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News » Utah Jazz Notes, Quotes 2009-10-16

Utah Jazz Notes, Quotes 2009-10-16

Utah Jazz Notes, Quotes 2009-10-16--As reluctant as they were to head overseas, the Jazz did declare their five-day European preseason trip a success. They lost a buzzer-beater to Chicago in London before drilling Real Madrid in Spain's capital. Jazz players Deron Williams, Andrei Kirilenko and Kyle Korver attended the Chelsea-Liverpool soccer game in London, went out to dinner and walked the city's streets in Jazz sweats while attracting zero notice. Such is the unfamiliarity with basketball in the country. Jazz coach Jerry Sloan toured the Churchill Museum and war bunker one afternoon. "These last two games have been something I'll always remember," Sloan said. The Jazz took a 90-person traveling party overseas, including members of their dance and stunt teams, stat crew and EnergySolutions Arena officials.

--The Jazz couldn't even make it to their second preseason game before losing a member of their starting lineup. C.J. Miles suffered a ruptured thumb ligament during a practice in London and will miss the start of the season while recovering. With Matt Harpring out indefinitely, the Jazz are down to just 11 healthy players under contract and only three healthy wings in Ronnie Brewer, Andrei Kirilenko and Kyle Korver. Already $12 million into luxury-tax territory, the Jazz also might face no choice about carrying a 14th player on their roster following Miles' injury. Rookie Wesley Matthews and veteran Ronald Dupree appear to have the inside track. Matthews started and scored 16 points in the Jazz's preseason loss to Chicago.

MAIN REASON JAZZ CAN WIN: The Jazz have been all but unbeatable at EnergySolutions Arena, posting a 70-12 record the last two seasons. Another 30-win season at home would put the Jazz on track for a playoff spot at least and in contention for a division title. They have continuity on their side as well, returning 12 players from last season and seven players from the team that reached the Western Conference finals in 2007. The Jazz also do not expect to have a repeat of their injury-ravaged 2008-09 season.

MAIN REASON JAZZ CAN LOSE: If anything, the Jazz have regressed in recent seasons with respect to defense and winning on the road. They finished last season just 15-11 at full strength after Carlos Boozer's return and collapsed down the stretch, including an embarrassing loss to a seven-man Golden State team. The Jazz went 1-12 on the road against the Western Conference's seven other playoff teams and were an abysmal 3-18 overall in the second game of back-to-back sets.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "It's nothing new, just more emphasis. It's just a matter of us wanting to play defense. You've got to want to play defense. The best defensive players, the best defensive teams, they take pride in it and that's what we've got to try to do." -- Deron Williams, on the Jazz's renewed defensive emphasis this season.

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: October 16, 2009


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