like many waiting to see if the Jazz will make the playoffs, Jefferson watched the Lakers defeat Dallas 101-81 on Tuesday.

"I watched it all the way up to the third quarter," Jefferson said, "turned it off. I was hoping, thinking maybe I was jinxing Dallas. I thought maybe if I turned it off they would come back and win but they didn't."

A Mavericks win would have put the Jazz a full game ahead of the Lakers for eighth in the Western Conference playoff chase. Instead, the teams entered Wednesday's games tied.




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