Livingston latest PG insurance
Considering the pulled hamstrings, sore knees and groin pulls that his point guards have endured this season, it's no wonder Jazz coach Jerry Sloan was growing concerned about Keith McLeod and Howard Eisley's chances of surviving the final 26 games in one piece.
So with Carlos Boozer's foot still stubbornly refusing to heal, the Jazz addressed their lack of depth at the position Wednesday by putting the power forward on the injured list. Rather than adding another big man, the Jazz, left with only two healthy point guards when Raul Lopez injured his left knee, signed another ball-handler.
Randy Livingston, an eight-year veteran who spent a month in training camp with the Jazz in 2001, will sign a 10-day contract with Utah once he passes a physical exam today. Livingston, who has averaged 4.0 points in 177 games for seven different teams since being drafted by Houston in 1996, will be in uniform Friday for the Jazz's game in New Orleans.
"We felt pretty comfortable with our rotation on the front line," said Kevin O'Connor, the Jazz's senior vice president of basketball operations. "But if one of the point guards got hurt, now we're in trouble."
For that reason, it's possible Livingston will remain with Utah for the rest of the season, though the Jazz aren't ready to make that commitment until they have seen the 6-foot-4 LSU product play. Livingston, who played four games for the Clippers last season, was averaging 13.2 points, 8.4 assists and 5.1 rebounds for the CBA's Sioux Falls Sky Force when the Jazz called.
Boozer circling date
Boozer must sit out at least another four games, but the former Cavalier said he still plans to play March 15 on his old homecourt.
"I don't want to miss any games, but obviously, that game in particular, I want to play," Boozer said. "Especially after we lost to them here, I want to play them again."
He can't say he is certain it will happen, however, because he didn't expect to be sidelined this long, either.
"I definitely didn't think it would take this long. It was pretty painful at the time, but I expected [to return in] maybe a week, or sooner," Boozer said. "But I really have discomfort in my foot."
The problem, he said, is that a bone in one of the joints at the base of a toe "popped out of place, and then back in place," straining the tendons around it. "It still hasn't calmed down yet," he said, despite a daily regimen of ice, ultrasound, physical therapy and massage.
Boozer missed one game his rookie season and six last year, so this is the worst injury of his career.
After Wednesday's game, Atlanta executive vice president and general manager Billy Knight lingered outside the Hawks' locker room and visited with University of Utah coach Ray Giacoletti. Considering the Hawks' liklihood of owning one of the first couple of picks in this summer's draft, Ute center Andrew Bogut's name presumably was mentioned at some point during the 10-minute chat.