Utah Jazz: Jazz great at home, now need road wins

Published: Tuesday, Feb. 24 2009 12:18 a.m. MST

Winning five straight and picking up victories over the likes of the Lakers, the Celtics and the Hornets were nice accomplishments, no doubt.

Getting Carlos Boozer back after returning to their winning ways was great news, too.

But those recent successes aren't nearly enough to satisfy the Utah Jazz.

They've still got some serious work to do on a bunch of business trips over the next two months.

Beginning with Wednesday's game in Minnesota, 15 of the Jazz's remaining 25 games are out of town. They've fared better away from home than road kill, but not by much. The Jazz are, after all, just 9-17 outside of the Beehive State.

And they know it.

Consider this quote from Deron Williams as proof that their lack of success as visitors is on their minds.

"We've still got to win on the road," Williams said. "We still have some things we've got to do. We've got to win on the road. We've got to keep taking home courts, but we've got to win on the road."

One could safely assume by that comment the Jazz want to, well, win on the road.

Jazz coach Jerry Sloan believes his team's recent home success — the Jazz swept their five-game homestand after beating Atlanta on Monday — might give his team "a false sense of satisfaction."

Sloan hopes having his full roster back healthy will help the Jazz return to respectability on the road, but he added that it simply boils down to playing harder regardless of who's playing.

"If we're going to make the playoffs, we're going to have to win some games on the road …," Sloan said. "You can't play 82 at home."

FUNERAL PLANNING: The Jazz are still ironing out details for Saturday, when they have a game at night against Sacramento several hours after Larry H. Miller's funeral.

Normally they have a shootaround in the morning on gamedays at the arena, but Miller's memorial services will take place there at noon so they'll have to change their usual routine.

Whether that means they scrap shootaround completely or hold it at their training facility and then hurry to the funeral remains to be seen.

Either way, Deron Williams said the players plan on being there for the services.

"It's going to be tough to go from a funeral to playing a game," Williams said. "We definitely want to attend it."

NOT WATCHING: If you can't find the NBA standings, don't expect Sloan to help you out. The coach said he doesn't keep up with everybody else's records.

"Somebody will tell me at the end of the year," he said.

Sloan believes players should play the same way (read: hard) regardless of their team's position in the standings.

"Your job is to go play hard every day," Sloan said, "and anything other than that you're cheating yourself, you're cheating your family."

NOT A MOTIVATOR: Sloan also made it clear that his job is to coach, not to give motivational speeches to his players.

"I can't get you ready. I don't believe in motivating players. I think they have to motivate themselves," he said. "I think it's the most overused word in sports: motivation. You either play or you don't play."

CELTICS WANT MOORE: Former Jazz backup center Mikki Moore will likely end up with Boston for the rest of the season after having his contract bought out by Sacramento. The Boston Herald is reporting that the 7-footer will join the defending NBA champions when he clears waivers and becomes a free agent today.

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