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News » Jazz try to recover from European journey

Jazz try to recover from European journey

Jazz try to recover from European journey MADRID ? Before leaving here early Thursday morning and arriving in Utah on Friday morning, the Jazz were perplexed. Two hours? Two days? Two weeks? Certainly not two months, like the last time they ventured both overseas and out of the country.

Just how long would it take their body clocks to wind back to normal, their legs to feel like they should and their minds to be back where they belong? No one with the team that lost an NBA EuropeLive 2009 tour preseason game to Chicago on a buzzer-beater Tuesday in London and easily won an exhibition Thursday here against Spanish League power Real Madrid knew for sure. "Everybody's different," Jazz coach Jerry Sloan said. "Probably a couple of days ? I hope," suggested center Mehmet Okur, who actually was back home in Turkey just a couple months ago ? but said he felt like he was here in Europe "yesterday." Point guard Deron Williams figures it will take at least a few days for all to be right. "My sleep pattern's off," he said shortly before leaving Madrid. "I'm excited to get that back. "(But) I don't think it should take that long, especially when we get back home and get in our own bed." To ease the transition, Sloan gave his players not only Friday but also all of Saturday off from practice. They'll be back to work this morning, will hold an open-to-the-public scrimmage Tuesday night at Energy-Solutions Arena, resume their eight-game preseason schedule Thursday at home vs. Portland and head to Los Angeles for a pair next weekend. "We have ? what? ? 17 or 18 days to be able to get squared away," said Jazz general manager Kevin O'Connor, who feels his team lost more than the three days that it got in extra training camp time just for making the NBA-mandated promotional trip. "But we're all creatures of habit. I mean, when you take us out of a routine, whether it's driving the same way to work or whatever, I think it takes a while to catch up." Utah opens the regular season on Oct. 28 vs. Denver, five nights after its final exhibition game. "We have time," Sloan said. "That's one good thing about it," he added. "We have time to try to hopefully do what our job is, which is to analyze whether or not they can play under what we try to do and to see who's going to give us the best chance to try to do that." Still, he doesn't know how his club will react to its out-of-the-ordinary preseason travel schedule. "The team that I had that went to Japan, I didn't practice them hardly at all (afterward)," Sloan said of the 1990 Jazz team he took to Toyko for a regular-season split with Phoenix. "It was really a strange thing. I was afraid to put 'em out there on the floor and scrimmage them. "But now we have more time to try to adapt to that situation in the meantime, rather than going right into another regular-season game." O'Connor considers the week-long trip to Europe "a timeout" for the Jazz from their regular routine for what, he said, his international players would call a couple of "friendly games." "I don't think you can walk back and expect us to be where we were when we left," the Jazz GM said. Still, not all was lost on the streets and in the public squares of London and Madrid. "I think it was (beneficial), as far us being together, playing together," said Jazz forward Paul Millsap, who scored 38 points in the two games combined, including a game-high 20 in Spain. "You know, we played good Basketball." e-mail:

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: October 12, 2009


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