Notes following Jazz shootaround Wednesday morning at EnergySolutions Arena.
Utah starting point guard Devin Harris (left ankle) was limited during a walk-through. Harris said he's unsure whether he'll be active against Phoenix. Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin said Harris will re-evaluate his ankle prior to tipoff.
If Harris is unable to play, Corbin said Earl Watson will likely run the first unit with Jamaal Tinsley coming off the bench.
Jazz guard Raja Bell (left knee) is out at least two weeks after receiving an injection. He can only ride a stationary bike during the interim. Bell hopes to return this season but said he'll have to see how his knee responds.
Bell on Suns point guard Steve Nash: Playing against him is a bitch.
Harris on the start of his ankle problems: I didn't have any problems with my ankles until I got to the NBA, man. Maybe it's the shoes. [Laughs]. Naw, I didn't have anything growing up. I think my second year I had a really bad one and I've had 'em ever since. … [Once it starts] it doesn't stop. It really doesn't. But I thought we did some stuff this summer, then I really didn't have any problems all year long. I feel good about it. It was a little bit of a freak event.
Nash: He's in great physical shape. He's a smart player. He can control the game. Not just scoring, but dishing the ball. You see him running around. I think he's only taken eight or so shots in the last 10 games, but still can control the game that way. It's just the way he affects the game.
Do upcoming off days factor into decision to possibly sit out vs. Suns: If I can play, I want to play. That's the main thing. Especially with how close we are and how much these games mean — especially this one tonight. There's a lot of factors that can factor in. We do have two point guards who can [fill in]. A lot of things factor it. I'll talk to coach and [trainer Gary Briggs] and we'll make a decision right before the game.
Corbin on balancing Harris, Watson, Tinsley: It's difficult with three guys, and you want to give 'em quality minutes. We've been through enough this season to have a very good feel about all three guys. And from this point forward, it may change game to game or matchup to matchup. We have to be able to use everybody. We want to keep everybody ready to go.
Harris during shootaround: [He wasn't] able to go full speed, no. We didn't do anything full speed. He got to cut and turn and stuff he do during a game. … He did get up and run a little bit; I thought he was limping a tad. It'll be up to him to gauge where he's at.
Marcin Gortat: He's a big guy that set a lot of screens. He gives Steve Nash space, because he's such a big body. He has a knack for getting his body on the guy, on Nash, to get him a little bit of a space. And Nash is a guy that only need just a break to bring two guys to him on the ball. And then he's such a good vision guy to see where the opening is. He'll nudge him a little bit to be able to dive down if he's there. He's a great pocket-passer in going to the basket. … Also, they can throw it to him on the post a little bit and go at him directly and see if he can the big guys in trouble there. He's been a tremendous asset for them.
Nash: To be at his age and doing the things he's doing and leading the league in assists at the stage of his career now. And watching the game last night, just — I think he's having fun playing. He just look like an older guy that's really enjoying playing. He's doing a great job for his team. And the last 20 some-odd games, they're doing very well. I think they have the fifth-best record since the All-Star break and he's a key part of that.
Brian T. Smith
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