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News » O'Connor praises Boozer's behavior

O'Connor praises Boozer's behavior

O'Connor praises Boozer's behavior There are still questions from reporters in almost every city and still speculation about what will happen before the February trade deadline, but with the season set to begin this week, the Jazz's dominant storyline of Carlos Boozer 's discontent largely has disappeared.

For that, general manager Kevin O'Connor is grateful, praising the way Boozer has handled himself so far.

"He's been an absolute, total pro -- absolute, total pro," O'Connor said Sunday. "He's done everything that coach has asked him to do. Just been an absolute, total professional."

Boozer averaged 12.5 points and 6.4 rebounds while shooting better than 60 percent in the preseason. O'Connor even said he looks at Boozer as little different from Kyrylo Fesenko and Kyle Korver in playing in a contract year.

O'Connor didn't dispute the suggestion that the Jazz appear a better team for having brought back Boozer, despite his trade campaign this summer in which he went so far as to name Chicago and Miami as favored destinations.

"He's made the All-Star team two of the last three years," O'Connor said. "That's some of the things that you focus on. Not the negatives, the positives that he brings. He's a veteran that's in the prime of his Basketball career and somebody that came back in shape.

"He's healthy and he's been an absolute, total professional, working on the things he has said himself he wants to work on to become more of a complete player. We're thrilled."


Mile-high matchup

The Jazz acknowledge they couldn't ask for a better test to open the season than Wednesday's game at Denver. Not only did the Jazz go 15-26 on the road last season, but the Nuggets won the Northwest Division and reached the Western Conference finals.

Asked about the six-game gap in the standings between Denver and Utah last season, Deron Williams said: "I think the gap would have been a lot smaller if we would have been healthy."


Quite an exhibition

Finishing with a 6-2 preseason record, the Jazz continued a remarkable streak: Since 1990, coach Jerry Sloan 's teams have had exactly one losing record (2-5, 2005) in the exhibition season. Sloan has a record of 89-68 (.567) in the preseason with the Jazz .

"They'll never have that on your record," Sloan cracked, adding, "I like to win, but I also try to use some guys in a situation where they're not familiar with."

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Added: October 27, 2009


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