Utah Jazz: Losing ‘stinks,’ coach Tyrone Corbin says
By Steve Luhm
The Salt Lake TribuneFirst published Apr 03 2014 01:19PM
Don’t talk to Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin about the advantages of losing.
He won’t listen.
"It stinks," Corbin said. "It stinks."
Corbin knows from recent experience. The Jazz, 23-52 this season, have lost 16 of their last 18 games heading into Friday night’s contest against New Orleans at EnergySolutions Arena.
The bright side of the dreary stretch, of course, is the Jazz are now well-positioned for the upcoming draft lottery.
After Milwaukee, Philadelphia and Orlando, it appears likely that Boston and the Jazz will finish with the fourth- and fifth-worst records in the NBA.
Given the respective schedules — the Celtics play the woeful 76ers twice in their final seven games — Utah might even be "favored" to finish fourth in the lottery.
Such a position would leave the Jazz with an 11.9 percent chance of getting the No. 1 pick in the draft and a 37.8 percent chance of selecting in the top three.
Like Boston, Utah has seven games remaining.
The Jazz play New Orleans, Dallas, Portland and the Lakers at home.
They play Golden State, Denver and Minnesota on the road.
"We understood from the beginning where we were as a team," Corbin said. "… [But] it’s not easy."
Anthony Davis is a rising star in New Orleans.
The No. 1 pick in the 2012 draft, he averages 21.3 points, 10.4 rebounds and an NBA-leading 2.9 blocked shots.
"One of the great things I see when I’m watching him is the energy he plays with," Corbin said. "I really think he enjoys working and playing the game."
According to Corbin, trying to defend Davis is a huge challenge: "… You have to try and match his energy. You have to make sure he’s not running all over the place making plays."
Davis has struggled with some heath issues lately.
He suffered an ankle injury in the first four minutes of New Orleans’ 102-95 win over the Jazz last week and did not return.
After a one-game absence, Davis returned against Sacramento. He finished with 22 points and eight rebounds in 38 minutes.
In Wednesday’s 137-107 loss at Denver, however, Davis left the game with back spasms. His availability is listed as day-to-day.
The Jazz’s biggest problem lately has been on offense. In the last eight games, they average only 88.3 points.
Utah comes off a 92-83 loss to New York. The Jazz shot 38 percent and scored 34 points in the second half. After making their first four 3-point shots, they missed 20 of their next 24.
"The last [few] games," Corbin said, "we’ve had lulls … when we just can’t score the ball."
Utah has not scored 100 points in a game since March 16, during a 122-104 loss at San Antonio.
The Jazz have not scored 100 points in a victory since March 8, when they won at Philadelphia, 104-92.