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News » Jazz hope ailing Brewer keeps up his hot shooting

Jazz hope ailing Brewer keeps up his hot shooting

Jazz hope ailing Brewer keeps up his hot shooting He missed the Jazz's final preseason game, a win Friday night at Sacramento, due to back spasms. But if Ronnie Brewer can calmly knock down jumpers like he did during most of the exhibition season, it would do wonders for an offense in need of solid outside shooting. "That determines whether or not they're gonna guard you ? and if they (opponents) do, then that makes things a little bit easier for us to try to run an offense and then try to get a good shot, have a good balance on the floor," Jazz coach Jerry Sloan said.

"And if not, then it's tough to play down the stretch in those situations." Brewer was reminded of all that the hard way last postseason, when the Los Angeles Lakers gave him absolutely no respect in their first-round playoff series win over the Jazz . In his seven preseason games, though, Brewer made 29-of-48 (60.4 percent) from the field ? including 19-of-29 over the final four. And in four of those seven games, he hit 66.7 percent or better. They weren't all layups and dunks, either. "He's worked on (his jumper) quite a bit," said Sloan, whose Jazz return to practice today after getting Saturday off. "Exhibition season, shot the ball pretty well out on the floor. Seemed to be a lot more confident." But there's a but, suggested Sloan, whose Jazz open the regular season Wednesday at Denver. "The test," he said, "comes when we start playing for real, and teams either drop off of you or get up and play you." BOOZER'S TAKE: Two-time NBA All-Star power forward Carlos Boozer of the Jazz weighed in recently on the struggles of young bigs KostaKoufos and KyryloFesenko, who were blasted by Sloan after an exhibition loss last weekend to the Los Angeles Clippers for "just going through the motions" and their need to "learn to compete." "All they've got to do is work hard," Boozer said. "They're young. They're very talented. They've just got to keep working, man. "They're gonna struggle at times. As vets, we struggle at times, too. But we have a little more experience, and we've learned to be able to push through our mistakes. If we make a mistake, we make it up later on (in) the game. That's what they've got to do. "They've got to not focus on their mistakes as much, and if they make a mistake, learn from it," he added. "But you guys know. They bust their tails. They work hard every day at practice, after practice. They've just got to stay a little more positive and not beat them themselves up as much, in my opinion." In their final three preseason games since Sloan's rebuke, Fesenko had 23 points, 19 rebounds and five blocks over 41 total minutes, while Koufos produced 18 points and 14 boards in 58 minutes. The Jazz could count on both ? especially the 7-foot-1 Fesenko ? for regular-season minutes, especially against similarly sized match-ups. "He's not being redshirted," Sloan said of Fesenko. "He's here to play and try to get better. I mean, obviously we have issues once in a while with his work habit. But, you know, he's got to continue to work." PRICE LINE: Combo guard RonniePrice missed five of the Jazz's eight preseason games, including the final four, due to a persistent hamstring strain. But teammate DeronWilliams, for one, is looking for big things from the sporadically used Price, who was rewarded with a new contract after a spirited showing in the Jazz's final postseason game against the Lakers. "It's kind of unfair he didn't (get) a shot in the playoffs, and he finally got one and it was the last game," Williams said. "But he played his butt off, and it's good for him to be back with a contract so he can just play." e-mail:

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: October 26, 2009


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