OKLAHOMA CITY — Tyrone Corbin might not have to make a decision on which player to place on the inactive list tonight.
Unless his strained right hamstring heals quicker than expected, starting point guard Devin Harris admitted after Monday's game that he is not expecting to play when the Jazz visit the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Rookie forward Derrick Favors' availability is also up in the air because of his sprained left ankle, which forced him out in the third quarter of the Jazz's devastating 103-85 loss at Memphis.
Both players are listed as day-to-day by the team's medical staff.
Depending on their availability, veteran center Francisco Elson might actually dress for action after sitting out the past two games on the inactive list despite being declared healthy enough to play. Elson had been out previously with ankle and knee issues.
"We've been dealing with (injuries) for a while now," said Corbin, whose team had Tuesday off aside from traveling from Memphis to Oklahoma City. "We've just got to keep fighting. Injuries happen. Guys have to step up and they have to continue to do that."
Earl Watson doesn't accept the injury situation as a legitimate excuse for the Jazz's sluggish and sloppy play, though. The backup point guard, who'd likely start tonight in Harris' absence, pointed out that the Grizzlies trounced Utah despite not having injured star Rudy Gay on the court.
"It's kind of been the theme of our season, but at the same time I've never been one for excuses," Watson said. "I think excuses are just the easy way out. We still have to play a game. We still have to find ways to win."
DECEPTIVE START: After the Jazz's perfect preseason, then-Utah star Deron Williams said the record didn't carry that much weight because sometimes bad teams play well in the exhibition and tank it during the regular season.
At that time, it seemed much more likely that a different 8-0 team, Memphis, would be the one that would fall apart during the season.
Now the Grizzlies are on the cusp of making the playoffs for the first time and the Jazz are about to miss the postseason for the first time in five years.
"I said when that happened that was probably the worst thing that we did was go 8-0 in the preseason," Miles said.12 comments on this story
"Because," he added, "all that did is we just came out and got smacked the first two games of the season (after) coming out thinking, 'Oh, this is going to be easy.' "
HAMPERED HAMMY: Harris said he pulled his hamstring again when he made a nice drive in the first quarter Monday in Memphis.
"I wasn't able to stop and felt it jerk a little bit — not my best feeling," Harris said. "With a couple of days off, we'll see how it feels."
Harris has been dealing with the sore hammy since tweaking it last Monday against Philadelphia.
"It was sore," he said, "but not this sore."