Utah Jazz hope youthful exuberance can overcome experience

Published: Friday, April 27 2012 10:20 p.m. MDT

"We're counting on everybody on this roster. ... It's going to be a new experience for some of the guys. We've got so many guys that don't have playoff experience, so it's going to be a new experience and we're all going to have to make sure that we're on the same page and we get relaxed as soon as we can so we can just play basketball.

"We'll look at what gives us the best chance," Corbin said regarding the possibility of perhaps putting the more-experienced Howard back into the starting lineup ahead of Carroll. "DeMarre has played very well with that first group, and we're going to need everybody. So we need everybody to stay focused and just be ready to play when they step on the floor."

Howard fully supports whatever Coach Corbin decides to do with the Jazz lineup.

"I know he's satisfied with what he has going right now," Howard said, "so if he feels it's best for me to come off the bench, hey, I'm going to embellish that role and go out there and play.

"DeMarre has carried himself well stepping in for me after I had to go down with a little surgery. He just went out there and hustled, and that's what I like about him. He's a hustle guy no matter if his shot's falling or not, he's going to continue to play that 'D.'

"It's up to Coach," Howard continued. "I'd love to start, but if not, coming off the bench, I know I can help my team doing that like I did at the start of the year."

With the team's youth and postseason inexperience, folks might expect some of those young Jazz players to have the dreaded wide-eyed, "deer-in-the-headlights" look as they approach their first playoff experience.

But Howard and Bell certainly don't see that in their teammates. "I don't think our guys are getting too uptight," Howard said. "I haven't seen no inklings of nervousness yet. I see a lot of excitement. I know for that first game and the guys who haven't been to the playoffs and don't know what to expect, it's going to be overwhelming, regardless if you're a rookie or myself, like a nine-year veteran.

"This is the first year I've been back in the playoffs in two seasons, so I'm going to have a little bit of butterflies but that comes with the territory. You've just got to figure out a way to put that behind you and just go out there and get wins. Those young guys might be a little bit nervous, but we've got to hurry up and get those guys over that and get those wins."

"I've been around these guys, and they don't seem the type (to be nervous)," Bell said. "Gordon, I haven't seen that out of him, and Alec Burks doesn't really seem to have it, either. "So we might be that team that's just young enough to not be like a deer in the headlights. We might not even really understand what's going on. I'm not sure yet; I just haven't seen that in their makeup. "We've had a lot of big games as of late, games that were make-or-break, do-or-die, win-or-go-home type of games," Bell said, "and they've stepped up every night."

Yes, experience does enhance expectations. But sometimes, perhaps, so does youthful exuberance.

email: rhollis@desnews.com

Playoff experience

How the Utah Jazz and key San Antonio Spurs' players stack up in terms of postseason experience, with their number of years in the playoffs, games played, and their average minutes, points, rebounds and assists per game:

Utah Jazz

Player Yrs Games MPG PPG RPG APG

Josh Howard 6 62 33.1 15.5 7.2 1.6

Raja Bell 6 68 25.9 8.0 2.6 1.5

Paul Millsap 4 44 21.6 9.5 5.7 1.0

Jamaal Tinsley 5 37 25.6 7.5 2.8 5.3

Devin Harris 3 38 21.0 8.3 1.6 2.4

C.J. Miles 4 23 18.4 7.6 1.6 1.3

Earl Watson 2 8 17.0 4.8 2.4 2.8 Al Jefferson 1 7 19.4 6.1 6.4 0.3

No experience: Gordon Hayward, Derrick Favors, DeMarre Carroll, Alec Burks, Enes Kanter, Jeremy Evans, Blake Ahearn

San Antonio Spurs

Player Yrs Games MPG PPG RPG APG

Tim Duncan 13 176 39.5 22.7 12.4 3.4

Tony Parker 10 138 36.3 18.8 3.1 4.9

Manu Ginobili 8 122 31.4 16.5 4.6 3.8 Stephen Jackson 5 58 36.5 15.3 4.1 2.9

Boris Diaw 4 39 34.9 13.9 5.5 4.4

Matt Bonner 5 32 13.4 3.6 2.3 0.3

DeJuan Blair 2 14 10.1 3.9 3.7 0.5

Patty Mills 2 5 3.4 1.2 0.2 0.6

Gary Neal 1 6 18.3 7.7 3.0 0.8

Tiago Splitter 1 3 16.7 6.7 4.7 0.3

Danny Green 1 4 1.8 1.3 0.3 0.5

No experience: James Anderson, Kawhi Leonard

Coaches

Regular season W L Pct. Postseason W L Pct.

Greg Popovich 797 383 .675 3 NBA titles 108 73 .597

Tyrone Corbin 36 30 .545 — 0 0 —

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