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Old 11-20-2013, 04:41 PM   #196
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Default Re: Season of the tank!-2013-14 regular season

David Locke: Marvin Williams is having a procedure to his nose for the fracture done Thursday will rejoin the Jazz Friday in Dallas Twitter @Lockedonsports

Jody Genessy: Marvin Williams will wear a specialized mask. Hopefully, it looks like Nacho Libre's. Twitter @DJJazzyJody
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Old 11-21-2013, 02:16 PM   #197
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Corbin said he’ll “ease” Burke back into the rotation, and the 21-year-old will have unspecified time limitations as he works his way back. The better he feels and plays, the more time he'll see.

Good. Bringing him of the bench could be the best thing for him and the team right now. With G running the first unit he can be the guy on the 2nd unit with Burks struggling right now.

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Burke smiled and called it “awkward” to make his NBA debut in the 13th game of the 2013-14 season.

Burke said he learned two primary things while sitting out for nearly six weeks: pace and confidence. He said that was lacking when he struggled during summer league.

"I think that’s the biggest thing for me, learning the pace, learning when to attack, learning when to set the offense up," Burke said. "Just watching guys like Tony Parker and Deron Williams, Jrue Holiday, some of the top guards and just seeing that pace and having that opportunity of seeing the game from the coach’s perspective. I think that’s definitely helped me out a lot."

Burke noticed that those elite playmakers brought extra attitude to the court, too.

"Just seeing the confidence in other guys, seeing some of the confidence in some of the other best players. Seeing how they go out there and they’re not worried about nothing, they’re just focused and they know the scouting report," he said. "I think that’s the biggest thing from not being able to play. There’s always lessons you can learn. There's always areas you can grow in, and I think that I've grown."

And it showed. Stockton and the team were right that sitting and watching could be good.

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“Yesterday was my first full practice and I felt good out there as well as today at shootaround,” Burke said. “The tape is making it feel much more secure and I’m ready to go.”

Burke wasn’t allowed to run until two weeks ago, but he kept his conditioning up as much as possible by riding a stationary bike. He was allowed to begin one-on-one workouts along with dribbling and shooting practice to test how his finger responded to pushing the ball away from his hand.

So far, so good.

“He’s looking good,” Corbin said. “He’s looking better and better every day as we've been working him out and he feels good about getting back on the floor. So we’ll give him a few minutes.”

Evans injured his right rotator cuff against Portland in the preseason. He had troubles lifting his arm above his head, but said he feels confident enough to dunk and is trying to get his shooting rhythm back.

“Finally. Man, I’m been waiting for it,” Evans said. “I’m just excited, very excited.”

Looks like he did pretty well too. They're starting to look like a team finally. Rush and Biedrins should help soon as well. Could be bad for the tank. Good thing they got off to such a great start!

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Burke, who the Jazz traded their 14th and 21st picks to acquire from Minnesota this offseason, admitted he's having mixed emotions, ranging from an exciting feeling to some nerves.

"I had butterflies every game in college, so I know I’ll have butterflies tonight," Burke said. "But I think that’s the excitement coming along. It’s not about being nervous, it's about going out there and trusting your teammates."

And, of course, finally being able to play.
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Old 11-21-2013, 02:18 PM   #198
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NOTES: Corbin said Andris Biedrins (sprained ankle) and Brandon Rush (knee rehab) are both getting closer to returning to action as well. Biedrins hasn't played since injuring himself two days before the season started, while Rush appeared for 10 minutes against Brooklyn but has been trying to get himself physically and mentally ready since then. ...


Rush is physically ready to return.

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Jazz forward Marvin Williams was fit for a specialized mask to wear Tuesday in Utah, and he'll undergo surgery to reset his broken nose Thursday. Williams is expected to rejoin the Jazz in time for Friday's game in Dallas. ... Utah picked up its only win of the season last Wednesday by beating the Pelcians 111-105 at EnergySolutions Arena. ... Corbin mentioned that he has officially named Gordon Hayward and Derrick Favors as team captains.

