Utah Jazz notebook: Jazz give point-guard experience to Randy Foye and Alec Burks
OAKLAND, Calif. — It's all but a given that Mo Williams will be the Utah Jazz's starting point guard this season.
Securing the former Jazz player in a trade paved way for team brass to ship out an All-Star point guard for the second consecutive calendar year — Devin Harris in 2012 and Deron Williams in 2011.
What happens in the minutes Williams isn't on the floor is less certain.
For now, veteran Jamaal Tinsley is the clear No. 2 point guard. Earl Watson, Harris' backup for most of last season, continues to rehab his surgically repaired knee, so he's been unable to fully participate in camp and won't play tonight at Golden State.
On Saturday, Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin showed he has more options. For a while during the scrimmage, newcomer Randy Foye and second-year guard Alec Burks both saw time at the point.
It could be a preview of things to come at some point in the season. Just in case, Corbin wants both shooting guards to feel comfortable running the offense. Foye, a combo guard, has plenty of NBA point-guard experience, and Burks, a good ballhandler, was put in the position a few times last year.
"It's a long, long season. Guys may get injured," Corbin said. "Plan in case you have to run those situations."
Chris Quinn, a roster long shot from Notre Dame, also played some point-guard minutes in the scrimmage.
Williams plans on playing tonight against the Warriors after following his coach's orders to sit Saturday after he and Al Jefferson suffered minor injuries.
"It's going to be a long season and we're going to log a lot of minutes," Williams said. "We've been going extremely hard in training camp. Coach knows how I am. I only go one speed. I can't go out there and let up, so he decided to tell me just settle down a little bit."
BIG GOAL: The 29-year-old Williams has seen action in 80-plus games twice in his nine-year career. But he has a number in mind for this season: 82.
"I don't want to miss any games," he said. "That's my goal."
Williams played in 52 of the 66 games in the lockout-shortened 2011-12 season with the Clippers. The previous year he only saw time in 58 games between L.A. and Cleveland. His career-high is 81 games in 2008-09 with the Cavaliers.
FAN OF FANS: Williams and his old Mississippi buddy, Big Al, were both impressed with the number of fans that showed up for Saturday's scrimmage. The Jazz estimated attendance to be at 6,200 for the free event.
"Al was jokingly saying to me, 'Hey, shoot man, there's as many people in the gym right now as used to be at Minnesota games when (I) played,'" Williams said, laughing. "That's a credit to our fans."
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