Postgame notes: Sloan sees slippage; Fesenko is happy; Bell gets a memo
Postgame notes following the Jazz's 82-71 preseason victory over the Sacramento Kings on Friday night at Energy Solutions Arena.Hilarious scene in the locker room before the game. Kyrylo Fesenko told Raja Bell that NBA commissioner David Stern had sent him a special memo. Bell picked up a very official looking piece of paper that was supposedly written by Stern. The paper stated that, following the recent Board of Governors meeting, Bell would have to wear a Kobe Bryant-proof helmet. (Bryant torched the Jazz for 19 points during one quarter Sunday in Los Angeles Bell had the primary defensive assignment.) Bell got a kick out of the memo, which drew laughter from several Jazz players.Utah coach Jerry Sloan before the game to Gordon Hayward and Jeremy Evans, who were watching warmups while casually sitting down: "You guys on vacation?"Sloan was very critical of his team after the game. He said he saw signs of offensive and defensive slippage, as well as too much one-on-one play and quickly taken shots."We've had some things that have gone pretty well and we had some things that didn't look very good tonight," Sloan said. "They got about any shot they wanted. They got on top of the basket when they wanted to. Those are things you've got to be able to defend. If we can't defend if we just try to outshoot them; we got into a stretch where all we did was take outside shots that makes for a long season."Asked about Sloan's comments, Bell acknowledged that the last couple exhibition games have been a little hard to get up four. A four-day, three-game Los Angeles road trip also winded the Jazz, while a practice Thursday was not very productive.Bell said his left shoulder felt fine. It tightened up a bit during the second half but was OK overall."I wish I could blame some of those [jump shots] on the shoulder," Bell said. "But it wasn't bothering me at all."Sloan again said that Paul Millsap's rebounding has not been as prominent. But Sloan credited Millsap's passing, moving without the ball and running the floor.Asked what he has liked about his team during the preseason, Sloan said the players that were cut."Teams will take a lot of stuff away from us that they gave us in exhibition season," Sloan said. "That's just the nature of this business. That's why you try not to get too high."Sloan on losing focus: "I don't think we're losing our focus as much as we're losing our ability we were running harder; running for layups. Now, when the ball goes in the post we're not getting anything out of it. We're not getting any screens or things like that you've got to be able to do if you get in tough ballgames, because you can't always beat somebody one on one."C.J. Miles (sprained right ankle; day to day) stayed on the court for about a minute before being carried off by two Jazz personnel. Miles returned to the bench, but soon walked toward the locker room, chewing on a towel and showing clear frustration.Miles:"It will take a little bit more than this to get me.""I intentionally tried to step around [the defender] so I wouldn't step on any foot and wouldn't roll my ankle. But when I tried to jumpoff ... it rolled and kind of felt like somebody shot me out of the stands."It hurt. When I first did it, I thought, 'I've really done something to it.' But as it started to calm down, it was basically just yelling at me, 'Stop. Get off you ankle.'""I was moving ... If today was Wednesday, I would have played [in the second half[. But I'm a little sore now."Miles and Hayward combined to shoot 1 of 13 from the floor.The Jazz again won every quarter.Another strong performance from Kyrylo Fesenko, who continued to impress."All the spin moves and my low-post game [have improved]," Fesenko said. "Tonight I got a chance to show what I can do. I'm happy. My teammates really did a good job passing me the ball, especially [Ronnie Price's] ridiculous behind-the-back bounce pass. I'm just really happy."Fesenko's nod to Price was well deserved. The sparkplug reserve has upped his play during the last few games. He had several sharp passes, shook off multiple defenders and brought a strong charge to Utah's offense. Price was especially in snych with Fesenko and Jeremy Evans.Al Jefferson said before the game that his hand is feeling better and he thinks it will heal over time.Miles, Price, Hayward, Francisco Elson and Evans were first off the bench for the Jazz.All of Utah's starters played at least 25 minutes, while Price clocked 24 and Hayward recorded 22.Price and Watson were on the court at the same time as Elson and Fesenko late in the game.Jefferson to himself during warmups after missing a few shots: "C'mon AJ!"Jefferson deliberately counts to five before attempting a free throw.Hayward and Evans who are becoming fast friends ran into the locker room together after signing autographs. Brian T. SmithSteve Luhm contributed firstname.lastname@example.org@sltrib.comTwitter: tribjazz sluhm
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