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Makes sense. G and Favors are the guys right now.
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Old 11-21-2013, 02:29 PM   #199
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“I thought he did great. I thought he looked in tune and ready to get the ball in his hands,” Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin said. “Unfortunately, we were restricted with the minutes for him and had to take him out. But he felt good, he looked good, so I’m happy for him.”

And of course I've already read one comment about Ty pulling him when he was playing good!

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Now, about that other weirdness.

Nobody’s night was more bizarre than the historically weird game Gordon Hayward had.

The good: Hayward dished out a career-high 11 assists, grabbed six rebounds and blocked two shots.

The bad: The Jazz’s leading scorer only had six points.

The ugly: The shooting guard had the worst shooting night in franchise history, going 1 for 17 from the field and 0 for 8 from 3-point range. Karl Malone had the previous worst night with a 1 for 16 game during his Hall of Fame career, and Thurl Bailey once went 2 for 20.

“For whatever reason, they just didn’t fall tonight. It’s pretty frustrating,” Hayward said. “If I would’ve hit two or three more shots, we probably would’ve won the game. But I missed 16 of them. It’s, whatever, I’ve got to move on.”

Meanwhile, the Pelicans had a couple of guys who seemingly couldn’t miss. 2012 No. 1 draft pick Anthony Davis (9 of 12 shots, 22 points) and sharpshooting reserve Ryan Anderson (6 of 9, 19 points). They helped push New Orleans’ lead to 14 points during a quick 14-2 outburst, which ended with back-to-back Anderson treys.

In that spurt, the Pelicans took advantage of a couple of Alec Burks turnovers. In typical Jazz fashion this season, a close game became a blowout defeat.

7 points is a blowout? Other than their win it's probably as good as they've played. Were close all 4 quarters for a change.

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“Those are mistakes we can’t afford to make, especially on the road,” said Corbin, whose team has lost all seven away games. “Young or whatever, those are mistakes that cost you the game.”

Perhaps the oddest part of Burke’s debut was how it seemed to spark John Lucas III, who’s struggled mightily in his absence. But Lucas, who started at point guard, had his best game with the Jazz in the rookie’s return, hitting his first four 3-point attempts and finishing with a season-high 14 points.

“It feels good. Every time I shoot I feel like my shot is going in,” said Lucas, who’d only hit 24.3 percent from 3-point range before this 4 for 5 performance. “When I was missing, I wasn’t going to back away and not shoot again, because I’m a shooter. To me I feel like it’s the ball, it’s not my shot. That’s my mentality. Luckily, my shots were going in.”

He's been looking better the past few games and Garrett is coming along nicely too. They have some options finally!

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That’s how most players on the Jazz felt. Center Enes Kanter had a team-high 19 points, Richard Jefferson and Derrick Favors each scored 13, and Utah hit 36 of 66 field goals, not counting Hayward’s attempts.

Even Jeremy Evans, also making his season debut, had an excellent shooting night. The athletic 6-9 forward hit his first shot, a long jumper, and made all four field goals for eight points after missing the first dozen games with a rotator cuff injury.

The strange part about that was how Evans claimed before the game that he might dunk a couple of times but felt like his shooting touch wasn’t quite there yet.

“It felt great,” Evans said, “just going out, playing with the guys and bringing some energy.”

Evans, who said his shoulder felt “great” after the game,” was among the Jazz team members to try to lift up Hayward on this weird night, too.

“I think he’s a great shooter and he knows it,” Evans said of his buddy. “Like I told him, ‘I don’t like to see you like this, shoot the next one. Keep going.’ ”

Added Corbin: “If we get him to score his regular amount (19.2 ppg), we’re in good shape, but he missed some shots tonight. We’ll love him, give him some love tomorrow and get back and be ready to go again on Friday.”

Burke said his finger was a bit sore and he got a little winded in his first short stint, but he's anxious for his second performance in Dallas.

