BREAKDOWN – Derrick Favors is Dwight Howard

The Jazz have discovered a defensively impenetrable lineup with Paul Millsap, Derrick Favors and Al Jefferson on the floor at the same time. The key to the line-up is the presence of Derrick Favors.

Earlier this season I did an extended post about the impact of Favors on the Jazz defensively. The numbers were stunning when he played over 25 minutes in a game the Jazz became elite defensively.

Now with the big lineup the Jazz defense has been beyond comprehension. With Millsap at the 3 the Jazz have outscored opponents 304 to 232 in 148 minutes.

It is as though the Jazz put the NBA best defensive player Dwight Howard on the floor. In fact, they might have. I have often referred to Derrick Favors as Dwight Howard lite. By the end of next year, he just might be another Dwight Howard.

Comparing Howard and Favors out of the draft and the measureables are stunningly similar.

PLAYER

HEIGHT

WEIGHT

STANDING REACH

WINGSPAN

NO STEP VERT

MAX VERT

3/4 COURT SPRINT

HOWARD

6’10.25

240

9’3.5

7’4.5

30.5

35.5

3.14

FAVORS

6’10.25

245

9’2

7’4

31.5

35.5

3.25

Howard body is something only made in NBA dreams, with a shoulder width never seen since Artis Gilmore. However, Favors is not far off that kinda of body.

In the first two years in the NBA the Magic rolled former #1 pck Dwight Howard out each night and he played 30 plus minutes. The Jazz have done it differently with Favors playing less minutes with the presence of Millsap and Jefferson.

If you dig into the per minute production, equalizing due to the different amount of time on the floor, Favors again is not quite Dwght Howard but he is in the ball park

Looking at their cumulative stats for the first two years here is the comparision.

PLAYER

PTS PER 36

REBS PER 36

AST PER 36

BLKS PER 36

HOWARD

14.4

11.7

1.3

1.6

FAVORS

13.6

10.4

1.0

1.6

Now if you look at just their second seasons, both at age 20 in the NBA

PLAYER

PTS PER 36

REBS PER 36

AST PER 36

BLKS PER 36

HOWARD

15.4

12.2

1.5

1.4

FAVORS

14.8

11.2

1.1

1.7

Again, not exactly but in the ball park to a year in and year out all-star.

What my eyes tell me is that Favors is more advanced offensively than Howard, he has more moves around the basket and more versatility. He has yet to figure out how to finish those shots and still needs to improve his touch around the basket. When that takes place he will make a huge jump offensively.

On the defensive and rebounding end of the floor he is a beast. He reminds me of Howard. It is silly how much he stands out athletically and skill wise compared to the other elite athletes on the floor.

Take a moment and consider the Jazz have a version of Dwight Howard anchoring the middle of this roster. That immediately makes you an elite NBA defensive team and if you are a top 8 defensive team in the NBA you win 50 games.

Last night, Favors was dominating. It was awe inspiriing. It was a glimpse into the future, a future that will be littered with all-star games, all defensive teams and an MVP is not out of the picture.