Sloan plays pair of point guards
LOS ANGELES - Jerry Sloan approached his shortage of shooting guards Tuesday as an opportunity, not a handicap. So with Raja Bell injured and Kirk Snyder suspended, Sloan tried a two-point-guard starting lineup for the first time this season.
The pairing of Keith McLeod and Randy Livingston in the backcourt, with regular two-guard Gordan Giricek coming off the bench, was Sloan's 30th set of starters this season. Even the coach was intrigued about its success.
"We used to play two point guards at a time, but we haven't done that very much this year. So I thought I'd take this opportunity to see how it goes," Sloan said.
Livingston was up for the challenge, though he admitted it would be an adjustment. "I've always been a point guard who likes to control things, don't depend on anyone," he said. "When you're the two, you have to depend on guys to get you open, to deliver the ball on time. I'm looking forward to trying it. It's going to be fun."
Snyder, suspended for one game by the NBA for being involved in a fight with Dallas forward Jerry Stackhouse after Saturday's loss to the Mavericks, stayed in Salt Lake and is expected to play tonight. Bell, sidelined by a bruised shin, has not played in two weeks.
The Jazz also lost another player during the game, though the injury is not believed to be serious. Center Curtis Borchardt, who scored two points in a four-minute stint in the second quarter, left the game with tendinitis in his right knee.
Eulogizing a friend
Jazz assistant coach Phil Johnson will be a eulogist next Monday at the funeral of Bill Jones, who was the Kings' trainer during both of Johnson's stints as coach. Jones, whose career with the Kings spanned more than 25 seasons in Kansas City and Sacramento, died Monday night of cancer.
"You become family with your staff over the course of a season," said Johnson, who worked eight seasons with Jones. "He was the best."