Keith Johnson, Deseret News
Finding minutes for swingman C.J. Miles on Saturday night was easy, because backup small forward Andrei Kirilenko missed his second game in three due to a strained lower back.
Miles — appearing in just his second game since undergoing surgery in the preseason to repair a ruptured ligament in his left, shooting-hand thumb — logged 20 off the bench in a loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves.
But if Kirilenko can play in tonight's game against San Antonio, backup shooting guard Kyle Korver returns this week following arthroscopic knee surgery that's kept him out all season and/or combo guard Ronnie Price gets back any time soon, the Jazz will be able to dress a full 12-man roster for the first time this season — and they'll have an excess of perimeter players to pick from.
"It's tough," power forward Carlos Boozer said.
"I think our staff and Coach (Jerry Sloan) is trying to do the best he can," Boozer added. "You know, we've had guys that have been out who are coming back from injury. . . . But Coach will figure out the rotation. He knows what he's doing. He's been doing this a long time."
Sloan recently said that using an eight-man rotation is one of the easiest things to do in coaching.
Juggling 12 or more healthy players is another thing all together.
"Guys," Boozer said, "have to be ready to play when he calls a name, whoever's name he calls."
TWEETING THE HATERS: Before playing his first game of the season in Friday's win over Indiana, Miles tweeted that "It's been 2 months but it was nuttin but a speed bump .... Tha road to MIP (Most Improved Player) starts NOW!"
After he struggled against the Pacers, however, Miles devoted part of another Twitter message, this one from Minnesota, to his naysayers.
The tweet: "it will come .. Thnks all u guys for Tha support And Tha haters also love u 2."
After Saturday's game, Miles — who said he'll probably have to play with this thumb taped for the rest of the season, though that's not much of a bother — addressed the issue of haters.
"I re-tweet the stupid stuff they say, just so everybody else can see it," he said. "Because I think it's funny. They hide behind screen names. It's just to get attention, because they know everybody else is reading it."
HELPING RECRUIT: Jazz point guard Deron Williams has lent his name and financial support to what is now called the "Deron Williams Shootout at the Hall, hosted by State Farm" — a seven-game, 14-team high school basketball extravaganza that will be held Saturday at Assembly Hall on the campus of the school he played for, the University of Illinois.
The long day of high school hoops will feature games involving a half-dozen or so potential Illini recruits.
"It's something Coach (Bruce) Weber talked to me about," Williams said. "He thought it would help out the program by getting a lot of the top kids down there, (from) inner-city schools down there, playing some big games.
"The recruiting class we have this year and the next one coming in are really good," he added. "And we have a chance to sign some good kids in the one after that, so I think this is definitely important. It will be a big boost for our program."
The Jazz play the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday, so Williams won't be able to attend the high school event.
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