Utah Jazz: Team assigns Murphy to D-League team
With starting point guard Mo Williams targeting Wednesday for his return from a sprained foot, the Utah Jazz have assigned rookie Kevin Murphy to their Reno affiliate in the NBA Developmental League.
The Jazz announced the roster move after Monday morning's shoot-around. They play Denver at 7 p.m. Monday at EnergySolutions Arena.
If Williams' injury was considered more serious, it's unlikely the Jazz would send Murphy to the D-League. But if Williams can return during Utah's upcoming road trip to New Orleans, Oklahoma City and Houston, assigning Murphy to Reno makes sense.
Murphy, a second-round draft pick out of Tennessee Tech, has played only nine minutes in the Jazz's first 14 games. He should get invaluable playing time with the Bighorns.
Meanwhile, the Jazz try to climb back over .500 against the streaking Nuggets.
Utah is 7-7 this season, including 5-0 at home and 2-7 on the road.
The Nuggets are 8-6 and have won four straight, including an easy 102-84 victory over New Orleans on Sunday night at Pepsi Center.
"We have to make them play against a half-court defense," Jazz center Al Jefferson said. "They are an up-tempo team. What they want is for you to take bad shots so they can take advantage of it turn the ball over and take advantage of it. So we have to make them play against a half-court defense and a half-court offense."
Gordon Hayward agrees.
Tempo, he said, "will be really important. We want to make sure we play at our own pace and we want to get easy baskets. We want to push the ball up [the floor], but at the same time, we can't get helter-skelter and play too chaotic out there."
The Nuggets, like Utah, feature a balanced offensive attack.
Andre Iguodala averages a team-high 15.6 points. He's joined in double figures by Danilo Gallinari (15.4), Ty Lawson (13.1), Kenneth Faried (12.9) and JaVale McGee (10.4).
Former University of Utah star Andre Miller, now in his 14th season, averages 8.8 points and 5.5 assists as Lawson's backup at point guard.
"They have a lot of options on their team," Hayward said. "They can score the basketball in a variety of ways. They've got a lot of guys who can shoot from outside, and they have a lot of slashers. They have some big guys who can roll to the basket and finish plays lobs and dunks. So there are a lot of different ways they can score."