Utah Jazz: Jefferson has struggled, but Corbin says he does more than score
Tyrone Corbin defended Al Jefferson, even though a night earlier the Jazz center struggled to defend anyone.
Against the Lakers on Friday, the Jazz lost in part because of Los Angeles' success running the pick-and-roll right at Jefferson. Defending the staple play has been a frequent criticism of Jefferson, and that picked up steam following the Jazz's 102-84 loss at Staples Center.
"Although folks don't think he's the best defensive player, he actually does some good things for us on his man," Corbin said.
However, against the Lakers, Jefferson's man was Dwight Howard, who was 8 of 12 from the field and finished with 17 points and 13 rebounds.
Entering Saturday, Jefferson's struggles weren't limited to defense. He was 10 of 31 from the field in games against the Lakers and the Washington Wizards, but said Saturday, "It's two games, but shots just aren't going down."
On the season, Jefferson is averaging 17 points per game on 47.6 percent shooting.
"He does more things than just scoring for us," Corbin said. "He's a good rebounder. ... And he gives us good effort, and he's a big body that knows how to play inside. So you try and give guys opportunities to work through their struggles during the game and see where it goes, and if it don't, you have to make a change.
On Friday, Corbin went to Derrick Favors when, he said, the Jazz started to feel like the game was slipping away.
"We wanted to get Derrick on the floor a little more with his activity," Corbin said. "We wanted to get something going and it never turned for us."
The Houston Rockets have a movie date before playing the Jazz on Monday.
Point guard Jeremy Lin and his teammates are scheduled to attend the final Sundance Film Festival screening of "Linsanity" on Sunday evening. The documentary by Chinese-American filmmaker Evan Jackson Leong chronicles Lin's rise to an international phenomenon last season with the New York Knicks, when he scored 161 points in six games.
The second game in that run was against the Jazz at Madison Square Garden, when Lin made his first career start and scored 28 points in a 99-88 Knicks victory.
But while the Rockets will be hitting the red carpet at the Rose Wagner Center in downtown Salt Lake City, Corbin doesn't have much desire to join them.
"I saw that one up front and close," he said. "Too close. Don't need to see that one again."
After signing a free-agent contract with the Rockets in the offseason, Lin is averaging 12 points and six assists per game.