Unlike his summer showing in Orlando, Burke looked smooth, comfortable and confident in his short stints. His first bucket was a sweet drive to the left, when he attacked the basket almost as if to let the NBA know he’s here after a long road from Michigan. He said it reminded him of being an 18-year-old freshman when he got his number called for the first time Wednesday.

“Just going to that scorer’s table, it was like, ‘Wow! I’m really here. This is my debut,’ ” Burke said. “It was definitely excitement.”

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Old 11-21-2013, 02:58 PM   #200
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Corbin knows the struggling Jazz can use Evans’ energy.

"He can run the floor so he should be a guy that can get us a couple easy baskets," the coach said.

Evans expects a few of them to be above the rim.

"If I couldn’t dunk," he said, "I’d have to say I can’t go."

Think they need your shot anyway!
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Old 11-21-2013, 03:00 PM   #201
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After starting three games at point guard, Alec Burks returned to the bench — and the off-guard position — Wednesday.

"It’s more of a natural position for him," Corbin said, "and hopefully we get him back to the attack mode we thought he would be in right from the beginning."

Burks averaged 7.3 points a game as a starter. He was averaged 12.9 points a night coming off the bench in his first nine games of the year.

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Need to get him going!
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Old 11-21-2013, 03:10 PM   #202
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For all the criticism coach Ty Corbin has taken from seemingly every angle (including my own), he deserves some real praise here. For Utah to be anywhere close to league-average at generating high-value shot attempts is a real accomplishment given the roster he’s been saddled with, and the miserable conversion rate his team has exhibited so far only hammers this home further.

The system is there, the setup is there…but the execution is not. No one in the world can make every open shot, but the data is fairly definitive here: the Jazz have to do better.

Rush and a healthy team are going to make a big difference I imagine.

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It must be noted that this type of data is not perfect, something Hickory-High founder Ian Levy is quick to point out himself, to his credit. Not all shots created within these designated areas are equal; a mid-range jumper with a foot on the three-point line obviously isn’t the same as a floater from 10 feet out, for example. Which player is taking the shot is obviously very important also, and it’s worth pointing out that these data sets don’t account for these variables. That said, there’s a reason why so many of the league’s top offenses – Heat, Rockets, Clippers, Thunder, etc. – are some of the best teams in both expected value and actual value per shot attempt.

The Jazz have their share of issues on offense, and while it’d be nice to see them improve enough to remove themselves from the “legendarily awful” conversation, it’s unlikely that they’ll be able to approach league average this season. And this is okay – the team is still learning a lot, and the front office did no one any favors by stocking the roster with such a group of middling jump-shooters. It’s encouraging to see signs of a good system, and furthermore of the players understanding and buying in to this system even while the results are mostly poor. Things may (will) stay dreary for this year, but signs point to a team poised to make real strides for the future.
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Old 11-21-2013, 03:12 PM   #203
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Burke said he feels no discomfort in his index finger, taped against his middle finger, and his shots feel natural. He noted that the form on his shot has changed. He now has to shoot with his pinkie down where he was shooting with all of his fingers down on the release before the injury.

Hopefully that doesn't cause problems with bad form or habits later on.
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Old 11-21-2013, 05:34 PM   #204
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Peter Vecsey: According to a GM, the Suns will do everything possible this summer to sign Gordon Hayward to an unmatchable offer sheet.... Twitter @PeterVecsey1

Sounds like he's as good as gone and unless Lindsey is as dumb as O'Conner. That's two writers saying he's getting max.
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Old 11-21-2013, 08:46 PM   #205
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Trey Burke, the 9th pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, made his professional debut on Wednesday night. As Burke ran onto the court, Richard Jefferson held back the rest of the Jazz and let the rookie go out on the court alone while his teammates laughed. Burke scored 11 points in 12 minutes on 8 shots, but the Jazz still lost to drop their record to 1-12. So the bad news is that Trey Burke got embarrassed and the Jazz still stink. The good news is that Burke looked like a capable young player and the Jazz currently have the best chance at winning the top pick in a loaded draft! The Big Lead
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Old 11-21-2013, 10:07 PM   #206
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Alex Kennedy: The Utah Jazz pranked Trey Burke before his NBA debut, letting him run out of the tunnel alone. GIF: i.minus.com/i6RbPtOwdYt5R.… Twitter @AlexKennedyNBA
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Old 11-22-2013, 08:24 AM   #207
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Hayward’s 1-for-17 shooting night Wednesday against the Pelicans was the worst in franchise history. Since 1984, only four other players have made just a single basket when attempting at least 17 shots in a game, according to BasketballReference.com.

