Utah Jazz: Starting or not, Mehmet Okur anxious to get back in the game
Sloan said the coaching staff would evaluate Okur's playing status when he returns. They assess how starters and subs do and how well they play with various combinations after each game.
"We'll approach that whenever it comes time to put him out there," Sloan said.
It does intrigue the coach how many options a healthy Okur gives the Jazz.
"The biggest thing is hopefully he stays healthy," Sloan said. "It's kind of strange. He gets hurt and we waited for him to come back and come back and then he sprains his ankle out there. You never know."
Once healthy, however, Okur can stretch defenses with his outside shot and his interior game had improved over the last couple of seasons as well.
"We're anxious to get him back," Sloan said. "But not to the point where we're going to push him back."
Before going through Friday's practice — a first since this injury happened — Okur was looking to play in Monday's home game against Portland. That would give Jazz fans their first chance to see him play this season.
Okur said he's putting in extra work to make that happen.
"I'll be probably out there," he said.
Though he's used to being a starter, coming back as a regular member of the Jazz's second unit intrigues Okur.
"It's a running group. It's good for me, actually, running with them, get into shape. I like it. I don't mind," he said, smiling. "First off, my goal is just to get (in) better basketball shape and be able to run with them."
The Jazz's cavalry crew could really be a force to be reckoned with for foes with two 3-point threats — Okur and C.J. Miles — along with the feistiness of Francisco Elson and the spunk and spark of Earl Watson and Ronnie Price.
"He adds a lot to it," Miles said. "It's just more size and another guy to go to. It'll definitely help. It'll definitely open up driving lanes with him out there for myself, Earl and Ronnie Price.
"And on the other end," Miles continued, "it's just another person they (opponents) have to really focus in on and be aware of. ... He'll turn into a factor immediately."
Not just at the practice site, either.
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