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Utah Jazz: Al Jefferson not worried about poor shooting

Published October 9, 2012 12:29 pm

Jazz notes • Jefferson says he focused on defense vs. Warriors
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated.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.

It didn't bother Al Jefferson one bit.

Nor did it bother Tyrone Corbin. The Utah Jazz aren't pushing any panic devices over Jefferson's 1-of-8 shooting performance in Monday's 83-80 preseason opening loss at Golden State. On the contrary. Corbin and Jefferson were more impressed with his blocked shots and overall defense against the Warriors.

The shooting touch will come.

"I missed shots that I normally make in my sleep," Jefferson said. "I was working on other things. It's the first game, so we aren't worried about it at all. We have to play better defense this season, and I want to be much better at that."

Specifically for Jefferson is his defense on the pick and roll. Last season, Utah's center was among the worst in the NBA at rubbing guards. His lack of speed allowed Tony Parker to eat the Jazz alive going to the basket during the postseason.

So Jefferson spent his summer working on his agility. He's come back lighter, in better shape and vows to be a more well-rounded player. Even his lack of shooting touch didn't yield too much worry.

"I thought he took good shots, and that's the important thing," Corbin said. "He took good open shots, looks that he normally knocks down. I think those will start going in, eventually."

Kanter's nice night

Second-year center Enes Kanter continues to impress, notching a double-double against the Warriors with 12 points and 11 rebounds. He's continuing to run the floor and play above the rim, something that wasn't possible last season.

"The weight loss has really helped him," Corbin said. "He's playing light on his feet, he's jumping well and he's finishing in the paint. The best thing about him is that he's still retained the power that he had before the weight loss. He's still a really strong guy close to the basket."

Hornacek still out

Assistant coach Jeff Hornacek missed Monday night's game for personal reasons and was not a practice Tuesday morning. A team spokesman said the onetime Jazz sharpshooter is away on a family matter but did not elaborate. There is no timetable set for his return to the team.

tjones@sltrib.com

NBA preseason

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