BOSTON — If their practice Tuesday was any indication, the Jazz could be quite shorthanded at the point tonight.
But even if they are, coach Jerry Sloan suggested in advance of a visit with the Boston Celtics, they'll simply have to deal with it.
"We just have to play. You know, we can't call 'em off," Sloan said. "We'll see what happens, see who shows, who's able to play. That's just part of it."
Neither starting point guard Deron Williams nor backup Ronnie Price practiced when the Jazz worked out Tuesday at Suffolk University here.
Williams sat out because of both tightness in his lower back, which bothered him throughout the second half of a win Monday night at New York, and pain in his left shin, which has been bruised since he got kicked in a victory over San Antonio last Thursday night.
Price sprained his left big toe in the second quarter of the Knicks game and did not play in the second half.
The Jazz — one game into a four-stop Eastern road trip and down to just nine players for a practice Tuesday that included mostly shooting drills and 3-on-3 play — are calling Williams a "game-time decision" and Price "questionable" for tonight.
"I'm sore, tight, stiff," said Williams, who couldn't commit to being ready to go against the 7-1, Eastern-Conference leading Celtics.
"I don't know. Ronnie Price put me in a hard position, a tough position. I just have to see how it feels, get some more treatment (and) massage.
"Of course I want to play. The Celtics. I like playing in that arena (TD Garden)," added Williams, who dished a season-high 16 assists in New York, five shy of his career high vs. Memphis set in 2007. "You know, it's always a fun game to be a part of. But, I just have to see how my back feels in the morning."
Williams did seem to be walking better Tuesday afternoon than he was Monday night, but Price was not moving well at all.
"(Tuesday) morning I woke up and it was still really sore, really painful," said Price, who did not sound hopeful about playing tonight. "It's kind of hard to walk around. I've just got to keep the pressure off my toe, off the bottom of my foot."
If he can go, Williams will be looking to atone for a 100-91 loss at Boston last Dec. 15 in which Celtics point Rajon Rondo scored 14 of his career-high 24 points in the fourth quarter.
The Jazz point was hobbling a bit at the time, still recovering then from a sprained ankle that caused him to miss 13 games in late October and much of November 2008.
"At lot of people took advantage of me last year when I was trying to get back in shape," said Williams, who did have an 18-point, 10-assist double-double in a February home win over Rondo and the Celtics. "It happens."
If neither Williams nor Price can play tonight, rookie point Eric Maynor could get his first NBA start.
"We'd play him," Sloan said, "or try to play (starting shooting guard) Ronnie (Brewer) and (starting small forward) Andrei (Kirilenko) some at that position, probably."
Maynor, a first-round draft choice from Virginia Commonwealth, hasn't played more than six minutes in any of the 3-4 Jazz's seven games this season.34 comments on this story
But he did log significant minutes in the preseason, especially when Price was out with a hamstring strain.
"That's part of the business," Sloan said of the injury situation.
"That's why we tell guys as soon as they come here, 'Get ready to play, because you don't know what tomorrow's going to bring,' " he added. "You can't do anything about injuries. Guys get hurt; we play who we have."
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