But his teammates weren’t bothered by his shot selection.

"Gordon knows as soon as he catch it, if he’s wide open, he better shoot," guard John Lucas III said after the game. "He had a rough night tonight. Take a shower, wash it off and get ready for Dallas."

Hayward struggled mightily. His shot clanked off the rim often, as it did when he pulled up for a shot in a one-on-four fast break when the Jazz could have held for the last shot of a quarter. Other times, he missed the rim entirely.

His lone bucket came on a layup with 5:55 left in the first.

Hayward leads the Jazz in scoring, putting up 18.2 points a night. But he’s shooting under 40 percent from the floor this season — below his career average of 44.5.

On Wednesday night, he missed all eight of his attempts from 3, dropping him to 30 percent from beyond the arc this year, a full nine points off his career average.

Still, the Jazz are willing to live and die by their young leader.

"You don’t want to live with 1 for 17, but we love him and we’re going to stay with him," coach Ty Corbin said. "He won’t have many nights where he’ll shoot 1 for 17. We trust that."

In the locker room at New Orleans Arena, Hayward expressed his frustrations. "If I would have hit two or three more shots, we probably would have won the game," he said.

But in the 23-year-old’s disappointment, Corbin saw positives.

"Some nights in this league it’s just not going to go in the hole for you," he said. "That’s one of the things you love about the guy, he takes it personally."

Hayward missed practice Thursday with a bruised right knee cap, an injury he sustained during the loss to the Pelicans. If it affected his shot, Hayward did not mention it Wednesday night.

"You get back in the gym, see the basketball go through the hoop," he said Wednesday night. "You move on. Shooters shoot. So I’ll keep shooting."

That’s the advice his friend and teammate one locker over gave him.

"I just told him to shoot another five," Jeremy Evans said. "He’s a great shooter and he knows it. I told him, ‘I don’t like to see you like this, so shoot the next one.’"

Hayward finished with six points — two coming on free throws after Jefferson’s play call for him — to go along with six rebounds and a career-high 11 assists. At the end of the night, his plus-minus rating (+5) was the best on the team.

"You can’t get so focused in on the negative," Jefferson said. "I saw [Jason Kidd] dominate for over a decade without ever scoring the ball and shooting 39 percent for his career. [Hayward] was doing so much. Without him playing, we don’t have a chance in that game."
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Old 11-22-2013, 08:31 AM   #208
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Watch, even as the rookie bumps and skids and learns, how his insertion affects everybody else on the Jazz. Not only is he more capable than any other team option at point guard as far as scoring the ball, he also will help other Jazz shooters improve their efficiency by getting them the ball in better spots.

We'll see. His debut was certainly encouraging after his summer league and pre-season but he's got a lot to prove.

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Too often this season, the Jazz, including Enes Kanter and Derrick Favors and Gordon Hayward and Alec Burks, have squeezed off attempts from difficult or disadvantageous places. Sometimes, it’s looked as though it takes a miracle for the Jazz to get a basket out of set plays and possessions. Burke will be key in remedying that.

As much as people here want Hayward to be the leader of this team, it will end up being Burke because … he’s the one who will start plays and control tempo, and he’s got the alpha-dog personality for it. Hayward has a nice floor game, but he’s more a complementary player. He isn’t an initiator.

Is Burke?

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A couple other things to keep front and center as the Jazz wrestle with bears:

Watch the top college kids play — Jabari Parker, Andrew Wiggins, Julius Randle, Marcus Smart, etc. — and understand better the Jazz’s timing of their suckfest. Sit yourself in a dark, cool, quiet room and beam up on the big screen in your brain a lineup of Kanter, Favors, Hayward, Burke and … Parker or Wiggins.

