Utah Jazz take a moment for team bonding outside the basketball courts
"It always helps to get the guys together as much as you can and do things other than basketball," Corbin said, "so they make sure they understand about personal growth and the unity that we need to have as a group to continue to grow together as a team."
Other quick shots from today's shootaround — on Abraham Lincoln's birthday — at the FedEx Forum for tonight's 7:30 p.m. MT game:
— Corbin said his team's "spirits are good" despite recent struggles and the daunting schedule ahead in this back-to-back-to-back journey, which begins tonight for the 13-12 Jazz against 14-13 Memphis.
"We understand the importance of where we are and we're ready for the challenge," Corbin said. "This back-to-back-to-back, it's going to be a whirlwind here for a little bit."
— Defending point guards have lit up the Jazz for the past couple of weeks. Corbin called it a "concern." He pointed out that the Jazz need to improve how they channel opposing playmakers to where they want them to go — toward the baseline, not the basket.
Utah point guards and bigs have to cut off the path up high and be aggressive and physical in defending the opponent with the ball. At the same time, the weakside help needs to be in a correct position to thwart penentration. The Jazz also want to avoid allowing point guards to split defenders up top.
"It's a thing we all have to do a better job at," Corbin said.
— Corbin said he will adjust minutes and rotations a bit to keep guys as fresh as possible during this three-games-in-three-nights-in-three-states stretch.
Corbin: "We need everybody to be ready and just willing to play the minutes they're playing and staying focused on trying to give us a chance to get the win."
— Asked about Gordon Hayward's second season, Corbin credited the swingman for making the "largest strides" on defense even while facing the other teams' top scorers sometimes.
"I think he's doing a great job of taking that challenge personally, getting up in the guys," Corbin said.
The coach is convinced that Hayward's offensive game has benefited from the way he's played physical defense and made opponents "work for everything," like he did in helping hold Kevin Durant to just 19 points in Friday's loss.
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