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Aaron Falk, Tony Jones and Steve Luhm cover the Utah Jazz and the NBA for The Salt Lake Tribune. The Tribune on Twitter - Aaron Falk: @tribjazz, Steve Luhm: @sluhm, Tony Jones: @Tjonessltrib

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Shootaround notes — Utah Jazz's Jefferson says Oklahoma City's best team in NBA

Notes following Jazz shootaround Friday morning at EnergySolutions Arena.

Utah is expected to start Devin Harris, Raja Bell, Gordon Hayward, Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson against Oklahoma City.

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Bell is dealing with a minor wrist issue, Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin said, but is expected to play.

All 14 Utah players should be available.

Hayward will initially defend Thunder forward Kevin Durant.

"We'll use different guys on him," Corbin said. "We have to make sure we continue to give him tough looks and make him work for everything he gets on the floor."

Corbin said Oklahoma City point guard Russell Westbrook's ability to get into the lane at will and create havoc is a major concern for the Jazz.

"We have to do a better job, especially against a guy like Westbrook who's relentless and he'll continue to come," Corbin said. "He don't want to lay it in the basket. He wants to dunk it in the basket to keep himself going and make his teammates feel excited about the momentum change."

Corbin on Durant and Westbrook: They're the most powerful [duo], I think. They're very versatile. They can spread the floor because they both can hit jump shots and Durant can step way behind the 3-point line and shoot 'em. Westbrook is one step and he's on top of the rim because he's so quick and strong attacking the basket. We have to make sure we control those two guys in the open court and we control them when we're playing the pick-and-roll. Our guys have got to be ready to rotate and not get free looks.

Jefferson said the Thunder are the best team in the NBA.

"They're going to be hard to beat," he said.

He added: "The good thing about that team, everybody know their role."

Millsap and Jefferson weren't overly concerned with not making the 2012 All-Star team. However, Millsap said Jefferson should have been selected. If not him, someone to represent the team, since the Jazz have exceeded expectations.

"I've been overlooked [before]. This ain't the first time. It's not going to be the last time," Millsap said.

Brian T. Smith

Twitter: @tribjazz



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