The other night, playing for Duke, Parker rolled out a man’s game against a bunch of boys. On one defensive stand, he messed over an opponent’s shot attempt in the low post, grabbed the ball, and handled it up the floor through five defenders and put down a tomahawk dunk that caused everyone in Cameron Indoor to go berserk.

That’s the kind of thing that will get a lot of Jazz fans through nights when they read that the New Orleans Pelicans are embarrassed to lose to their team. Whether it’s Parker or Wiggins or somebody else, short of an insane winning streak, the Jazz are going to end up with a difference-maker in the draft. At least they will if Dennis Lindsey makes the right choice.

But the club’s plan goes beyond just that. It also extends via the financial flexibility currently in place, that will be in place at season’s end, to buttressing that young lineup with a couple of strong free agents, or good players other teams would otherwise want to keep if it weren’t for the punitive taxes that will plague big spenders under the new collective-bargaining agreement. Again, Lindsey will have to make the right choices within that framework.

Can't see the big free agent signings unless G leaves. Got to save money for Enes.

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If the Jazz were the Clippers of the ’80s and ’90s, if they were perennial losers, it might be time for fans here to fire up or off. But they’re not. Given the realities for small-market teams in the modern NBA, they are pursuing a path they must pursue to have a chance at real contention. They didn’t create that NBA environment, they’re just working within it to ensure that, in the seasons ahead, nobody will be embarrassed to lose to them again.

GORDON MONSON hosts "The Big Show" with Spence Checketts weekdays from 3-7 p.m. on 97.5 FM/1280 and 960 AM The Zone. Twitter: @GordonMonson.
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Old 11-22-2013, 08:41 AM   #209
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“I think the biggest thing is not forcing things, going out there and picking and choosing my spots,” Burke said. “It feels good knowing that teammates have my trust, coaches have my trust. They’re going to allow me to play within the pick-and-roll, get guys going. That’s my natural position, being a PG, getting guys going, looking for my shots. It’s always good to know that you have the confidence.”

Burke’s first NBA bucket was a burst down the drive for a left-handed finish moments after he entered. His first assist was a nicely executed dish on a well-run pick-and-roll, setting up a Derrick Favors basket.

The 21-year-old looked much more like the 2013 NCAA Player of the Year than the shell-shocked rookie who missed 18 of 19 3-pointers shortly after the Jazz gave Minnesota two first-round picks to acquire him.

Corbin hasn’t had much to smile about this season, but this was one personal display that brightened all of Jazzland.

“From the summer to just before we started camp and in camp and again in exhibition, he’s grown,” Corbin said.

That process of progression has continued in the five weeks following his surgery in which Burke had pins inserted into his shooting hand.

“The biggest thing is just playing with confidence,” he said. “In Orlando, I don’t think I played with the type of confidence that I’m used to playing with. I know I’m a good player. I know if I play with confidence that I can definitely help the team win.”

Watching teammates live and in film sessions, picking the brains of players and coaches, and just soaking in the scene from some of the best seats in the arena helped him in ways playing couldn’t.

That’s not to take away from on-the-job experience, of course. But the Jazz are encouraged that Burke made good use of his delayed career kickoff.

“I thought he did a great job last night transferring it into the game,” Corbin said.

A day later, the playmaker’s finger was a bit sore but mostly good. As long as it remains taped to his middle finger, Burke said he “can’t even really tell it’s there.”

Two problems from his debut?

First, the Jazz dropped their fourth straight game, making them 1-12 overall and 0-1 on Burke’s clock.

“I’m devastated every time we lose, believe it or not,” Burke said. “Even though (the season’s) 82 games, it takes a toll on guys when you continue to lose.”

Lucas, the veteran brought in this offseason to help mentor and back up Burke, was struck with how intent the Jazz rookie was about becoming the best point guard in the game when they first met.

