Just because Andris Biedrins doesn’t celebrate the holiday doesn’t mean he didn’t have something to be thankful for this week.
The Latvian center practiced with the Utah Jazz on Wednesday for the first time in a month since spraining his left ankle.
“I’m feeling good,” he said. “Just happy to be on the floor again.”
Biedrins came to Utah in a trade after spending his first nine seasons in the league with Golden State. His last season with the Warriors shook his confidence after averaging career lows in minutes played, rebounds and points.
The 7-footer, who is making $9 million in the last year of his contract, is looking to bounce back.
“Of course it’s on my mind,” he said about his contract. “That’s why this injury was so frustrating because I thought I was in really good shape before I sprained it. So it will take a lot to get it back, but I’m ready for it. I know this is my last year, and I’ll do everything to succeed.”
While Biedrins is eager to return to game action, his status for Friday’s game against the Phoenix Suns still is uncertain.
“This will be his first full run,” coach Ty Corbin said Wednesady. “We’re going to monitor him a little bit and see how he goes.”
On the move
Nobody has traveled more distance in the NBA this year — at least on the court — than Utah’s Gordon Hayward.
The fourth-year swingman from Butler has covered a league-high 42.9 miles in 16 games, according to the NBA’s SportsVU data.
It’s something Corbin hopes he can curb slightly.
“As we get more healthy, hopefully we can manage a little bit more how much time he’s having on the floor,” he said. “But he’s playing very well for us. We need him to make plays. But we want to keep him fresh to finish games for us.”
On the other foot
Center Enes Kanter was held out of practice Wednesday as he deals with a sprained right ankle. Kanter injured it in Sunday’s loss to Oklahoma City and was held out of Monday’s game against Chicago.