OAKLAND, Calif. — What’s that saying about when it rains?
Oh yes, when it rains, the Utah Jazz suffer another injury.
Utah, already without Dante Exum and Alec Burks, had to play the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday night without starting shooting guard Rodney Hood.
Hood, who’s had foot issues during his two-year NBA career, had to be sidelined due to lower back soreness. It was only his third missed game of the season.
Hood wasn’t available for comment, but Jazz coach Quin Snyder explained that the former Duke player aggravated his back during Tuesday night’s home loss to Atlanta.
“I don’t think it’s a long-term thing,” Snyder said, “but it is ailing him pretty significantly and did last night towards the end of the game, so he will not be playing tonight. He’s out.”
Hood’s absence gave the energetic Chris Johnson an opportunity to start for the second time this season.
The Jazz have now played with 12 different starting lineups this season.
Utah has also missed 142 total games due to injury or illness this year.
PACING IT: The Warriors play at one of the quickest paces in the league, averaging 102.35 possessions per 48 minutes. That’s second only to the Kings (102.46).
And the Jazz?
They’re last in the league with 93.50 possessions per 48 minutes, a whopping nine fewer than the Warriors.
“We play at a slow pace. There’s really not a huge correlation between pace and offensive efficiency,” Snyder said. “It just happens that Golden State is so good offensively and they play fast. We don’t play fast, that’s not what we do well. If we try to do that, I don’t think we’re as efficient.”
When the Jazz try to pick up the pace, it often results in careless mistakes and poor shots. That’s why Utah eats up a good chunk of the shot clock, passing it around for a quality shot.
“If we can get a good shot early in the clock, I like that. We’re not a team that has set out to have a ball-control offense. That’s just kind of who we are,” Snyder said. “We’re big and we if we turn people over, we try to score quickly as well.
"That’s taken me some time to actually be comfortable with, because early on, faster is better just culturally, right? No one wants to be slow. You’re slow and you’re going to think that’s bad. For us, it’s really not that bad.”
PEP TALK: Snyder said he had a quick chat with Shelvin Mack after the starting point guard’s rough outing Tuesday against his former team, the Atlanta Hawks. Mack shot 2 of 13 and only scored five points with three turnovers against Jeff Teague, who lit up the Jazz for 24 points and six assists.
“We spoke about it briefly. Just hang in there. You could tell how he wanted to play well,” Snyder said. “Really, when you watch the film, he had some great looks right at the rim and balls were going in and out. They were shots that I would want him to take again.”
Snyder said Mack appeared to be fatigued early in the game, going against the quick Teague.
“He was breathing really heavy, because he’s expending a lot of energy,” Snyder said. “It was an emotional game. He’ll bounce back from that. We feel good about what we’ve seen from him, and Jeff Teague’s pretty fast.”