SALT LAKE CITY — The longest homestand of the season could prove beneficial on a couple of levels for the Utah Jazz.
For one thing, even though Utah's road success has been a bit of an anomaly, traditionally there has been no place like home for the Jazz to pad their number in the win column.
"It's a great opportunity for us," Jazz guard Earl Watson said, "to get better and (pick up) some W's at home."
The Jazz will have six straight chances to do that.
The home-friendly stretch began with Monday's 109-88 win over Milwaukee and continues with two more games this week — Wednesday against Indiana and Friday vs. Dallas.
Next week, the Jazz host Memphis, Miami and Orlando in another Monday, Wednesday, Friday lineup.
Watson considers it a prime time for the Jazz to "extend ourselves away from other teams."
Jazz coach Jerry Sloan is consistent in his belief that it doesn't matter where the games are played.
"Just go play basketball," he said.
There is one road perk team personnel don't get at home the coach said would make life even sweeter at home.
"I wish we got per diem," Sloan joked.
Utah's next longest homestand is a four-gamer from March 24-April 1, no joke. The Jazz also have two more three-game ESA stints, but their home outings are spread out the rest of the way.
As for the other home benefit, Watson might actually get to know Salt Lake City over the next two weeks. He hasn't spent much extended time on the Wasatch Front since joining the Jazz just before training camp began in late September.
"I'm really excited about (it)," Watson said. "I'm still learning different parts of the city, still getting my routine in Utah."
START THE SUBS?: It was said in jest, but Sloan admitted that he's considered a wholesale starting lineup change. Those slow starts are driving him crazy.
"Yeah," he said. "I'd like to maybe start our second group and see what happens there."
The Hall of Fame coach made it clear he was kidding, adding that he's "not really that close" to a starting lineup swap.
But he loves the energy so often provided by Utah's secondary spark plug squad that the thought of starting Watson, Ronnie Price, C.J. Miles, Francisco Elson and Kyrylo Fesenko has actually entered his Hall of Fame mind.
"Oh yeah," Sloan said. "I think about a lot of different things, but the people who work with me back me out of that and keep me from getting in trouble."
SHARING SEASON: The Jazz are teaming up with American Family Insurance and the U.S. Marine Corps to hold their 28th annual Toys for Tots drive for local kids in need at games this Wednesday and Friday.
Fans are encouraged to bring toys that are new and unwrapped to arena doors prior to the games. Cash donations will also be accepted, with raised funds to be used to buy gifts for underprivileged teenagers.
The first 2,000 people to contribute to the charitable efforts will receive a ticket voucher for a 2011 Salt Lake Bees game.
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