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Utah Jazz: Corbin won't add to staff before end of the season

Published: Friday, March 11 2011 9:46 p.m. MST

MINNEAPOLIS — Turns out, three's company for the Utah Jazz coaching staff.

Tyrone Corbin has previously mentioned that he was contemplating adding another assistant coach to his crew, and he's received plenty of interest over the past few weeks.

But with only 16 games remaining, the Jazz coach has decided to keep his staff to a minimum with assistants Scott Layden and Jeff Hornacek.

"I don't think we will (add one) at this juncture," Corbin said. "Not (for) the remainder of this year. We're kind of where we are."

Since Jerry Sloan and Phil Johnson stepped down a month ago, the assistants have divvied up extra work. Corbin convinced Hornacek, previously a part-time shooting coach, to become a full-time assistant to help carry some of the load.

And that's how it will stay until the offseason.

Maybe even until 2012, depending on the lockout situation.

"We'll manage what we do," Corbin said. "Everybody will do a little bit more like we have been, and we'll get through the rest of this season."

Corbin admitted that the uncertainty of a potential work stoppage next season "plays in it."

GOOD IMPRESSION: Corbin's assessment of Marcus Cousin, the Jazz's newest player?

The Jazz coach called No. 50 — who got a jersey with his name and number on it for Friday's game after being a nameless zero — a "tough big guy."

Corbin also lauded the 6-foot-11, 255-pounder for having "good hands" and a "great body."

"(He'll) continue to develop as a player," Corbin said. "He's working hard. ... His attitude has been great."

Corbin is hopeful having another young big man who's learning the system will help rookie Derrick Favors' progression.

"Their skill level is about the same," Corbin said. "Experience-wise about the same, age-wise they're close. They're both workers.

Added Corbin: "I think it gives somebody else your size, same position, give them an opportunity to work on post moves stuff at the same time. It's great."

POWER OUTAGE: Paul Millsap, who's missed two straight games with left patellar tendinitis, isn't certain whether he'll be able to play tonight in Chicago.

Likewise, Carlos Boozer sat out the Bulls' game Friday with an ankle injury, and his status is up in the air. (Great news for fans hoping to see a Kurt Thomas-Jeremy Evans matchup.)

Millsap said the ailing knee is coming along.

"It's progressing. It's getting better, that's the good thing," Millsap said after Friday's shootaround. "Only time will tell how long it will be before I play again."

Rest, he said, is the remedy.

"It's hard for me to get up and down the court," Millsap said. "When something affects that, you've just got to sit down and let it heal."

Not that he likes doing that, of course. But being sidelined is for the best.

"I've got to be smart about it," he said. "We're coming down the stretch run, so the (sooner) I get this out of the way the more effective I'll be on the court."

ACHING BACK: Mehmet Okur has gradually been increasing his activity at Jazz practices, but his health took a slight step backward Friday.

"I've been going hard every day, doing more and more stuff every day and it felt sore today," Okur said. "So I need to kind of back off a little bit and hopefully be OK tomorrow."

Okur is trying to not let that setback dampen his spirits.

"It's been good lately. I felt really strong the last two or three weeks," he said. "For some reason, today it felt really sore. ... I just want to stay positive, take a day off and get back to work."

e-mail: jody@desnews.com

Twitter: DJJazzyJody

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