SALT LAKE CITY — After getting blown out for a second straight night just two games into their 2010-11 NBA season, and after coach Jerry Sloan addressed them as a team Thursday, Jazz players spoke among themselves.
"Guys are upset, because of the ability we have," swingman C.J. Miles said. "We're not playing up to it."
After doors to the Jazz locker room opened and media members filed in, shooting guard Raja Bell spoke of frustration.
Power forward Paul Millsap said the club had no chemistry.
And point guard Deron Williams and rookie Gordon Hayward chalked up an on-floor flare-up between the two as miscommunication.
By Friday morning, as the Jazz's difficulties were dissected and the search for solutions got under way for a club that has six players not on the roster last season, Williams considered a call for simplification.
"That's up to coach, you know? That's up to him," he said of Jazz coach Jerry Sloan, whose team has twice yielded 110 points, first at Denver, then to Phoenix. "You know, I don't run practices. I'm just out here to try to keep guys together.
"You know, we've got to do something. We've got to get better. You know, there's no secret about that. What needs to be done, I don't know."
He has spoken frequently with Sloan throughout his first five years in Utah, addressing this issue and that.
But when asked Friday if he felt a need to do it now, Williams said, "I just don't know how much good it's gonna do."
Later, Williams pondered Millsap's characterization of what's missing most. He first seemed to agree, then reached for a more specific descriptor.
"I don't know if it's chemistry," the All-Star said. "There's chemistry, but … I don't really know the word I'm looking for."
After a momentary pause, and before dismissing the notion of splintering concerns so early in the season, he found it.
"There's no rhythm," Williams said. "No rhythm, offensively, defensively. It's almost like we have too much right now. I guess, in a word, we do need to 'simplify' things."
With new starting center Al Jefferson still learning his way in the Jazz system and Hayward doing the same, his case is arguably convincing.
Sloan, however, doesn't know if running only what is rudimentary will solve all that's wrong.
Simplifying, he said, is "fine.
"But what you run, run it," the Jazz coach added. "If we run a simple play, we've got to execute the same as we would a play that has three or four options in it."
Sloan, whose Jazz are idle until visiting Oklahoma City on Sunday, senses it will take much more than making things easy.
He sees hard screens not being set. He sees easy layups being missed. He sees the 20 fast-break points Phoenix scored Thursday night, and hears players not getting back to cover their man instead yelling, "My man, my man."
"That's a losing attitude," said Sloan, who after a 22-point loss to the Nuggets and a 16-point loss to the Suns also sees "a lot of things" that must improve.
"We've got to do a better job getting the ball to other people, passing the ball more, and try to read what's going on in the game," he added. "We seem to have a little trouble still running our offense at times, and when you (just) hang out and take shots in an offense usually a guy's not in position to be able to rebound."
Sloan suggested the Jazz opened the season knowing it would take time to mesh.
"It's not like we thought we were gonna whip the world," he said.
"The only thing I know," Sloan added, "is you've just got to work through it, accept the responsibility of trying to make yourself better."
At least a couple Jazz veterans could not agree more.
"Effort," Miles said. "That's all it is."21 comments on this story
"They're fixable. Everything's fixable," Williams added with reference to the Jazz's biggest problems. "We're two games in, so there's no need to panic. … The one thing we can do is play harder, especially to start games. We can play a lot harder than we've been doing."
They know it, and they've spoken about it, too.
"We talk. We're always talking. We're constantly talking in the locker room," Williams said. "It's not like we come in and don't speak to each other and don't say anything to each other and don't realize we just lost two games and really weren't in any of them."