Notes following Jazz shootaround Tuesday morning at EnergySolutions Arena.
Utah forward Josh Howard and guard Raja Bell worked out with the team and are game-time decisions against Phoenix. Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin said he expects both to be in uniform and available if needed.
Utah's expected to start Devin Harris, Gordon Hayward, DeMarre Carroll, Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson.
Jazz guard Earl Watson was in the building during shootaround. He was on crutches but in high spirits.
Bell on how shootaround went: It was fine. … I feel OK.
Will he be able to play if Jazz need him: Hey, man. I just show up and do what I need to do. I don't really know what they're thinking.
Howard on shootaround: Full shootaround. Nothing lagging. Just waiting for my chance to get out there and play. … [Practice Monday] went real well. Nothing bad happened. Just a typical practice to me again.
Should be in uniform barring something unforeseen: Yeah, from what I gather. I want to play as much as I can but I really don't think that's going to happen that much, especially with the chemistry. I'll be available if he needs me. If not, I'll be down there cheering.
Jefferson on the big game: Yeah, this it. Same focus. Gotta get a win.
Jazz not giving in when team struggled around All-Star break: Coach not a type of guy that's just going to let us give up. And this team, it's been the same team we started training camp with. Even with the injuries, I always felt like we had a pretty good team, we just gotta go out there and play. For the last couple weeks, that's what we've been doing. We've been putting ourselves in position to win games. And, like you said, I always believed in this team and always believed this team could have a little success. It would've been easy for us to give up on each other and put our heads down. But the type of coach that we have and the type of guys on this team that want to win, that was the last option.
Best team in terms of chemistry and competitive nature he's been on since his rookie season in Boston: I'd have to say so. There's a lot of wonderful things about this team. But the one thing that point out to me, for a young team everybody know their role, and you don't hardly ever see that. I done been on a lot of young teams that everybody just out for self. We losing and you just want to get your numbers. This team, everybody kind of know their role and support each other, and it's a wonderful thing to be a part of.
Biggest game of his career: Most definitely. It's the biggest game of my career. That's why I'm trying to just stay focused on the things that we have to do and to win this game tonight. There's a lot riding on this game. I think regardless of what happens, we have no reason to put our head down. We going to fight until the end. And when you do that, at the end of the day, that's all coach asks for you to do. We have no regrets.
This is what he thought NBA would be like as a kid and when he was drafted: Yeah. Most definitely. This is exactly what I thought it was going to be. It just feel good to be a part of it, and actually to be one of the main guys to be a part of it. When I was in Boston, I was kind of the second or third option off the bench. … Just to be a starter and help lead this team into the playoffs, it'd just be a wonderful experience.
Winning Western Conference player of the week: It was wonderful.
Brian T. Smith
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