This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Little by little, Derrick Favors is growing into what is expected from the third pick of the 2011 NBA Draft. Just ask Minnesota's Darko Milicic, who was posterized by Favors' ringing slam dunk midway through the second period of Utah's victory on Wednesday.
Acquired in the trade for Deron Williams, Favors, who would be a sophomore at Georgia Tech had he not entered the draft, started for the second time in as many games for Utah and played a positive role in the Jazz's solid 119-104 defeat of Minnesota in EnergySolutions Arena.
On a night where C.J. Miles blew up the scoreboard for 40 points, Favors did the little things on the way to 13 points and five rebounds in 24 minutes.
"I'm just getting used to the system," said Favors, still nursing a calf bruise he picked up while with New Jersey. "Every day after practice coach keeps me and some of the other guys, about a half hour or so working on plays.
"Pretty much I'm not thinking cause I know what to do now. I'm just going out there playing."
While the dunk and ensuing foul shot was Favors' most spectacular play, it was his effort against the Timberwolves' Kevin Love that caught the attention of Jazz coaches. Love finished with 22 points and 11 rebounds, but nothing came easy.
"Favors is a young guy … a bigger body," Utah coach Ty Corbin said. "He rebounds after contact, he can finish with the ball and score a little bit in the lane. He's still learning the system and he's not really, really comfortable yet. He's getting better."
In his two games starting in place of the injured Paul Millsap, Favors has combined for 24 points and 11 rebounds. Offensively, the 6-foot-10 forward took advantage of the spaces created by Minnesota's early overplaying of Utah center Al Jefferson.
"I don't know about expectations," Favors said. "I guess they just wanted me to come in and play. That's what I'm trying to do."