Utah Jazz notebook: Tyrone Corbin puts Jazz to work at practice during rare gap in schedule

Published: Monday, Jan. 23 2012 10:57 p.m. MST

SALT LAKE CITY — It just might have been the last day off the Jazz will get this season, aside from the All-Star break next month.

The Jazz didn't have a game or a practice Sunday on the first of a three-day break between games. It's the longest stretch without games in this condensed NBA season.

After defeating Minnesota on Saturday night, the Jazz don't play again until Wednesday night when Toronto comes to town for the only meeting between the two teams this season. The Jazz practiced Monday and will practice again Tuesday.

Because the NBA is squeezing 66 games into a four-month window, there aren't many off days for NBA teams. This is Utah's only three-day break between games and it has only four two-day breaks between games the rest of the season — twice in February and twice in April. In the brutal March slate, the Jazz play 19 games with 12 one-day breaks between games.

Jazz head coach Tyrone Corbin is happy to have some rare practices — certainly rare back-to-back practices for his team.

"We've got a lot of things to work on," he said. "We need to tighten up some things on the defensive end of the floor and make sure our communication continues to get better. It's good to have some practice time to work on some of the things we need to do to get better."

TOOTH FAIRY: Most of the Jazz players spent their rare day off Sunday relaxing, watching the NFL conference championship games.

One player, however, had to spend time in a dentist's chair, which he was actually happy to do.

Earl Watson needed some dental work done Sunday after having a tooth damaged in a collision with Minnesota's Ricky Rubio.

"My tooth got knocked out last game, but my dentist, Dr. Dixon, did a great job and got me in and put it back in … saved my life," Watson said.

Watson's young daughter thought her dad was too old to have a missing tooth, but had an idea for him.

"My daughter kept telling me to put my tooth under my pillow," he said. "She couldn't understand and thought I was too big to have that problem (a loose tooth) and I said, 'Yeah, I am.'"

JAZZ NOTES: After Wednesday's game, the Jazz play at Dallas on Friday night before returning home to play Sacramento on Saturday night in what will be the first of two appearances for former BYU guard Jimmer Fredette. …Josh Howard has missed the last three games with a strained left quadriceps, but says he'll be ready to play against Toronto. …Paul Millsap ranks fifth in the NBA in field goal percentage at 55.4 percent. … Led by Al Jefferson's 9.4 average, the Jazz are outrebounding opponents by 2.1 per game. Jefferson ranks 14th in the league.

Email: sor@desnews.com

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