The youngster, who led Michigan to the NCAA championship game last April, was also open about his goal to become rookie of the year a season after just about sweeping every collegiate award.

“Right now, being 1-12, I’m really not thinking about it (rookie of the year). I know those things take care of itself if we start winning, first and foremost (and) second of all, if I go out there and play confident,” Burke said. “Obviously, everybody has personal goals, but right now it’s all about the team with me.”

Burke was nothing but complimentary of Carter-Williams, who has an early lead for the rookie merit. The 6-foot-6 point guard from Syracuse is averaging 16.6 points, 7.4 assists and 5.4 rebounds for the Sixers.

“Guys always like to compare the rookies and compare specifically me and Carter-Williams because we play the same position,” said Burke, who was drafted two spots ahead of his fellow rookie. “He’s just a magnificent player.”

Jazz brass are confident Burke will also develop magnificently. That’s why they gave up their 14th and 21st picks in June and dubbed him as their point guard of the future alongside the team’s returning young talent.

They had a good look at Carter-Williams before the draft. Didn't have that luxury with Burke.

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In the present, Corbin is just excited to have Burke back in the mix. The rookie was limited to 5-6 minute stretches Wednesday, but the hope is he’ll be able to play longer tonight at Dallas. At some point, he’ll move back into the starting lineup where he was in the first three games of the preseason before the injury.

No need to rush it. He might be better off running the second unit for the time being.

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“He was going good (Wednesday). He wanted to stay in, but we were on a restriction, so we had to take him out,” Corbin said. “You want to be careful with him and give him time to get himself acclimated back to the game speed.”

Burke laughed when recalling his rehab process that helped him get back before his six-week post-operation medical check-up next Monday.

“Guys (were) clowning to me, ‘Man, you can just tape that up (and play),’ ” Burke said. “I’m like, ‘Nah, it was worse than what you think.’ I knew it was probably going to be 4-7 weeks.”

Somehow, Burke managed to stay positive during that rehab period, which began with him being banned from running and having to wear a hand brace for several weeks. Eventually, he increased his exercise from a stationary bike to running. He was gradually allowed to dribble and shoot before the medical staff cleared him to practice at full speed Tuesday.

Burke credited “pretty much everybody” for helping him keep his chin up during that delayed career start — from teammates to his dad/agent Benji Burke to friends and mentors back home in Columbus, Ohio. He was impressed how Hayward has remained upbeat in slumps and by Richard Jefferson’s positive “mentality.”

“Before coming in this league, guys said, ‘You’re going to have some up nights, you’re going to have some down nights,’” Burke said. The best players, they always stay here (even-keeled), regardless of what type of night you had. I think (Wednesday) night gave me some confidence. At the same time, I understand I have to continue to get better.”

As much as he values that experience behind the bench, Burke will happily try to improve on the court going forward.

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Old 11-22-2013, 08:44 AM   #210
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Quote:
While his teammates stretched before practice Thursday, Hayward propped his foot up on a chair and received electronic stimulation treatment to help ease the pain.

I had that done on a sprained foot. Pretty amazing! This is his 2nd injury of the year. Be interesting to see how these guys hold up to increased minutes and bigger roles. They all had some injuries last year.

Quote:
The Jazz were trying to help Hayward overcome emotional pain from his rough 1-for-17 shooting night. He spent about a half-hour after the game in the locker room at New Orleans Arena, sitting in silence before showering.

When he returned, Hayward blamed the loss to the Pelicans on himself.

“He’s disappointed. Some nights in this league it’s just not going to go in the hole for you,” Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin said. “That’s one of the things we love about the guy is he takes it personally.”

Though Hayward recently had a 5 of 23 night against San Antonio, Corbin knows games like that are an anomaly. His latest was the worst shooting night in Jazz history, even poorer than Karl Malone’s 1 for 16 night on Nov. 20, 2002.

“We love him and we’re going to stay with him and we’re going to work with him through this tough game,” Corbin said. “He won’t have many nights where he’ll shoot 1 for 17. We trust that.”
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