"Things can get special, that's what we're looking for," Millsap said. "Those guys (rookies) will get better, and I believe everybody will get out and work hard this summer to try to help this team out. We need that. But things will get better."
Corbin stressed the importance of offseason conditioning to his players, who might not be able to work with the team's coaches, strength coaches and other personnel after July 1 if the feared and anticipated lockout occurs.
The new Jazz coach, who went 8-20 in his short stint as a rookie after replacing his boss of the past seven years, also looks forward to getting his players back for a training camp. He wants to put his imprint on the team in an extended training scenario.
"It is an opportunity for us to start from scratch and build it from there," he said, "and I think we have the information from the last 28 games in the regular season to build on."
Corbin also believes the Jazz have enough talented pieces to build a successful squad.
"Do we have a core group of guys? We do," he said. "I think we have talent on this team that we can build around. ... It's going to be by committee. I think the cream will always rise to the top."
"I think this team knows how to win. We had some distractions, some injuries, that prevented that," Harris said. "But I think moving forward with the guys that we have, I think that we definitely can win at a high rate.
The offseason will be a busy one for Jazz management.
The team will have until June 23 to evaluate and pontificate about its two high draft picks — the order of which will be determined on May 17.
The Jazz also have player personnel decisions to make to fill the roster, which currently includes eight players under contract. Barring trades, Bell, Evans, Favors, Harris, Hayward, Jefferson, Millsap and Okur will be back whenever the 2011-12 season begins.
But the Jazz have a one-year, $3.7 million team option on swingman C.J. Miles, who hopes to return.
Utah also must decide whether to pursue Andrei Kirilenko, who'll become a free agent for the first time in his 10-year career, along with Kyrylo Fesenko, Ronnie Price, Earl Watson and Francisco Elson, whose contracts are all up.
Those contract situations are among the many mysteries O'Connor and his crew have to resolve in a longer-than-usual offseason.
"We've got to review everything. We've got to review the first half of the season — what went right," he said. "And we've got to review the second half of the season —what went wrong. And we've got to make some adjustment and changes, and that's going to happen."
The Jazz, who are out of the playoffs for only the fourth time in 28 seasons, simply don't want to be playoff observers again — especially considering they became the first team in NBA history not to make the postseason after starting 15-5 and then going 27-13.
"We're not satisfied with what we did and where we're at," added O'Connor, whose team lost 28 of 37 games before its late positive push. "So does that mean changes in personnel? It could. More importantly, how do we get better from within first and then how do we add from outside?"
Like his players, O'Connor wants to experience the exuberance of Wednesday's festive atmosphere in a playoff situation, not a meaningless game.
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