New Orleans — The Jazz are making changes.
Mehmet Okur is back, Raja Bell is expected to start and Jeremy Evans is inactive tonight as Utah takes on the Hornets at the New Orleans Arena.
Jazz coach Jerry Sloan said during a pregame interview that Okur will not play more than five minutes during one stretch and will be limited to 10 total minutes as he makes his 2010-11 season debut. Sloan acknowledged, though, that it will be hard to hold back Okur if he wants to play more.
Okur has missed all 26 of the Jazz's (18-8) games thus year while recovering from Achilles tendon surgery. He said that he plans to treat his return as a gradual ramp up rather than an immediate greenlight, and does not have a date in mind when he wants to reach 100 percent. Okur added that he does not have a problem coming off the bench during the remainder of the season if Sloan thinks that is the best role for him.
Meanwhile, Bell is expected to take the court for the first time in three games after being out due to a strained right adductor. Withthe activation of Bell and Okur, rookie Jeremy Evans will not be available versus the Hornets.
Utah is expected to start Deron Williams, Bell, Andrei Kirilenko, Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson.
New Orleans will likely start Chris Paul, Marco Belinelli, Trevor Ariza, David West and Emeka Okafor. Pops Mensah-Bonsu (right elbow) is out.
— Brian T. Smith
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