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JAZZ NOTES: Fan conduct disappoints Sloan
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2007, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Coach Jerry Sloan was in the locker room, ejected, by the time angry fans began littering the court at EnergySolutions Arena with garbage in protest of the calls that went against the Jazz in Game 4.

But he still didn't care for it.

"I didn't see it," he said. "I would be disappointed in it, regardless. I still get disappointed when fans use the word, 'officials suck,' and that sort of thing. I think that's still out of place for our league. It was out of place when we played Houston and Golden State. I still think that's out of place for basketball, but I can't control that. I just have an opinion."

Sloan also insisted he "really wasn't that frustrated" when he argued with referee Steve Javie and picked up his second technical foul - and the ejection - late in the game.

"I was very calm when I talked to the officials," Sloan said. "I'm usually all out of sync when I talk to them; I was very calm [with] what I had to say. . . . I wasn't frustrated.

"I looked him right in the eye and said what I had to say. I just asked him a couple of questions."

Hard-knock life

Point guard Deron Williams did not meet with reporters after practice on Tuesday but was seen hobbling around the team's practice facility with a walking boot on his right foot.

Williams suffered a sprained ankle in the final minutes of Game 4, leaving the game during the same timeout during which Sloan was ejected to have his ankle examined and re-taped. Williams returned about a minute later and missed his final shot attempt.

It was only the latest in a string of maladies that have plagued Williams as the series has progressed.

First he suffered a shoulder injury running into a screen in Game 3 - and aggravated it while getting fouled early in Game 4. Then he picked up a stomach ailment in the middle of the night after Game 3 that knocked him into bed for most of two days.

Part of the problem

Forward Carlos Boozer said the Jazz need to avoid settling for so many outside shots down the stretch, the way they did in Game 4.

"We took some jumpers that, if they go in, they're great," he said. "But when we miss it, they're on the other end getting layups or getting to the free-throw line. It was tough for us. We have to have a more concerted effort to try to get it inside. And if that's not there, then shoot your jumper with confidence. But don't settle for the jumper early. We took too many early jump shots."

Flattering comparison

One of his opponents called him "amazing." Others credited him with winning the game, by slashing to the basket and driving the Jazz's Derek Fisher to distraction.

But the highest praise for Manu Ginobili?

That might have come from Sloan, when asked what makes the Spurs' sixth man so hard to handle.

"He's very athletic," Sloan said. "That would frustrate anybody, just like Michael Jordan. He would frustrate you, too, because he had such great athletic ability, and you couldn't do anything about it."

Taking the blame

Forward Andrei Kirilenko accepted the blame for two bad passes in the second half of Game 4 - one of which sailed out of bounds, while the other was easily intercepted by San Antonio's Tony Parker and turned into a layup.

"In Russia we always say, 'The guy who passed the ball, always wrong,' " Kirilenko said. "Even if the catcher didn't catch it, you're the passer. You're wrong. And it was both of my mistakes. I was thinking Deron was going to be there . . . it was my mistake both times."

The Jazz committed 10 turnovers in the second half, tied for the most in any half in the series.

"We just threw the ball away," Sloan said. "I told our players, 'I'd rather you eat the ball than throw it away like that.' Because at least I have my defense turned around where I can get a better look at you than I do when I'm standing there trying to catch you. That's just common sense."

mcl@sltrib.com

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