Injured forward Marvin Williams won’t travel to Portland and will miss his second straight game Friday night, when the Jazz play the Trail Blazers at the Rose Garden.
Williams is sidelined with what the team officially calls “calcaneal inflammation” in his right foot. He underwent surgery on the same foot for Achillies and heel issues during the offseason.
Despite his medical history, coach Tyrone Corbin claims that Williams staying home is not a sign of serious trouble.
“From what everything I hear … it just has to calm down so it doesn’t become a lingering problem,” Corbin said before Thursday morning’s practice.
“The next couple of days — by letting it calm down — he should be fine. Knowing Marvin, he wanted to go on the trip and help us. But the best thing for him, and the best thing we can do for him, is to let it calm down.”
Williams averages 10.4 points and 5.2 rebounds this season. He has played in 13 of the Jazz’s 20 games.
With Jeremy Evans and Williams unable to play in Wednesday night’s 95-86 loss to Indiana, Corbin was forced to juggle his rotation.
Enes Kanter moved into the starting lineup in place of Williams and finished with 20 points and 10 rebounds. But Utah’s shortened bench produced only 15 points, including 11 by Alec Burks.
Brandon Rush, Diante Garrett, Mike Harris, Andris Biedrins and Rudy Gobert combined for four points in 38 minutes.
“When you’re short-handed, it puts stress on other guys,” Corbin said. “We lost our rhythm offensively a little bit.”
Unlike Williams, Evans will play at Portland after a bout with stomach flu.
“He does a lot of little intangible things for us,” Corbin said. “Running the floor, the weak-side help, getting his hand on loose balls. A lot of those little things that he and Marvin give us, we missed” against Indiana.
Something has to give
The Jazz are 7-1 in their last eight games against Portland, but the Blazers are off to a surprisingly fast start this season.
They come off a 111-104 win over Oklahoma City, which bumped their Western Conference-leading record to 16-3.
“Another great ball club,” Corbin said. “They are very dynamic. They score a lot of points.”
LaMarcus Aldridge averages 23.5 points and 9.7 rebounds for Portland.
Former Jazz players Wesley Matthews and Mo Williams also are playing well. Matthews averages 16.4 points and makes 50 percent of his 3-point shots, while Williams averages 9.2 points.
Asked about Matthews, Corbin said, “He’s tough. He’s a tough, true professional. Everything he does, he does really hard. … He’s playing with a ton of energy.”