Practice notes: Sloan finalizing rotation; Williams says he is out vs. Kings
Jazz guard Deron Williams, forward Jeremy Evans and center Francisco Elson are probable for a Tuesday night preseason game versus the Los Angeles Lakers in Anaheim, Calif.
Evans (flu) said this morning prior to a practice in El Segundo, Calif., that he felt much better. Evans believes that he came down with food poisoning Sunday, but he showed no ill effects today.
"Get out of the bed," Evans said. "If I lay there, I'll probably stay there."
Williams (calf) planned to test his leg during practice before determining whether he can play Tuesday. He has not engaged in any basketball-related activity during recent days.
Williams said he will not play Friday versus Sacramento due to personal reasons.
Elson (hamstring) said he was encouraged by his recent progress. He, too, though planned to test his leg before returning to the court. Elson has not dealt with a hamstring injury in recent years.
"In the beginning, it was a weird feeling," Elson said. "Because every time that you stretch it out, it feels like it's tearing and it gets fatigued quickly. But now it feels good."
Center Mehmet Okur (Achilles) said his rehabilitation is moving forward. Okur has started running and practicing with the team during workouts. Okur's main focus is improving his conditioning and finding a rhythm.
"My calf muscle is still not there for me, so I'm working at it," Okur said. "Getting better everyday."
Okur still has no idea when he will be activated.
"I just want to get better," Okur said.
Utah coach Jerry Sloan appears to be leaning toward placing forward Andrei Kirilenko in the starting lineup and having forward C.J. Miles come off the bench during the regular season. Sloan said Miles has played well during recent games, as has Kirilenko. But Miles' ability to be an aggressive scorer in the second rotation has impressed Sloan.
"He's played pretty well," Sloan said. "He's made a couple mistakes defensively, which happens to all of us. But those are things that as a young player you need to improve on."
Sloan said he prefers to use an eight-man rotation during the regular season. Rookie forward Gordon Hayward is working his way into the group, while rookie forward Jeremy Evans might be left out. Sloan said that Evans has earned the opportunity to be on the floor. However, opponents' tendency to play veterans could initially keep him on the sideline.
Brian T. Smith