Shootaround notes Okur will travel with team; roster intact; Elson out
The Utah Jazz will start Deron Williams, Demetris Nichols, Gordon Hayward, Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson tonight against Phoenix in a preseason game at Energy Solutions Arena.
Center Francisco Elson (hamstring) is out. He has missed all of Utah's exhibition contests thus far.
Center Mehmet Okur will travel with the team to Los Angeles for an upcoming three-game road trip.
Okur, who is recovering from a ruptured Achilles tendon, has made significant progress in his rehabilitation and has entered the next stage of his comeback. The team is still hesitant to put a timetable on his return, though, due to the nature of his injury.
Okur will still be re-evaluated by the Jazz, and could spend more time at Peak Performance Project, a high-tech human performance lab in Santa Barbara, Calif.
The Jazz's entire 17-man roster is expected to travel with the team to L.A. Cuts will be made, but they are not imminent.
Hayward said he will treat tonight's start just like any other game. He acknowledged that he has been thinking too much and is still finding his way in Utah's offense. He is comfortable with the Jazz's sets. It is more about playing with confidence, picking his spots and letting go.
Brian T. Smith