Utah Jazz notes: Brooklyn's Kirilenko, Williams return to Utah
The Jazz will see two familiar faces Wednesday night, when they resume play after the All-Star break against Brooklyn at EnergySolutions Arena.
Andrei Kirilenko and Deron Williams played a combined 1,120 regular-season and 89 playoffs games during their careers as members of the Jazz.
Expected to be key members of a championship-caliber team in Brooklyn, Kirilkenko and Williams have struggled with injuries this season.
Kirilenko averages 5.6 points and 3.5 rebounds in 22 games. Williams averages 13.3 points and 6.6 assists in 35 games.
Brooklyn brings a 24-27 record to Utah. It trails Toronto by 31/2 games in the Atlantic Division and sits seventh in the overall Eastern Conference playoff race.
"They are playing better," Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin said prior to Tuesday morning's practice. "They have figured some things out. â¦
"We've got to make sure we are ready for one-on-one basketball. They [run] a lot of isos. â¦ They have guys who are capable of having big games."
That group includes Kirilenko and Williams.
Kirilenko played 618 games and made 478 starts in Utah between 2002 and 2011. He played in 45 playoff games.
Williams played 439 games with the Jazz, including 406 starts, between 2006 and 2011. He played in 44 playoff games before being traded.
A taxing schedule
The Jazz embark on a grueling eight-week finishing stretch of the schedule against Brooklyn.
Utah has played only 16 games in 46 days, going back to Dec. 31. But the Jazz will play 30 games in the final 57 days of the season.
Of the remaining games, 15 will be played at home, 14 will be played against Western Conference opponents and 14 will be played against teams over .500.
A season-long six-game road trip runs between Feb. 28 and March 8, when the Jazz visit Cleveland, Indiana, Milwaukee, Washington, New York and Philadelphia.
"That might be the longest one I've ever been on," Gordon Hayward said. "â¦ I'm sure it will be a nice, freezing-cold road trip for us."
Because the Nets have struggled, they have been one of the teams rumored to be most interested in making a deal (or deals) prior to Thursday's trade deadline.
According to a variety of media reports, Brooklyn has expressed interest in acquiring guard Jarrett Jack from Cleveland, center Jordan Hill from the L.A. Lakers and shooting guard Marcus Thornton from Sacramento.
Jazz vs. Nets
O At EnergySolutions Arena
Tipoff • 7 p.m.
TV • Root Sports
Radio • 1280 AM, 1600 AM, 97.5 FM
Records • Jazz 19-33; Nets 24-27
Season series • Nets lead 1-0
Last meeting • Nets, 104-88 (Nov. 5, 2013)
About the Jazz • They have won a season-high three straight games. â¦ They have won four of the last five games against the Nets. â¦ F Richard Jefferson missed practice Tuesday became of stomach cramps and will be a game-time decision. â¦ C Derrick Favors (sprained hip) will also be a game-time decision.
About the Nets • They have won four of their last six games but come off a 92-76 loss at Chicago just before the All-Star break. â¦ They have not won in Utah since Nov. 28, 2008. â¦ C Brook Lopez averages 20.7 points a game but he was lost for the season in December because of a broken foot.