A lackluster effort from his team’s short bench prompted Ty Corbin to tweak his starting lineup for the first time in this young season.
Point guard John Lucas III, the team’s starter in the first two games of the season, was moved to the bench Friday night against the Houston Rockets in favor of veteran Jamaal Tinsley.
Just a few hours before tipoff, Corbin said he was still debating a switch.
"We’ve got to find a way to shore up the second group a little bit," he said. "… The guys are playing hard and we want to make sure that everybody is growing with this group, and we may tweak it a little bit at the start of the game to see if it helps us."
The Jazz got 15 points off the bench from guard Alec Burks on Friday night, in an 87-84 loss in Phoenix. Tinsley chipped in four points and center Rudy Gobert added a single free throw, as the only other reserves on the injury addled Jazz bench to score in the game.
"We’ve got to get a better punch," Corbin said.
Lucas did not fair well from the field, going 2 for 10 Friday, but he is a point guard geared toward scoring and could be better suited as a sub.
The Jazz arrived in Salt Lake City late Friday night ahead of the second half of their first back-to-back of the season. Derrick Favors (37), Enes Kanter (38) and Gordon Hayward (39) all played heavy minutes against the Suns, and Corbin said he would look to spell the trio some.
The Jazz have a pair of back-to-backs awaiting them on next week’s East Coast road trip.
"We’ve got to make sure we can keep the guys as fresh as we can," he said.
Rockets coach Kevin McHale certainly has the post players to match up with Favors and Kanter.
But McHale, one of the league’s all-time great big men, said he likes the Jazz duo’s potential.
"They push you hard," he said. "Kanter’s pretty clever down there. Favor uses more athleticism. They seem to complement each other pretty well and they give Utah a huge advantage over a lot of teams size-wise and in ruggedness."
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