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Jazz notes: Utah's stalwart Paul Millsap plays despite illness

Published April 6, 2012 10:56 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Paul Millsap missed the Jazz's morning shootaround with the stomach flu, but he was back in the starting lineup for Friday night's game against Golden State.

Of course.

Millsap has missed only 13 of 465 games in his six-year NBA career. He has missed one of the Jazz's 56 games during this lockout-shortened season.

Millsap didn't look or sound 100 percent before tipoff against the Warriors, but he said, "I feel like I can get out there and play. … Hopefully, I don't hurt the team."

Coach Tyrone Corbin called Millsap a throwback, as far as playing with injuries or illnesses that might sideline other players.

"He hates missing [games]," Corbin said. "He wants to be there for his team. That says a lot about his character and who he is. …

"You never question whether he's trying not to play. You know if he's not in uniform, it's something major and he can't go. It's great to have guys like that."

According to Corbin, part of his job is to make sure Millsap doesn't try to play when he should not.

"You have to watch him a little bit," Corbin said. "You might have to play the bad guy and he won't like it. … But you have to make sure you do the right thing and help him out a little bit."

Jefferson: Orlando situation "crazy"

After the Jazz's shootaround, Al Jefferson called the public feud in Orlando between coach Stan Van Gundy and All-Star center Dwight Howard "crazy."

Van Gundy told reporters Thursday that he knows Howard has asked management to fire him.

Howard, upset that Van Gundy spoke about the situation, responded with eight points and eight rebounds in a lackluster 40 minutes in a 96-80 loss to the Knicks.

"I play with the Utah Jazz, man," Jefferson said. "I don't want no problems; I'm with the Jazz. I saw it. I thought it was crazy, but I didn't focus on it."

Corbin said, "It's unfortunate. The whole thing, it's just unfortunate. And for it to be out in the open with players and coaches is just unfortunate situation. I don't think anybody wins."

Rotating PG rotation

Jazz point guard Devin Harris returned to the starting lineup after missing Wednesday's 107-105 loss to Phoenix.

With Harris back, Corbin again had a choice of Earl Watson or Jamaal Tinsley as the primary backup.

It has evolved into a game-to-game decision.

"They have both been great all year," Corbin said. "I'd like to play all three guys, but that's difficult to do. It's on me to find a way to get them in there as long, as they continue to work."

Corbin "feels good" about playing Watson or Tinsley behind Harris.

"I'm not apprehensive about putting either one it," he said. "It's just what will give us a better chance to win."