Denver » As Kyle Korver prepares to undergo surgery today in New York to remove a bone spur from his left knee, the Jazz could be without the three-point shooting guard for the season's first six weeks.
The Jazz have yet to set a timetable for his return, but Korver is believed to be operating under the assumption that he will be out for that long. He missed all but one of the Jazz's preseason games because of his knee.
"He's doing all right," Deron Williams said. "I know he's definitely frustrated by the situation. He finally gets his wrist healthy [after offseason surgery] and now it's his knee."
If Korver were to miss six weeks, the Jazz likely would be without both him and C.J. Miles (thumb surgery) for all of November. Korver's surgery had been scheduled for Tuesday but was postponed by a day, the team said.
The Jazz could be forgiven for not missing the suspended J.R. Smith tonight when they open against the Nuggets.
Not after Smith came off the bench to hit eight three-pointers and score 28 points in Denver's 114-104 victory April 2. This summer, Smith was suspended for seven games after pleading guilty to reckless driving in connection with a fatal 2007 accident.
"He's certainly a huge factor for them," Jazz coach Jerry Sloan said, "and I think he had a great year last year. He has the ability to shoot the ball and really give them a lot of big play. He's become a much better defensive player. His whole package has gotten better."
For the second consecutive year, the Nuggets not only will open against the Jazz, but do so with a key player suspended. Carmelo Anthony was suspended the first two games of last season in connection with a drunken driving arrest.
Twelve former Jazz players will open the season on the rosters of other teams, including Jarron Collins , who was claimed off waivers Tuesday by Phoenix.
The others: Raja Bell (Charlotte), Mo Williams (Cleveland), Kris Humphries (Dallas), Mikki Moore (Dallas), Derek Fisher (L.A. Lakers), Carlos Arroyo (Miami), Jason Hart (Minnesota), Sasha Pavlovic (Minnesota), Devin Brown (New Orleans), Louis Amundson (Phoenix) and DeShawn Stevenson (Washington).
At Pepsi Center
Time » 8:30 p.m.
TV » FSN Utah, ESPN
Radio » 1320 AM, 98.7 FM
Last meeting » Nuggets, 114-104 (April 2)
Records » Jazz 0-0, Nuggets 0-0
Line » Nuggets by 61/2
About the Jazz » The Jazz, as expected, will start Deron Williams, Ronnie Brewer, Andrei Kirilenko, Carlos Boozer and Mehmet Okur, coach Jerry Sloan said. ... Brewer (back spasms) and Ronnie Price (strained left hamstring) both said they expect to play. ... The Jazz have won their last six season openers, but went just 15-26 on the road in 2008-09.
About the Nuggets » The Nuggets are expected to start Joey Graham in place of the suspended J.R. Smith. ... Carmelo Anthony led the NBA in scoring in the preseason, averaging 23.6 points, and became the first player since Seattle's Gary Payton in 2002 to score 40 points or more in an exhibition game. Anthony had 45 against Indiana in Beijing.