Denver • Deron Williams became very, very quiet.
Asked about recent comments by Jazz coach Jerry Sloan and guard Raja Bell that the ball was often "sticking" during Utah's offensive possessions, the team's captain and floor leader paused for six seconds and exhaled twice before responding.
While some have placed the problem in the hands of center Al Jefferson who is still adapting his post-heavy game to the Jazz's intricate offensive system everyone from Sloan and assistant coach Phil Johnson to Utah's two-time All-Star guard said that Jefferson isn't solely to blame. Players have to be in position for Jefferson to be able to kick the ball out, and the Jazz's offensive sets have to be fully executed.
"No, you can't [put it on Al]," said Williams, who returned to action Friday against the Nuggets after missing four consecutive games due to a strained right wrist. "You said it. I don't want to say anything that's going to offend anybody. We've just got to keep working, keep getting better, try to figure things out."
Williams was also hesitant to talk about his injured wrist following a shootaround at the Pepsi Center, initially limiting his comments to a simple proclamation that he would play against Denver after originally being listed as a game-time decision.
"I'm playing tonight," Williams said. "That's all you need to know."
But he later acknowledged that flexibility in his wrist had improved, primarily due to a decision to wear a soft cast that limited his movement. He also changed his medication, while a visit Wednesday to a specialist confirmed that his chosen methods of treatment were working.
More is better
Sloan, Williams and Nuggets coach George Karl were unified when asked whether the NBA would be better off if 12-men All-Star rosters were expanded to 15 for each conference.
Karl has supported the idea for years, listing Portland's LaMarcus Aldridge and the Los Angeles Lakers' Lamar Odom as obvious snubs. Meanwhile, Williams highlighted the absences of San Antonio's Tony Parker and Aldridge. "It's up to [commissioner David Stern], I guess," said Williams of the idea. "I think it'd be great."