Utah Jazz: Paul Millsap for 3? Don't count on it often

Published: Sunday, Dec. 25 2011 7:13 p.m. MST

SALT LAKE CITY — Yes, Tyrone Corbin remembers the Millsap Miracle in Miami.

No, that doesn't mean he's going to give his best outside-shooting big man a green light from long range to fill the defense-stretching void the Mehmet Okur trade created.

"It may open some minutes up for him," Corbin said. "I don't know about at the 3-point line."

Losing Okur does change the Jazz's strategy, though.

With the 6-foot-11 center roaming beyond the arc, opposing bigs were forced to leave the paint.

Carlos Boozer benefited from that in past seasons, and Al Jefferson was licking his chops thinking about having more interior isolation opportunities with a healthy Okur back on the court.

"Now the bigs will be a little closer," Corbin admitted, "because they don't fear stepping out to the 3-point line."

Millsap shot 39 percent from long range last season, including the three 3s he drained late against Miami to force overtime in the eventual overtime Jazz victory.

For his five-year career, though, Millsap has only taken 43 3-pointers and hit 11, and he definitely believes in his outside abilities. It's one of the reasons he's been used in an occasional small forward role.

"I've heard that one, too," Corbin said, smiling when asked about Millsap's 3-point range. "He hit some in the Miami game last year, OK, and he has gotten better."

"He's not the same as Memo," Jazz swingman C.J. Miles said. "But he definitely can do it. He's shown flashes."

Even so, Millsap won't bug Corbin to give him free range.

"Nah, I'm not going to tell coach anything," he said, grinning. "When I get out there I play it by feel. I don't live behind the 3-point line. I'm not going to live behind there. I'll just continue to play basketball."

For the record, starting center Al Jefferson is 0-for-21 from 3-point range in his career. Jeremy Evans missed his only trey try as a rookie, and Favors didn't attempt one.

"I'm all mid-range and in the paint," Favors said. "No 3-pointers for me."

Kanter has a nice stroke, but it's unlikely the Jazz want their raging Turkish bull roaming away from rebound range.

Considering his leaping abilities, it's possible Evans can dunk from beyond the arc, but he probably won't unleash many jumpers from out there.

That leaves Millsap as the one and only outside post player threat.

"We need some more perimeter shooting from the bigs and Paul is a guy who can certainly step out and hit some shots," Corbin said. "It'll create a few more opportunities for him."(Note the words "a few.")

It might create a new call, too.

Millsap. Money!

Well, maybe not.

Email: jody@desnews.com

Twitter: DJJazzyJody

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