Despite starting 10-5 going into Wednesday night's game against the Toronto Raptors, Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin believes his team continues to shape its identity.
"Sometimes it takes all year -- sometimes it's a process that takes all year," Corbin said. "... You have to continue to work at it. It's not a thing that's going to happen overnight.
"It's an attitude you have to learn. It has to be from the No. 1 guy to the 13th, 14th or 15th guy on the team. They all have to understand: 'This is who we are and other teams, as a whole, have to respect that when they play."
In the middle of a stretch when the Jazz play 13 of 16 games at EnergySolutions, Corbin knows the schedule has contributed to the fast start.
Utah is 8-2 at home this season, after going 21-20 last year.
"It's helped us from a confidence standpoint," Corbin said.
Referring to a 106-96 win at Denver on Jan. 15, he added, "We played them a lot better than we did early in the season and I thought the confidence we got at home carried over to that game. But the road is the road, man. You're out there alone. It's [where] a group of guys have to understand the importance of staying together."
The Jazz scored 58 points in the second half and shot 51.8 percent in their victory over the Nuggets. Paul Millsap scored 26 points. Gordon Hayward added 19.
In Saturday night's 108-98 win over Minnesota, Al Jefferson played a team-high 37 minutes and Millsap played 34, meaning they were on the court together for most of the game.
"They are doing a great job of reading each other, on both ends of the floor," Corbin said. "On the defensive end, they do a good job of staying between their man and the basket and meeting guys early. Then, when they have to jump the pick-and-role stuff, they do a good job of reading what the other guy is doing and communicating."
According to Corbin, Jefferson and Millsap are showing Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter how to play: "... It's great for our young guys to see the communication they have during the course of a game, so they can learn from it."
-- Steve Luhm
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