The Jazz's youngsters were finally cut loose Saturday night.
Trey Burke, Alec Burks, Gordon Hayward, Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter each logged more than 30 minutes against the Wizards — the first time all year those five players have gone over the half-hour mark in the same night.
And, y'know what? It worked out well.
All five reached double-figures in scoring, led by Kanter's 24, and the Jazz beat Washington 104-101. And the success means it might not take as long for it to happen again.
"As the game develops, now you can put all your guys in to finish games or finish quarters," Jazz coach Ty Corbin said before Sunday morning's practice. "As we continue to grow we'll see more of that happen and maybe more frequently."
Corbin is aware of the criticisms he's faced for not playing those five more during a rebuilding season.
"I know everybody wants to start in this league and people have an opinion of who should start because they have an opinion of who they like, whatever that is," he said. "I have to do what I think is best with this group of guys."
Corbin is hopeful that bringing his players along a little more slowly will pay dividends in the long run: "It's always better to earn anything in this league. When it's just given to you, you may not respect it as much as if you work for it."
So far this year, the Jazz coach has seen the work, and the progress, from his young core.
"They're understanding more the importance of the little things and finishing plays," he said. "Young guys have a tendency … the one little thing they don't think is important it may cost you a possession, cost you a point, cost you a [second opportunity]."
"They're getting better together and the more they can create a tempo that's favorable to us, the better chance we have of putting them together on the floor," Corbin continued.
The Jazz haven't started the five youngsters together since the preseason, but Corbin said it could happen again.
"Probably we will," he said. "Hopefully we'll have an opportunity to do that."
— Aaron Falk
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