Jazz turn to Mack with starting point guard Hill out for Game 2

Jazz turn to Mack with starting point guard Hill out for Game 2

OAKLAND -- Starting point guard George Hill is officially out for the Utah Jazz Thursday night when they take on the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena in Game 2 of the Western Conference Semifinals. According to head coach Quin Snyder, reserve Shelvin Mack will start alongside Joe Ingles in the backcourt for Utah as they attempt to even the series at one game apiece.

“Everybody’s got to try and fill that void that George leaves, especially on the defensive end,” Rodney Hood told NBC Sports Bay Area during pregame. “He’s a really good defender and everybody has to be more aggressive and confident offensively.”

Mack, 27, started 27 games for the Jazz during the 2015-16 season after coming over in a midseason trade with Atlanta Hawks, but his numbers are down across the board this year. In 55 games with the Jazz this season, Mack has averaged 7.8 points and 2.8 assists in 21.9 minutes a night.

He is tasked with filling some big shoes. Hill was Utah’s second-leading scorer during the regular season, posting 16.1 points and 4.1 assists in 31.5 minutes a night. 

A former second-round pick, Mack has struggled throughout the playoffs, averaging just 1.8 points per game on 25 percent shooting. He’ll pick up the start, but won’t be the only Jazz player to see time at the point.

“Guys have to step up, it’s a shared load, it doesn’t really fall to one guy in particular,” Snyder said. “We’ve got to compete at the position.”

Snyder will use Dante Exum and Raul Neto as well as Mack as he searches for answers on both ends of the court.

Favors feeling better

Coming off a huge performance in Game 7 against the Los Angeles Clippers, veteran big man Derrick Favors played just 12 minutes in Game 1 against the Warriors due to a recurring back issue. Following the loss to Golden State, Favors, wrapped in ice, said the Jazz were taking a cautious approach to the injury.

During pregame on Thursday evening, the 6-foot-10 power forward told NBC Sports Bay Area that he is feeling much better and ready to play for the Utah. 

Myers: 'It's painful' that Kerr not able to treasure being in NBA Finals

Myers: 'It's painful' that Kerr not able to treasure being in NBA Finals

OAKLAND -- Warriors coach Steve Kerr is no closer to resuming full-time duties than he was a week ago, or even a month ago.

Out since April 23, when he announced he was taking a leave of absence to address chronic pain in the wake of multiple back surgeries nearly two years ago, Kerr has been a constant presence the past two weeks but not on the bench during games.

“He’s doing everything but coaching, but at this point, he’s not able to coach,” general manager Bob Myers said Thursday after practice. “I wish could say that he was. I’m sure he wishes he could as well. But that’s where we are.

“If something changes and he feels better, I’ll sit here or, better -- he would sit here -- and tell you. But right now, I can’t say that he’s going to be coaching.”

Though Kerr did not address media Thursday, he indicated earlier this week that he would be comfortable going into the NBA Finals, which begin June 1, with acting head coach Mike Brown at the helm.

“We’re 12-0,” Kerr told NBCSportsBayArea.com. “I feel great about where the team is. I know we can play better. I think the challenge we’re about to face, one way or the other, is going to take us to another level.”

The Warriors under Kerr finished the regular season with a league-best 67-15 mark, earning the No. 1 overall seed for the playoffs. Kerr coached Games 1 and 2 of the first round against Portland before surrendering head coaching duties to Brown.

The Warriors are 10-0 since Brown took over, 27-1 over their last 28 games since March 11.

Still, they would like Kerr to regain health and join them in their quest for a second championship in three years.

“It’s hard for me; I’m kind of in this basketball mode,” Myers said. “But he’s a person and he’s not feeling well. And that’s what makes it hard. More than how it reflects on our team is how he’s feeling that makes it very difficult to have to sit here and say that the man that’s hugely responsible for us being in The Finals for three years in a row, in a moment that he should be treasuring, can’t do it.

“It’s painful. And I know it’s painful for him, more than anybody. And I wish and he wishes and I’m sure you guys do, too, that there was something that could get him there. But right now, we’re not at that point.”

LeBron: Chasing Jordan 'my personal goal to keep me motivated'

LeBron: Chasing Jordan 'my personal goal to keep me motivated'

BOSTON -- LeBron James says his chase of Michael Jordan's accomplishments is simply personal motivation. It's not about wanting to establish himself as the NBA's greatest player.

James spoke Thursday during the morning shootaround before the Cavaliers play the Boston Celtics in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals.

If the Cavaliers advance, James would be making a seventh consecutive trip to the NBA Finals.

He said his goal is not about passing Jordan in titles, points or MVP awards. James is 28 points shy of overtaking Jordan as the postseason's leading scorer. With 40 more points, James could also become the first player in NBA history to score 6,000 points in the playoffs.

But the Cavaliers superstar says his pursuit is about leaving a legacy to motivate the next generation of players.

"It's just my personal goal to keep me motivated, that's all," James said. "You guys are gonna have the conversations about who's the greatest of all time and things of that nature, it doesn't matter to me."

He also said he believes that the greatness conversation is discussed more often in the NBA than in other sports.

"It's never talked about (in the) NFL, who's the greatest quarterback. It's just like (Dan) Marino, (John) Elway, (Peyton) Manning, (Tom) Brady - all great quarterbacks. It should be the same for us," James said. "We go out and just try to be as great as we can be every night.

"The comparison of always trying to compare people, either living or still playing or not playing - I think it's great for barbershops."