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Voting for the NBA All-Star game opened this week, and fans can cast their ballots via Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and a number of other digital platforms.

But if Derrick Favors is noticing more tweets than usual trying to send him to Toronto in February, he's not saying.

"I don't pay attention to it," the Utah Jazz forward said Friday. "I hope I make it. If I don't, I don't. I'm going to continue to work hard and continue to be the best I can be."

Favors is no doubt a long shot to earn his first All-Star bid through fan voting, where larger markets tend to dictate the game's starting lineups. But the 24-year-old Favors is rightly being talked about as a fringe candidate to be a coach's selection for the game.

He hasn't dominated a single statistical category, but Favors has one of the league's 10 best Player Efficiency Ratings (PER) and his all-around performance has been crucial in keeping Utah around .500 and in the mix in the West. Through the first 20 games of the season, Favors is averaging 17.4 points per game (36th most in the NBA), 8.9 rebounds (22nd), 1.7 steals (tied-18th) and 1.1 blocks per game. He's one of just five players averaging better than 15 points, 8 rebounds, 1 block and 1 steal a game, along with Kevin Durant, Paul Millsap, Andre Drummond and Anthony Davis.

"He's been really good," Jazz coach Quin Snyder said. "I think he's been balanced as far as what he's been doing."

Favors has said making the All-Star team was a goal he set for himself prior to the year. But with a crowded crop of talented big men in the West, the Jazzman may very well find himself on the outside looking in when the All-Star rosters are eventually announced. He's played himself into contention up to this point, though.

All good for Hood

Jazz shooting guard Rodney Hood was back in the team's starting lineup Friday after being ejected in the fourth quarter of Wednesday's game for a flagrant foul. That ejection will be his only punishment, the Jazz confirmed with the NBA this week, avoiding the possibility of a fine or suspension.

Hood was ejected late in a blowout win over the Knicks for hip-checking New York's Sasha Vujacic into the stanchion during a fast brea


Fouling things up

Speaking of stopping a fast break, the Jazz don't always mind fouling to do it — though the situation and treatment have to be right.

The Jazz are smack dab in the middle of the pack when it comes to giving up fast-break points. Their opponents average about 12.4 a game, a number Snyder and his team would like to see come down. So when another team gets out and runs, Snyder doesn't mind seeing his team muck things up with a foul.

"That's something we're working on," he said last week. "We believe in it, as far as slowing down a fast break, particularly after a turnover."

It can be a fine line to walk, however, and Snyder did admit it can cause early foul trouble.

"We want guys to use their discretion in that case," the coach said. "We'd prefer them not to do that early in the game. Sometimes it's hard to turn that on and off. It requires our guys to have a real awareness of the clock."


There's no denying the Jazz's defense has suffered since center Rudy Gobert went down with a sprained MCL. But Snyder did heap a little extra praise Friday on Favors' efforts there.

When someone mentioned to Favors that Snyder had said he was the team's best defender at the moment, Favors smiled and paused a beat before delivering his response.

"He just figured that out?" Favors cracked. Twitter: @tribjazz