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Dante Exum is still out for the season, and Derrick Favors is probably not going to play tonight as the Utah Jazz take on the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden.
But it should comfort Jazz fans that both are on the floor, working on their games. Both are moving around.
Exum who tore his ACL last summer is back to light running. He's doing ballhandling drills, and he's shooting with assistant coaches. Favors likely will miss his 15th consecutive game, due to back spasms. But he was working on his post moves with assistant Tony Lang, and has been in better spirits this week, especially since he traveled with the team.
"With Derrick, it's all a part of a process," Jazz coach Quin Snyder said. "Back injuries are tricky. Some days you feel good, and you feel like you can play. Other days, you don't feel so good. Above anything, we just want him to be healthy. But it's a process, and we have to take it one day at a time."
Without Favors in the lineup, the Jazz will once again likely turn to Trey Lyles to start at power forward. He's been good of late. The rookie is averaging 11 points and six rebounds a night over his last five games. He's been consistent shooting the basketball, and he's provided prolonged glimpses of the stretch power forward the Jazz front office hopes he develops into.
The question is whether the Jazz will see rookie sensation Kristaps Porzingis tonight. He has a sore foot and is questionable for the matchup. Porzingis has been one of the best rookies in the league this season, and has been a draw to the fans in New York.
"We're preparing for him as if he's going to play," Snyder said.
The Jazz enter the matchup at 18-23, as they begin the second half of their season with tonight's game. They are coming off a double-overtime loss to the Charlotte Hornets on Monday night and are a mere half game ahead of the Portland Trail Blazers for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.