Utah Jazz: Tyrone Corbin sticking with current starting five
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — If it ain't broke, don't fix it. And if it's broke, give it time to get fixed.
Those weren't the exact words Tyrone Corbin used at shootaround this morning, but it's in the ballpark of how he's approaching the starting lineup for the Utah Jazz's game (8 p.m., ROOT) against the Sacramento Kings tonight at Power Balance Pavilion.
The Jazz, winners of four straight and coming off back-to-back wins over the Los Angeles Lakers and Oklahoma City Thunder, will keep the same starting lineup they used in Tuesday's win over the Western Conference's best team.
That first five, which helped Utah beat OKC 97-90, consists of Devin Harris, Gordon Hayward, C.J. Miles, Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson.
Veteran guards Raja Bell (strained adductor) and Earl Watson (sprained ankle) are expected to dress, but Corbin isn't planning on them playing in this important road game.
The Jazz (24-22) are playing well right now, so Corbin would prefer to rest them and allow all their injuries to fully heal before working them back into the playing rotation.
"We can buy some time now," Corbin said. "I'd rather be safe than sorry. The group is playing well, so no need to rush (them) back now."
Bell, who's missed 10 games with groin injuries this season, said he feels fine and could go if his number is called. The 12-year veteran said he wouldn't be disappointed if he isn't reinserted back into the starting lineup, where he's played in all 33 of his outings this season.
"I'm ready to go," Bell said. "I practiced yesterday. No ill effects, so I'm ready."
But Corbin said he needs to talk with Bell to ascertain his availability. Bell is also dealing with a knee issue along with the adductor injury.
Watson scrimmaged with the Jazz at practice Wednesday, but the backup point guard wants to be cautious about returning after spraining his left ankle for the second time in less than two months.
"I take all challenges in a good way where I'm excited to overcome it, so my focus right now is to overcome this physical challenge and get back as soon as possible," Watson said. "In the words of Coach Wooden, 'Be quick but don't hurry.'"
The Jazz will have their own challenge against the surging Kings, who have averaged about 117 points in three consecutive wins. Sacramento beat Utah 103-96 in their last game about three weeks ago.
Corbin said the Jazz will have to focus on stopping the Kings' perimeter guys — such as Tyreke Evans and Isaiah Thomas from penetrating and breaking down the defense, allowing big man DeMarcus Cousins to wreak havoc on the inside.
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