The best evidence yet that Derrick Favors' development is outpacing the Jazz's time frame came Sunday when the third-year forward played the final 16 minutes of the Jazz's 107-96 loss to the Clippers, and Paul Millsap sat.
As coach Tyrone Corbin on Tuesday reiterated that playing time will be based on situations, Millsap said he tries not to be bothered by the uncertainty.
"I'm very passive," he said. "So I don't let things like that try to get to me. When he [Corbin] puts me in the game, I need to be ready to go. When he takes me out of the game, I come out of the game. He's the coach. I can express my feelings as much as possible, but will it work? Who knows?"
On Sunday, Millsap barked at media following the game in which he played 20 minutes.
Asked if he was frustrated by his playing time, Millsap responded, "What you think?"
Corbin said nothing had changed.
"We're loaded at the position," Corbin said. "We have a lot of guys we feel good about putting on the floor. Some nights a guy that thinks he should get the minutes won't get as many."
The Jazz's depth in the frontcourt has led many to believe they will make a move at the trade deadline. Both Al Jefferson and Millsap have expiring contracts, which are attractive assets in the NBA. However, the Jazz do not seem eager to make a move simply to clear room for Favors and Enes Kanter, even as those two have demonstrated they are ready for enhanced roles.
Favors said the dynamic between him and Millsap, despite obvious tension relating to minutes, has not been a problem.
"Is it awkward?" Favors said. "To me, not really. I guess it depends on the matchup or how me and him are playing. If he's having a good night, he's probably going to play the fourth quarter."
Speaking of Favors
Corbin said one of the reasons he has been more comfortable with Favors late in games is the big man's improved free-throw shooting.
In his third season, Favors has made huge strides from the free-throw line, improving his average from 59.5 percent as a rookie to 71.3 percent this season.
"All those things help you get minutes on the floor," Corbin said, "and put you in a key situation because you can make the shot or it's a foul situation you can stay on the floor."
Favors was 5 of 6 from the line Sunday and has made 17 of his last 20 attempts in five games.
Assistant coaches Brad Jones and Michael Sanders have worked daily with Favors on his shot, which he said now has more of an arc.
"I just work on my technique, and it's gotten better," Favors said.
Williamses and injuries
The Jazz got good news on one injured Williams and are hoping for the best on the other.
Marvin Williams went through practice Tuesday and expects to play Wednesday against the Timberwolves after sitting out Sunday with inflammation in his right knee. Mo Williams, meanwhile, flew to New York on Tuesday to get a second opinion on his right thumb, which the Jazz said was "severely sprained" on Dec. 22 in Miami.
Mo Williams will consult with Michelle Carlson, who, according to the website for the Hospital for Special Surgery, specializes in sports-related hand injuries.
Carlson performed the surgery on Williams' hand in 2008 that repaired a torn ligament in the same thumb.