SAN ANTONIO He didn't want to admit it, but there is no doubt that a sprained right foot hobbled starting point guard Deron Williams in Utah's season-ending loss to San Antonio on Wednesday night.
"It definitely slowed me down," said Williams, who finished with a personal series-low 11 points and played just 24 minutes, sitting for all but two-and-a-half minutes of the second half of the Western Conference Finals Game 5.
"I don't like to make excuses," he added, "but I really couldn't spring off it, couldn't push off it, I really couldn't run."
Williams hurt the foot in the fourth quarter of Monday's Game 4 loss, and was a question mark at least publicly right up until gametime.
Afterward, the foot was visibly swollen.
"It's sore right now," Williams said. "I really just can't much pressure on it, and it's a day-old injury."
But the injury will not, Williams said, affect his plans to attend Team USA's summer training camp.
Williams will use the camp to boost his bid to play in the 2008 Summer Olympics."That's my big goal right now," he said.
BAD BEHAVIOR: Even two days later, the boorish behavior of Jazz fans during Monday night's Game 4 peppering the EnergySolutions floor with debris aimed at Spurs players, derisive chants directed at referees was a hot topic of discussion at the Western Conference finals.
"I just felt bad about what happened up there," Jazz coach Jerry Sloan said when asked about an hour before Wednesday's Game 4. "It was one of things that, I think they (fans) got too involved. We probably all got too involved in the game."I think it is always bad for basketball when that happens, because San Antonio is a wonderful franchise," added Sloan, who was ejected from Game 4. "They have a wonderful group of players and coaches and staff and everything. I hate to leave (the series) with any kind of negative approach, but that certainly didn't help it."
HE SAID IT: Shooting guard Gordan Giricek, who made his first start of the series Wednesday: "I just didn't play well."
HE SAID IT II: Jazz forward Matt Harpring, on losing: "When the series is over you hate making excuses and you say, 'You know what?' They beat us. They're a good team.' "
HE SAIT IT III: Giricek, on the Jazz's making it the conference finals: "I think we had a pretty successful season, no matter about the finish."
NO DOUBT: Williams was asked after Wednesday's game if he thought San Antonio would go on to win its fourth NBA title since 1999."I can't see anybody beating them," he said. "I'm not saying they can't be beat, but they play just so well."