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News » Jazz not happy with division standing

Jazz not happy with division standing

Jazz not happy with division standing Even if their season is only 15 games old, the sight couldn't be more foreign to the Jazz , who have been waking up recently to find themselves fourth in the Northwest Division standings behind Denver, Portland and Oklahoma City.

"That's crazy to us because we feel like our potential is so much higher," Carlos Boozer said. "But that's the great thing about it is it's still a young season. ... So for us, we have the whole season to look forward to to climb up that ladder, and we're trying to do that right now."

Only a season removed from winning their second consecutive division title, the Jazz trailed Denver by 31/2 games, Portland by 21/2, and Oklahoma City by a half-game. The Jazz are 0-2 in the Northwest, having lost on opening night to the Nuggets and Tuesday to the Thunder.

"Usually, we're at the top -- first or second, third last year -- but it's still early," Deron Williams said. "We've still got time."

The Jazz will have the chance to win their first Northwest game tonight against Portland. Jazz coach Jerry Sloan is fond of calling division games -- particularly those at home -- the most important a team plays.

The winner of the Northwest is guaranteed a top-four playoff seed, though not necessarily home-court advantage in the first round. With upcoming games against Memphis, Indiana and Minnesota, tonight's game offers the opportunity to start a winning streak as well.


Inching closer

C.J. Miles went through a portion of practice Friday as he moves closer to making his return from left thumb surgery. Miles said he couldn't take part in live action but would be able to go through drills. He expects to practice in full for the first time Tuesday.

"I'm just excited to play, get back on the floor, be a part of this -- just get everything back together," Miles said.

Kyrylo Fesenko was sick for a second day after missing Thursday's game with a stomach virus. Fesenko's absence left the Jazz with just nine players for the sixth time in seven games, though they have gone 5-1 with a shorthanded lineup.

Kyle Korver (left knee surgery) and Ronnie Price (sprained left big toe) did not practice Friday.


Taking attendance

They ranked seventh in the NBA in attendance entering Friday, but the Jazz have now failed to sell out six consecutive home games. They announced a crowd of 18,045 for their Thanksgiving night tilt against the Bulls.

The Jazz are averaging 18,833 through seven home games.

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Author: Fox Sports
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Added: November 28, 2009


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