Jazz Notes: Utah goes inside with Williams out
The Jazz have spent three games living life without All-Star guard Deron Williams.
Utah has pulled off a 2-1 record during the stretch, as Williams has dealt with a strained tendon in his right wrist. Veteran point guard Earl Watson has primarily run the show, and the Jazz's offense has basically stayed the same. But Utah coach Jerry Sloan acknowledged Tuesday that his team is employing less of its trademark pick-and-roll sets during Williams' absence.
"We're running some of the other stuff to try to get the ball in certain places," said Sloan, prior to a practice at the team's workout facility.
The Jazz have specifically focused on post-ups. One of the reasons is that opposing defenders often go underneath when guarding pick-and-rolls while Watson or fellow backup point guard Ronnie Price are on the court, which can force Utah to resort to lower-percentage long-range shots.
The inside emphasis was clearly evident Monday during the Jazz's gritty 83-78 home win against Charlotte. Utah big men Al Jefferson, Paul Millsap and Andrei Kirilenko combined to record 48 points, 34 rebounds and seven blocks.
Williams said that he still cannot shoot the basketball or follow through on his release without dealing with soreness.
"I'm getting treatment around the clock and trying to get it better," Williams said.
He did not practice Tuesday but was at Utah's workout facility. The same situation applied to Millsap (left pinkie, right thumb) and Kirilenko (left ankle), while center Mehmet Okur (strained lower back) was not in attendance.
All four players are day-to-day and will likely be game-time decisions for a home contest tonight against Houston.
Sloan said that Utah has not discussed signing a player to a 10-day contract while the team deals with the injuries.
Rockets at Jazz
P At EnergySolutions Arena
Tipoff • Wednesday, 7 p.m.
TV • FSN Utah
Radio • 1320 AM, 1600 AM, 98.7 FM
Records • Rockets 22-27, Jazz 29-20
Last meeting • Jazz, 103-99, OT (Jan. 8)