Randy Hollis: Utah Jazz: Lineup may be tweaked after break

Published: Sunday, Feb. 26 2012 12:10 a.m. MST

Although Bell has shaken off a slow start and has played well lately, the Jazz coach said he's considering keeping Howard in the starting lineup after the All-Star break.

"Man, he's done a great job," Corbin said. "It looked like he might be better starting for us than coming off the bench. So we'll look at that and evaluate it and see what gives us a good chance."

Howard, who has scored in double digits in back-to-back games since starting in Bell's place, wasn't too eager to discuss a possible shakeup in the Jazz playing rotation.

"I ain't got no comment (about that)," he said sheepishly. "I just come in and play night in and night out. It's up to the coach to make those decisions. That's all I can say.

"I'm just going out there and enjoying the game. I've always been one of those players that just loves the game. So just getting out there, doing whatever I can do to help my team win. Ultimately, that's my goal night-in and night-out.

"I'm here at his disposal," said Howard, a former All-Star who signed a one-year deal with the team in December. "Whatever he wants me to do, I'm going out there to do it."

And then, of course, there's always the possibility of a trade.

The Jazz are well-stocked with good, young players like Millsap, Al Jefferson, Derrick Favors and rookie Enes Kanter at the center and power forward positions, and Hayward, C.J. Miles and rookie Alec Burks would appear to be the future of the franchise at the shooting guard/small forward spots.

But point guard, long a Jazz strength with Hall of Famer John Stockton and possible future Hall of Famer Deron Williams a pretty tough one-two act to follow, is an area of the greatest concern. Devin Harris has had his moments as a starter, and Earl Watson has often been terrific as a backup.

Corbin wouldn't comment on what other possible lineup changes might be in store for this ballclub, which now finds itself several games out of the playoff picture.

"This is who were are, we are who we are until we're not," the Jazz coach insisted. "This group of guys has done a great job of just continuing to work hard to try and get better as a group.

"We're trying to get better at the things we need to get better at, and we're working hard on our perimeter shooting and staying in front of guys and working on our pick-and-roll defense. So the guys have been working extremely hard to get better.

"This is who we are until we're not together any more," he said.

But who are they exactly? A feisty young team that might fool the experts and finish above .500? Or a struggling squad that still doesn't know how to finish games and hasn't yet learned how to win, especially on the road? Yes, indeed, will the real Utah Jazz team please stand up? Now, having taken a deep breath to regroup, reflect and collect their thoughts in this condensed and confounded NBA schedule, they'll soon have an opportunity to show everyone — including themselves — exactly who they are in the weeks ahead.

Email: rhollis@desnews.com

Get The Deseret News Everywhere

Subscribe

Mobile

RSS