The Jazz's Gordon Hayward will play for Team Chuck in next week's Rising Stars Challenge in Orlando. The game will be played Friday, Feb. 24 as part of NBA All-Star Weekend.
The Rising Stars Challenge matches 20 of the top rookies and second-year players in the league. Jeremy Lin of the New York Knicks and Miami's Norris Cole were late additions to the talent pool as a result of Lin's sensational play and the public's fascination with him over the last 10 days.
Shaquille O'Neal and Barkley will be the coaches. They drafted the teams on Thursday night in a show aired on NBA-TV.
Team Shaq includes Blake Griffin (Clippers); Lin, Ricky Rubio (Timberwolves), Greg Monroe (Pistons), Landry Fields (Knicks), Cole, Kemba Walker (Bobcats), Brandon Knight (Pistons), Tristan Thompson (Cavaliers) and Markieff Morris (Suns).
Team Chuck roster includes Irving, DeMarcus Cousins (Kings), Hayward, Paul George (Pacers), Derrick Williams (Timberwolves), MarShon Brooks (Nets), John Wall (Wizards), Tiago Splitter (Spurs), Evan Turner (Timberwolves) and Kawhi Leonard (Spurs).
In the Jazz's last five losses, Paul Millsap has taken seven free throws in 114 minutes.
When I asked him about his frustration level before Thursday morning's practice, Millsap said, "It is frustrating, but what can you do? Some things are out of your control. I can't control the whistles. I just have to get out there and play. Hopefully, I'll keep a positive attitude and things will start going your way."
Coach Tyrone Corbin won't juggle his starting line-up Friday night against Washington, but he might make a few alterations as Utah tries to snap out of a 1-5 slump in its last six games.
"We're looking at a lot of different things -- what will give us the best chance," Corbin said. "Right now we won't change the lineup. We may change the rotations a little bit, time-wise."
The Jazz played three games in three nights early this week and finished the taxing stretch with losses at New Orleans and Oklahoma City.
"We have to go back to work," Corbin said. "We have to pay more attention to details [and] get our legs back under us and go back to work."
-- Steve Luhm
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