This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2016, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
The struggles of missing a week of basketball for Derrick Favors have been significant. It's been even more difficult trying to negotiate simple daily activities without pain.
For Favors, this has been his plight for the past seven days, as he's been trying to get past the back spasms that have cost him five consecutive games, including Saturday night against the Memphis Grizzlies. The Utah Jazz power forward's been listed as day-to-day, but as Jazz coach Quin Snyder points out, back injuries can get tricky.
So, for now, he sits.
"It's been hard, because I want to get out there and help my teammates," Favors said. "But it's also really important for me to be healthy. I don't want to go out there and come back too early and then mess it up again. So making sure I'm healthy is the most important thing."
The Jazz went 2-2 in the previous four games without Favors in the lineup, defeating the Philadelphia 76ers and Portland Trailblazers, but losing to the Los Angeles Clippers and Minnesota Timberwolves. His absence was huge in the defeats, particularly against Minnesota, where Karl-Anthony Towns made the paint his own personal playground against the Jazz.
Still, Favors has gotten a little better with each passing day. He put shots up after shootaround on Wednesday in Minneapolis. He participated in pregame workouts on Thursday night before the Portland game, but felt a twinge when assistant coach Antonio Lang leaned on him in the post.
Saturday morning's shootaround saw Favors go through everything without a hitch. But then, he went through pregame, which is simulated at game speed as much as possible, and he grimaced again. He walked slowly off the floor, and went to the lockerroom to stretch it out, but it was determined just before gametime that he wasn't quite ready.
The Grizzlies on Saturday night played without small forward Matt Barnes. The veteran shooter was serving the second of a two-game suspension for an earlier incident with New York Knicks head coach Derek Fisher. In his place, defensive stopper Tony Allen received more minutes, as did Vince Carter off the bench.
Rare Pleiss sighting
Tibor Pleiss played in just his fifth game of the season on Saturday night, garnering seven minutes off the bench in the first half. It was his first appearance since being recalled from the Idaho Stampede, Utah's NBDL affiliate.
A 7-foot-3 center, Pleiss played very well in that first half, despite accumulating three fouls. He scored four points, grabbed three rebounds and handed out an assist. It was his first basket since a 102-93 loss to the Orlando Magic back in November.