Atlanta • Marvin Williams won't get to play in his return to the city where he spent seven seasons, but there will still be plenty of reunions on the floor when the Jazz play the Hawks on Friday night at Philips Arena.
In addition to all of the Jazz players with ties to the Hawks and the city of Atlanta, two Atlanta players will be familiar to the Jazz and their fans.
Former Jazz players Devin Harris and Kyle Korver both play key roles for the Hawks, who, despite losing four straight games, are 20-14 and in second place in the Southeast Division.
"I enjoyed working with both of those guys," Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin said, "but we have to try to stop them tomorrow night."
Harris spent a season and a half with the Jazz after being acquired as a part of the trade that sent Deron Williams to New Jersey in 2010. However, he never quite found a rhythm in Utah and was traded in the summer for Williams.
Philadelphia traded Korver to the Jazz in 2008, and the 3-point specialist remained with the team before signing a free-agent contract with Chicago in 2010.
Harris returned to the Hawks' lineup in Wednesday's loss at Cleveland after missing 11 games with a foot injury. Playing primarily a bench role, the point guard is averaging 7.3 points per game, his worst production since 2004-05, his rookie season in Dallas.
"Got to make sure we know where he is at all times," Corbin said. "Devin is a speed guy, open court get the speed going, he's difficult to deal with."
As for Korver, who is shooting 44 percent on 3-pointers and averaging 10.8 points, Corbin said, "Kyle's a dynamic shooter. He's a veteran guy who knows how to get open. He runs off screens really hard to get his shots up, he can space the floor, hit 3-point shots, and take them in transition and very capable of making a lot of them."
Going long in Atlanta
In their lone trip to Atlanta last season, the Jazz lost 139-133 in a team-record four overtimes. Despite the loss, Corbin has said it was a game that galvanized the young Jazz and helped them to the playoffs.
"I thought the game brought us closer as a team," he said. "We learned how if we stayed together, we continued to grind ... you give yourself a chance. The guys rallied around each other in that game and we got better as a result."
Has this year had a game with a similar effect yet?
"There have been situations," he said. "I think that we're still looking for, waiting on the big one. This group has grown together, but there's always a point or remembrance of a situation where you [think], 'This is where we really got it.' I don't think we've had that experience just yet, but we have had some great experiences together."
Jazz backup power forward Derrick Favors said Thursday that he had not heard from the league office about his aggressive foul on Dirk Nowitzki in the fourth quarter of Monday's win over the Dallas Mavericks.
However, a league spokesman confirmed a Dallas Morning News report that the foul was upgraded to a flagrant-1 this week. Favors and Nowitzki both chased a loose ball in a battle that ended with Favors pulling Nowitzki to the ground.
The play was cited as a turning point in the win.
A flagrant-1 by itself carries no penalty beyond going on Favors' record and contributing to possible future fines if he commits more flagrants.
In Favors' mind, it was a fair trade and a clean play.
"You just go out there and play hard," he said. "You do a couple of things, and the NBA might not like it, so they changed the foul. It is what it is."