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Utah Jazz: At the half, Jazz taking their lumps but getting better

Since its horrific 1-14 start, the team has gotten healthy and is playing close to .500 basketball.

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Still, Corbin sees progress.

"We’re getting better," he said. "We still have a ways to go. There are areas, especially man-to-man that we have to get better at. Our rotations are getting a little bitter, but we have to be a little crisper there."

At a glance

Jazz at Pistons

At the Palace of Auburn Hills

Tipoff » Friday, 5:30 p.m.

TV » ROOT Sports

Radio »  1280 AM, 97.5 FM

Records » Jazz 13-27; Pistons 16-22

About the Jazz » Last place in the Western Conference. … Leading scorer Gordon Hayward has missed three straight games with a hip flexor injury. … Scored 70 points in the paint on Wednesday against San Antonio.

About the Pistons » The youngest starting five in the NBA, with an average age of 23 years and 175 days. … Center Andre Drummond has been a rebounding machine, averaging more than 12 a game. The Pistons, meanwhile, set a franchise record with 62 rebounds last week against Philadelphia. … Point guard Brandon Jennings dished 16 assists in one half in the team’s last game against Phoenix.


Nov. 13 » Only hours after being signed, and without having a single practice under his belt, point guard Diante Garrett closes out the fourth quarter against the New Orleans Pelicans, helping Utah to its first win of the season.

Dec. 18 »  Trey Burke scores 30 points, dishes eight assists and grabs seven rebounds in an 86-82 win over the Orlando Magic.

Dec. 27 »  Derrick Favors’ put-back dunk with 2.1 seconds left against the Los Angeles Lakers gives the Jazz a 105-103 victory.

Jan. 7 »  Gordon Hayward scores Utah’s final 17 points to push the Jazz to a win over Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder.


Oct. 12 » Rookie point guard Trey Burke fractures his right index finger in an exhibition game against the Clippers. He would miss the remainder of the preseason and the first 12 games of the regular season.

Nov. 9 »  After suffering three straight road blowouts, the Jazz finished off their first East Coast trip by falling behind by as many as 38 points in Toronto and losing 115-91.

Dec. 6 »  The Jazz let the Portland Trail Blazers hit 17 3-pointers in a 130-98 stomping at Moda Center. The Jazz trailed by as much as 42 at one point.

Dec. 7 »  Sacramento rookie Ben McLemore hit a 3-pointer to force overtime and the Jazz watched as the Kings ran away with a win at EnergySolutions Arena.

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One of the biggest changes the Jazz have made, center Enes Kanter said, has been keeping a big man near the hoop instead of having him trying to slow a pick-and-roll ball handler on the perimeter and then tracking back.

"Coach figured that out and we do one-down now," Kanter said. "We’re staying back and bigs are doing a much better job."

• What about development?

At the beginning of the season, most fans expected a youth movement in the starting lineup. But at the halfway point, the veterans Jefferson and Williams have entrenched themselves in the starting forward spots.

Still, Gordon Hayward (36.1), Favors (31.6), Burke (30.9), Alec Burks (27.7) and Kanter (25.4) are all playing the biggest minutes of their careers.

Despite having Burks and Kanter come off the bench, Corbin believes the two third-year players have made progress this season.

Burks is averaging 13 points a night and Kanter, after struggling last month following his move to the bench, has put together double-digit scoring games in six of his last eight outings.

"Early on there was so much pressure and expectation on the young guys," Corbin said. "They’re talking about being young and building around the young guys and getting the opportunity on the floor … and they feel that pressure. Sometimes you have to take a step back to decompress, get your breath, get your legs under you, see a little bit. [Kanter] has done a good job of refocusing."

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