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. 

John Wall commits to Wizards long term with huge contract extension

wall-steph-us.jpg
USATSI

John Wall commits to Wizards long term with huge contract extension

The Washington Wizards' long-term future is now a lot clearer, as superstar point guard John Wall agreed to terms on a four-year contract worth $170 million. David Aldridge first reported the news.

Wall, 26, re-ups with the Wizards through the 2022-23 season. By the time it expires he will be 32 years old, meaning the Wizards have locked him up for the majority if not all of his prime.

Wall was able to earn the dollar amount he did in part because of his selection to third team All-NBA for the 2016-17 season. Under the recently installed collective bargaining agreement, honors like All-NBA and Defensive Player of the Year allow players to earn more money on contract extensions.

The Wizards drafted Wall first overall in 2010 out of the University of Kentucky. In his seven NBA seasons since, Wall has blossomed into one of the NBA's best players with career averages of 18.8 points, 9.2 assists and 4.4 rebounds per game. He has been an All-Star in each of the past four seasons and is a one-time All-Defensive team selection.

READ MORE AT CSNMidAtlantic.com

Kevin Love closes Twitter response with 'now go kick some rocks'

love-kevin-lebron-irving-media-day.jpg
USATI

Kevin Love closes Twitter response with 'now go kick some rocks'

On Friday afternoon, news broke that Kyrie Irving reportedly requested a trade from the Cavs.

Shortly thereafter, a Twitter account with over 296,000 followers tweeted the following:

[RATTO: Kyrie Irving needs to be traded to one place, and one place only]

A little over an hour later, Kevin Love responded:

On Tuesday night, Irving told Sports Illustrated the Cavs are "in a very peculiar place."

In the weeks between Cleveland's Game 5 loss to the Warriors and the start of free agency, Love was reportedly on the trading block.

The Cavs and GM David Griffin "mutually" parted ways three days before the NBA Draft.

Cleveland is finally finalizing a deal with assistant GM Coby Altman to become the permanent general manager, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

LeBron James can opt out and become a free agent next summer, and there is already speculation about where he may go.

Man. The last six weeks in Cleveland have been wild...

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders and a Web Producer at NBC Sports Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller