Portland — Josh Howard looked strong during pregame warmups, running the court at full speed while focusing on ballhandling and agility drills.
Howard said today after shootaround he's ready to take the court immediately and is just waiting for coach Tyrone Corbin to call his number.
Asked about greenlighting Howard, Corbin said during his presume media session the decision to play/not play Howard is based more on his knowledge of the Jazz's offensive and defensive systems than his conditioning. Corbin acknowledged Howard looks good, but said he only expects the small forward to play 5-10 minutes tonight, at best.
Corbin praised Mehmet Okur and Raja Bell, saying they came into camp motivated, in shape and ready to go. It's not a coincidence they're starting tonight.
Corbin added he's open to starting Okur during the regular season. Rotation spots are still up for grabs and Okur has impressed Utah's coaches and teammates with his initial performance.
Brian T. Smith