Shootaround Jazz's Jefferson misses practice; Bell meets with Corbin, O'Connor
Notes following Jazz shootaround Monday at EnergySolutions Arena.The Jazz are expected to start Devin Harris, Gordon Hayward, Josh Howard and Paul Millsap against Detroit.Al Jefferson (family matter) didn't participate in shootaround and his status will be determined closer to tipoff. If Jefferson can't go, Derrick Favors will start at center with Enes Kanter off the bench.
Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin and general manager Kevin O'Connor have yet to meet with guard Raja Bell. The conference is expected to occur soon, though. Corbin said Bell's status against the Pistons has yet to be determined. Asked about his relationship with Bell, Corbin paused five seconds before saying, "He's the player and I'm the coach. I've known him for a while. It is what it is."Corbin was visibly frustrated and tense answering questions about Bell. Asked if Bell could be suspended, Corbin said he'll first have to see how the meeting goes."We'll talk and we'll see what happens," Corbin said. "We'll meet and we'll see where it goes."
Corbin on the Pistons: Actually, they're playing very well, man. They've won four out of their last five games and three in a row. This team is a talented ballclub that's getting used to what the coach has been trying to get them acclimated to all year. They're a tough-nosed team that compete on both ends of the floor. They're capable of scoring points, especially with Gordon coming off the bench for 'em.
They're starting to play a lot better, reading the system. They're physical on the defensive end of the floor. On offense they're very talented, they're a versatile team. The bigs can step out and Jerebko can shoot shots on the perimeter. Monroe's great going inside for them and Maxiell's a very aggressive guy. Ben Wallace is who he is at being physical. They present a lot of problems for you. And I think they can go small at times with Prince playing the 4 spot.
After meeting with Corbin and O'Connor, Bell said he's set to undergo a magnetic-resonance imaging exam and his status against the Pistons is still to be determined. The Jazz haven't made an announcement about the MRI. However, Bell pointed toward his left knee area. He recently missed six consecutive games due to a strained left adductor.
"I'm going to go get this MRI in a couple minutes then be at the gym tonight, ready to do my job. â¦ It's just precautionary," Bell said. "My knee's been a little sore. I don't think I'm injured, but they want to take a look at it."
Bell's open to playing out the remainder of his contract with Utah which runs through 2012-13 and felt the meeting went well overall.
"It's business as usual. We had a good conversation, we talked over a few things, and you keep it moving," Bell said.
He added: "I bought into coming here and doing my best to help this team win. That's what I've tried do all year. And until that's not my job anymore, that's what I'll do.
"I told them in [the meeting] I like Salt Lake. My family likes Salt Lake. I really enjoy my teammates. So from my perspective, yeah, I'm fine."
Bell said Corbin and O'Connor decided to send him back to Salt Lake City on Friday after a road loss to Philadelphia. Bell acknowledged he wasn't surprised by the decision, saying "sometimes frustrations come to a head."
Asked about his confidence in Corbin as Utah's coach, Bell said he's "never questioned him as the right coach for the job."
Bell on whether Corbin said during the meeting he plans to listen to veterans more: No.
Revealing more about what was discussed during the conference: The rest of that's between me and Ty and Kevin. Again, it was a good conversation. We left it on good terms and so we'll see where we go from here.
Whether Bell's open to staying with Utah through 2012-13: Yep.
After Bell spoke with the media, Corbin walked out of the coaches' office area. Asked for a post-meeting comment, Corbin declined.
"I'll talk tonight," he said. "We'll say something [then]."
Brian T. Smith