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News » Utah Jazz Roster Report 2009-10-28


Utah Jazz Roster Report 2009-10-28


Utah Jazz Roster Report 2009-10-28ANALYZING STARTERS:

G Deron Williams has established himself as one of the league's top point guards. This also should be the year in which Williams finally is selected to the All-Star Game, after being passed over in three previous seasons. Despite badly spraining his ankle in the preseason, Williams still posted career-highs of 19.4 points and 10.7 assists in 2008-09. His goals for this season including cutting down on turnovers, boosting his three-point percentage and solidifying the Jazz's play on the road.

G Ronnie Brewer will be entering his third season as a full-time starter. It could be a contract year as well for Brewer, should he and the Jazz be unable to come to agreement on a contract extension before the end of October. Brewer averaged 13.7 points last season but remains a work in progress as a shooter. Jazz coach Jerry Sloan wants to see Brewer become a tougher man defender rather than just racking up steals.

F Andrei Kirilenko came off the bench primarily last season but likely will return to the starting lineup with C.J. Miles out after undergoing thumb surgery. Kirilenko has expressed no public preference for either role aside from playing full minutes. The last remaining former teammate of John Stockton and Karl Malone, Kirilenko bulked up this summer by adding 20 pounds. The challenge will be maintaining his weight all season.

F Carlos Boozer hasn't come off the bench in four seasons, so don't expect him to start doing so now. Paul Millsap is all but guaranteed to be the Jazz's starting power forward next season, but Millsap is better suited for the bench role now than Boozer. Plus, moving to the bench would destroy Boozer's trade value and hurt him heading into free agency. Having suffered through so many injury-plagued seasons, Boozer must prove that he is healthy and capable of returning to All-Star status. The Jazz, meanwhile, hope his return to Utah won't serve as a distraction for the team all season.

C Mehmet Okur ranked sixth in the NBA in shooting 44.6 percent from three-point range last season. He remains one of the league's most unique players, given his size and shooting ability, and was rewarded with a two-year contract extension this summer. Okur has worked to improve his interior game, including adding a running hook shot. With Matt Harpring's status uncertain, Okur also will be the Jazz's oldest regular (at least to start the season) at all of 30 years old.

ANALYZING KEY RESERVES:

F Paul Millsap will look to build on a season in which he posted 19 straight double-doubles and finished fourth in voting for the NBA's Most Improved Player award. The Jazz will do everything possible to find additional minutes for Millsap, whether it is playing him at small forward or using him alongside Boozer in an undersized frontcourt. Millsap has worked to expand his game as far as shooting and ball-handling. The Jazz matched the four-year, $32 million offer sheet Millsap signed with Portland this summer.

G Kyle Korver is heading into his second full season in Utah but has been bothered by injuries. Korver underwent off-season wrist surgery that limited his court time this summer, then suffered an inflamed knee during training camp. His three-point shooting has dipped from 43.0 percent in the 2006-07 season in Philadelphia to 38.6 percent last season.

G C.J. Miles was able to focus on basketball this summer rather than his contract situation. He returned to Utah for the start of the season in the best shape of his career only to rupture a thumb ligament in practice and require surgery. Miles was a full-time starter last season but regularly gave way to Kirilenko six minutes into each half and did not come back from the bench. He is hoping to claim a greater role this season.

G Ronnie Price has waited his turn for two seasons as the Jazz's No. 3 point guard. He will have the inside track as Deron Williams' backup this season, but faces a battle with rookie Eric Maynor. Price has the ability to play shooting guard in a small backcourt and in fact might be best suited to the position.

C Kosta Koufos played in 48 games as a rookie and is battling C Kyrylo Fesenko for minutes backing up Mehmet Okur. Only 20, Koufos was a member of Greece's bronze-medal winning team at this summer's European championships in Poland.

MEDICAL WATCH:

F Matt Harpring (ankle, knee) was not with the team for either training camp or the preseason, though the Jazz have not yet declared the 11-year veteran's career over. Harpring continues to deal with the effects of a devastating infection that followed ankle surgery in 2008 as well as multiple knee surgeries. He will be reevaluated in mid-November.

G C.J. Miles (thumb surgery) will wear a cast for the next four weeks after suffering a ruptured ligament in his left thumb. Miles will begin rehab work after that. The Jazz have not set an official timetable for Miles' return, but similar injuries involving players on other teams have tended to take six to eight weeks for them to return.


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Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: October 28, 2009

 

 
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