Looking forward: Utah Jazz hopeful their core of big men rise again

Published: Sunday, May 13 2012 7:00 a.m. MDT

Fans can only wonder if that means the team might target one of the draft's multiple standout point guards, including Weber State's Damian Lillard, or if it will pursue an intriguing unrestricted free agent like, say, Steve Nash or Goran Dragic.

In the meantime, Corbin and multiple players will take notes from contenders while observing the postseason play out.

"I think we got to get the IQ part down. Watching the playoffs is going to help us out a lot. It's going to help us mature faster," Millsap said. "(Then) once we get a good training camp under our belt, I think things will turn around for us."

Corbin loves basketball, so he'd watch the playoffs anyway. But he hopes to pick up valuable insights as he preps for his first full season as a head coach after replacing Jerry Sloan in February of 2010.

"I'm studying coaches. I'm studying the strategy. I'm looking at plays," Corbin said. "I'm looking at matchups and tweaks that different guys make at different times. This is a great time of year for me personally to continue to grow and continue to learn."

Multiple Jazz players also plan to take advantage of offseason training at the team-recommended performance lab in Santa Barbara. For one, Big Al said he'll work out with both Favors and Kanter.

In July, Utah expects to have a stacked summer league team, which will likely include Hayward, Favors, Kanter, Burks and possibly Carroll and Evans. Watson plans to begin his surgery rehab workouts with the Jazz in Orlando as well.

"(From) one to 13-15, we have to get better," Corbin said. "Until we win a championship, there is a lot of work to be done. We're not satisfied just getting in the playoffs. We want to still be playing at this time for years to come."

But just thinking about the future brings a smile on Corbin's face.

"These guys have made tremendous strides to get to this point. If this is who we are going forward, we expect to continue to make strides together," the 49-year-old coach said. "I think we'll learn lessons from this year. I think we'll learn lessons from this playoff series, and coming into camp we'll use those."

Watson's advice to his teammates is to make full use of the spare time players now have, and the sooner the better.

"I think we established a great foundation making the playoffs," Watson said. "The next season starts right now, and it starts mentally. We have to have home-court advantage going into the playoffs next year. That's our goal."

Added Watson: "That has to manifest itself over the summer, so we can't wait until we get in December and start talking about we want home court. It starts right now."

And they only hope their powers have increased when they assemble next fall.

Email: jody@desnews.com
Twitter: DJJazzyJody
Blog: Jazzland.blogs.deseretnews.com

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