Utah Jazz’s Jefferson, Bell still GTDs against Dallas Mavericks

Brian T. Smith The Salt Lake Tribune

Published: January 27, 2012 06:34PM
Updated: January 27, 2012 01:42PM

Dallas — Notes following Jazz shootaround Friday morning at American Airlines Center.

Center Al Jefferson (inflamed right ankle) and guard Raja Bell (sore right knee, sore back) remain game-time decisions against the Mavericks. Utah coach Tyrone Corbin said he's unsure whether they'll be able to play, although both went through shootaround. Jefferson said he's definitely a GTD.

"They're banged up," Corbin said. "We'll see. … Raj's back's still bothering him. Al's [hurt] a little bit. So we'll see. They'll get some more treatment this afternoon and we'll see once we get back."

Due to the uncertainty about Jefferson and Bell, Utah's starting lineup won't be set until closer to tipoff. Derrick Favors would likely replace Jefferson, while C.J. Miles or Alec Burks could fill in for Bell. Corbin has a secondary starting unit in mind, but he wouldn't reveal it.

"Can't make the lineup until you have your players. If they can't go, we have to make a change," Corbin said.

Corbin thinks a Mavericks team coming off a 105-90 home loss Wednesday to Minnesota will try and quickly blow the Jazz out of AAC.

"The game in Salt Lake, we've got to come out like we played in the second half," he said. "I thought we did a great job of being aggressive on the defensive end, pushing them off their spots more — the rotations were a lot better. … We can't afford to let them get going here."

Corbin said the Jazz are getting the outside looks they want and the team is running good sets. However, players have begun to hesitate when firing from long range and it's started to hurt Utah's overall offense.

Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said guard Vince Carter (sprained left foot) could return to action against the Jazz. Carter said after shootaround he's unsure whether he'll be able to play and is "literally" a game-time decision.

"I don't know yet," Carter said. "I just asked and they said I got to wait and see."

The Mavericks are expected to start Jason Kidd, Delonte West, Shawn Marion, Lamar Odom and Brendan Haywood. Dirk Nowitzki (knee, conditioning) is out.

Carlisle acknowledged Dallas will likely use a zone defense to answer the Jazz's interior strength. He said the Mavericks' man-to-man defense has zone principles, though, adding that all NBA teams have outside shooters who can step up and hurt you.

Brian T. Smith

Twitter: @tribjazz