Utah Jazz: Reserves sense opportunity in stretch run
NBA • Malcolm Thomas, Ian Clark says they’ll be ready if called on by Corbin
Published: March 7, 2014 03:37PM
Updated: March 8, 2014 08:29PM
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Steve Griffin | The Salt Lake Tribune Utah's Ian Clark directs traffic during second half action in the Jazz versus Golden State preseason NBA basketball game at the EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah Tuesday, October 8, 2013.

New York • Utah Jazz center Andris Biedrins hadn’t seen playing time in a while. His last minutes (two of them) came in mid-December against the Miami Heat.

But on Wednesday, the veteran center was moved to the inactive list for the first time this season for a reason other than injury or illness — and it could mean more opportunities for forward Malcolm Thomas and guard Ian Clark.

“We will get a chance to look at some more things going forward,” Jazz coach Ty Corbin said after Friday morning’s shootaround at Madison Square Garden. “That’s not saying we’re doing anything other than continuing to try to develop this group of guys. But we want to see where guys are, see what we have, and see where we go from here.”

Thomas and Clark have regularly been listed as inactive, watching games from behind the bend, dressed in suit coats.

On Wednesday, Thomas got the nod in place of Biedrins, and though he did not see time on the court, the forward from San Diego State senses an opportunity.

“Very anxious,” he said of awaiting his time on the court. “I’ve been working hard on just staying positive and waiting for my turn. It seems like it’s coming now. I just have to be ready when my name is called.”

If that happens Friday as the Jazz look to end a four-game losing streak against the struggling New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden, it would be his first action in seven games.

Thomas has played in three games, logging a total of 17 minutes and scoring four points, since being waived by the Spurs and claimed by Utah earlier this season.

Clark, who turned 23 years old on Friday, is in a similar situation. The undrafted rookie out of Belmont has averaged 8 minutes in the 12 games he’s played this year. His last time on the court came Feb. 1 against the Clippers.

“It’s difficult,” he said of the lack of playing time. “Anybody who’s been in my position would say the same thing. You just find ways to deal with it. My way is to not worry about it and just keep working.”

In practice, Clark, a 6-foot-1 shooting guard, has been working on his ball-handling and play making, hoping to market himself as a true combo guard.

Thomas, a self-described energy and hustle guy, is honing his jump shot while still exhibiting the skill set that got him signed by the Jazz earlier this year.

“I feel like I’m 19, 20 out there because I have so much energy,” he said. “I’m just ready to go all the time.”

afalk@sltrib.com

Twitter: @tribjazz

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