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Aaron Falk 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

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Utah Jazz's C.J. Miles on MLK visit, team chemistry, big man vs. wing balance

Memphis, Tenn. — Excerpts from an interview Sunday morning with Jazz small forward C.J. Miles following shootaround at the FedExForum.

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Miles on Utah's trip Saturday to the National Civil Rights Museum: It was good, man. We're a tight-knit group. But doing something like that is always fun and always good. And it's a great exhibit and it's powerful stuff.

His first time: Yeah, that was my first time. … It's heavy, man. Like, I knew a lot of stuff that I realized. But there was a lot of stuff that I didn't know that I learned in, though. It was crazy. It was powerful.

Team dinners and gatherings this season compared to 2010-11: A little bit. At home, more so. On the road, not so much. The games have been close and we play a lot of back-to-backs. There's not as much time as there's usually been in the season. At home, a lot of guys eat together after games. We might not all be together, but some people go to [a downtown restaurant]. Between the two spots, you'll see the majority of us. But that's pretty much it, though, because the [road] games are so close together. … There's not as much time to do a lot of stuff.

Team chemistry still as good as when season started: [Pauses]. Yeah, it's just a rough spot, man. We lost a few games in a row. Guys aren't playing the way they want to play. We hit a little — the biggest thing was, we kind of found a niche and now teams are focusing on those niches. So we've just got to be able to put everything together and get everybody going again. We had a couple weeks where you see perimeter guys really picked it up, and then you see the bigs carry a lot of the load. So we've got to just find some type of balance and we haven't been able to find a balance. Which has hurt us, because most of the time when you see it, when the bigs are playing extremely well, usually there's not a lot from the perimeter. And then the other way around: Usually when the perimeter guys are going, there's not a lot from the bigs. Our bigs still do a tremendous job, as far as what they usually do. We haven't been able to find a good balance. We're an inside-out team, obviously — everybody knows that. So we have to be able to find some way to get that, just to find a balance for everybody, so that way when there is a time when somebody on the perimeter has to make a play, they don't feel like they've been out of the game. You don't want to have guys out there [shooting] a thinking shot. Like, they throw it and say, 'Man,' or they rush it. It's a different feeling. You wish it was as easy as you thought it was, to be able to find a way to get yourself involved in the game. It's forcing the issue and there's forcing shots, and those are two different things. It's hard to find that medium when you're trying to really get yourself going and stay within it. And I think the perimeter guys the last couple games have really been struggling with that. Gordon's had some good games and Raja's shot the ball well. But besides them maybe getting a couple jumpshots they get, other than that, it's been tough to find some spots.

Brian T. Smith

Twitter: @tribjazz



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