Utah Jazz's Devin Harris says he knows he must improve
Dallas • Devin Harris doesn't need a sitdown conversation with Tyrone Corbin to know what the Jazz coach wants out of him.
Corbin ran through the list Friday: pushing the offensive tempo, being aggressive with the ball in the open court, and manning up against defenders.
Harris said he's fully aware of Corbin's requests, and he's doing his best to fulfill the demands.
"I'm just trying to work to get better," said Harris, before a game Friday against the Dallas Mavericks. "Obviously, I can't be happy with the way I've been performing lately. I'm just focusing on being effective. They want me to push the ball more; I've got to play more in transition. And that's what I'm trying to focus on doing."
After recently struggling through the worst stretch of his 33-game run with Utah, Harris bounced back to score 24 points on 8-of-12 shooting and dish out six assists Wednesday during a home loss to Toronto. He was just as speedy during the first half against the Mavericks, scoring 12 points on 4-of-6 shooting and drilling two 3-pointers.
Still, Harris knows he's yet to hit full gear with the Jazz.
"It's a work in progress," he said. "But hopefully we made strides with the [Raptors]."
Jazz center Al Jefferson (inflamed right ankle) and guard Raja Bell (sore right knee, sore back) walked off the court after a Friday morning shootaround as game-time decisions. But both suited up, even though Jefferson acknowledged he was not 100 percent.
"It's pain, but I can deal with it," he said.
Corbin joked that, as a player, he felt unrecognized just like Jazz forward Paul Millsap. â¦ Utah and several of its players are orchestrating a grass-roots effort to get forward Jeremy Evans invited to the 2012 NBA All-Star dunk contest. â¦ Corbin said he can envision rookie guard Alec Burks becoming a lockdown defender in the NBA once the No. 12 overall pick in the 2011 draft learns how to better use his body against defenders.
Kings at Jazz
P At EnergySolutions Arena
Tipoff • Saturday, 7 p.m.
TV • ROOT Sports, NBA TV
Radio • 1320 AM, 1600 AM, 98.7 FM
Records • Kings 6-13, Jazz 10-7
Last meeting • Kings, 106-97 (April 3, 2011)
About the Kings • Sacramento has lost seven of 10 and three consecutive contests. â¦ Kings leading scorer Marcus Thornton is out with a bruised left thigh. â¦ Second-year forward DeMarcus Cousins is averaging 14.7 points and 11 rebounds. â¦ Only three Kings players are averaging double-figures in scoring, but 10 are averaging at least 5.6.
About the Jazz • Utah had moved up to fifth in the NBA out of 30 teams in rebounding (43.5) and was ninth in scoring (96.8) heading into a game Friday at Dallas. â¦ The Jazz had lost two of three before Friday's contest by a combined eight points. â¦ Earl Watson entered Friday leading the team in assists (4.8).