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Jazz notes: Williams will play through the pain

Published February 6, 2011 11:51 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Deron Williams is playing with pain.

The Jazz guard said Saturday that his wrist was "pretty sore" following Utah's home defeat to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

"It was a lot more sore [Saturday] than it was [Friday]," said Williams, who has averaged 20 points and 11.5 assists while shooting 39.4 percent (15 of 38) from the field during his first two games back in the lineup. "It didn't feel comfortable shooting a lot of shots. It was a tough game for me."

Williams missed four consecutive contests from Jan. 28-Feb. 2 due to a strained tendon in his right wrist.

Williams acknowledged Friday after a road win at Denver that he will likely be dealing with soreness the rest of the season. And while his injury this season is different than a wrist problem that he played through last year, the end result is the same: Williams is not 100 percent, but he is going to take the court anyway.

"It's going to be sore for a while," Williams said. "Every time I hit, land on it, get fouled, it hurts. It's just something I'm going to have to deal with. I dealt with it all last year for a month and a half, two months. So, it is what it is."

Making strides

Jazz center Al Jefferson has been on an offensive tear in the past five games. Jefferson is averaging 21.2 points and 11 points during the run, and has alternated with forward Paul Millsap as Utah's most consistent scorer.

Jefferson's defense is still a work in progress; he sometimes plays too far away from the basket, and he likely will not be fully comfortable in the Jazz's offense until next season.

"The guy's done something for maybe all his life," Utah coach Jerry Sloan said. "And we're going to try and change it in three or four weeks? We aren't going to be able to. But he's been real cordial trying to understand what we're trying to do."

But with nearly two-thirds of the season complete, Jefferson has begun to find an offensive comfort zone with his new team. He is being more aggressive when he initially receives the ball, and digging deeper into the low post when possible.

"The goal was to put my game into this offense," Jefferson said. "I have averaged 20 [points] and 10 [rebounds]. I have proven myself in this league. I can go out and average 20, 10.

"Now, I'm healthy. There's no excuse. I'm learning this offense. I'm feeling more comfortable in this offense. My teammates are supporting me and the coaching staff supporting me. Jerry always saying, 'Get the ball inside.' "

bsmith@sltrib.com

Twitter: tribjazz

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