Dante, Rudy and then Trevor didn’t have as good a game as he is capable of having. All those guys, like I said, I didn’t see for a minute that they backed down. I didn’t see they were intimidated. I saw the fight and a fight that they were capable to win. – Jazz coach Quin Snyder
SALT LAKE CITY — One of the most striking aspects of Utah’s loss to Oklahoma City Wednesday night was the lack of points by the Utah reserves.
The Jazz had no points from their bench in the first half and the Jazz reserves didn’t produce a single point until the 1:53 mark of the third quarter when Dante Exum hit a jumper in the lane. He later added one of two free throws in the fourth quarter.
That was it for the night as the Jazz finished with a grand total of three bench points out of 82 for the game.
You’d have thought that would have been a big negative for Jazz coach Quin Snyder, but after the game he wasn’t about to beat up on his bench, which includes rookies Dante Exum and Joe Ingles, second-year pro Rudy Gobert and Trevor Booker, who is in his first year with the Jazz.
“There are some young bodies in that second group and they’ve played really hard and competed,’’ said Snyder. “Dante, Rudy and then Trevor didn’t have as good a game as he is capable of having. All those guys, like I said, I didn’t see for a minute that they backed down. I didn’t see they were intimidated. I saw the fight and a fight that they were capable to win.”
Snyder had said earlier in the week that he had no plans to change the starting lineup, which has remained the same through 16 games, although it was a consideration. But he may be considering a shake-up in his substitution pattern, which now consists of Booker, Gobert, Exum and Ingles each entering the game late in the first quarter and joining starter Alec Burks through the end of the quarter.
WHERE’S JEREMY, STEVE?; Two players that Jazz fans figured would see more time on the floor have barely played at all so far this season.
Fifth-year player Jeremy Evans averaged 6.1 points and 4.4 rebounds last year in a career-high 18.3 minutes per game. However, this year, he’s played just 13 minutes all season in just five games and scored only two points.
Meanwhile, Steve Novak, who averaged 20 minutes per game while playing in 81 games for New York two years ago, is averaging 4.8 minutes in 10 games with just 21 total points after coming over from Toronto in the offseason.
Snyder says it’s nothing against either player, saying he wishes he "could play everybody.’’ He said it’s a matter of a “glut of players at the big forward position'' and that newcomer Trevor Booker has come in to take a lot of those minutes.
“Everybody’s got a role,’’ he said. “Jeremy’s a really good player, Steve’s a unique player and specialist. Both of those guys have played in significant times in their careers and contributed. The positive is how hard Jeremy and Steve continue to work and the ways that they’re contributing to the team outside of the immediate playing time.’’
HAYWARD STAYS AFTER: Hayward stayed long after practice Friday, working on individual moves with Snyder and then shooting free throws until he made 175.
“It’s the routine (I have) of making 25 shots for every free throw that I miss,’’ he said. “And I missed seven (against Oklahoma City), so that’s 175. That’s a lot of makes.’’
As for the beard, Hayward is still sporting some facial hair a few weeks after saying he would shave soon.
“I shaved it down a little bit and I’ll probably do it here soon,'' he said "But it makes me look like I’m not 12. So I got to keep it a little bit.’’
JAZZ NOTES: Evans sprained his left ankle at practice Friday and is questionable for the Clippers game. … Rodney Hood, who has missed 10 straight games with a foot injury, participated in practice Friday on a limited basis, but is still not expected to play for a couple of weeks. … Former Jazzman Kevin Murphy is off to a good start for Idaho in the D-League, leading his team in scoring at 21.0 ppg and assists (5.0 apg), while Toure Murry, who was with the team for the first two weeks of the season, is averaging 14.5 ppg, 6.5 rpg and 4.7 apg.