Utah Jazz put horrendous game behind them, head to Miami
Players say their poor performance was only 1 game on schedule
George Frey, ASSOCIATED PRESS
MIAMI — The Utah Jazz flew to southern Florida after their game in Indiana on Wednesday night.
Considering how his team performed, Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin might have considered making his players travel to Gordon Hayward's high school gym in nearby Brownsburg to practice the basics for the next couple of days before rewarding them with a trip to Miami.
The Jazz played so ugly in that 104-84 loss to the Indiana Pacers, they made their hideous 10-point quarter against Memphis last Saturday look like it could've won a swimsuit contest on South Beach.
Corbin even got a bit sarcastic while being peppered with questions about the Jazz's offensive ineptitude. Asked where the team would go from that shoddy showing, the Jazz coach quickly answered: "Miami."
Not Terre Haute?
"We'll take the day (Thursday) to reflect back where we are," Corbin said, "and come back to work on Friday and be ready to go against Miami."
The Jazz better hope they become reunited with their wayward offense.
It has been missing for more than a week now.
Since scoring an average of 124 points in wins over Toronto and the Lakers on Dec. 7 and 9, the Jazz have gone five games without surpassing the century mark.
They only hope Wednesday's game was the bottom, although it seems impossible that it could get any worse. The Jazz only scored eight points in the second quarter and 31 for the entire first half. They fell behind by a season-high 32 points and lost by 20 for the second time, having also suffered a 104-84 setback in Denver on Nov. 9.
Ironically, that blowout vs. the Nuggets offers some hope. The Jazz won their next two and seven of 10. After his 1-for-8, four-point night, Al Jefferson made reference to that Denver debacle and credited his team for responding well.
"It's the NBA, man. Things like that happen. It's all about bouncing back," Jefferson said. "Every time we've played bad like that, we always respond well."
That might be harder to do this time, though, considering the Jazz play back-to-back games this weekend at Miami and Orlando.
"We've got to be ready," Jefferson said. "We're going against the defending champs (Saturday). We've just got to be better than what we were (Wednesday)."
Backup big man Derrick Favors, one of the few Jazz players who showed up in Indiana (13 points, nine rebounds), agreed that the team has to simply forge forward and leave that Pacers' shellacking behind in Indianapolis.
"While you're still in the building probably think about it, but once you get on the bus and the plane you forget about it," Favors said. "You still remember the loss, but you forget about the game."
The Jazz had a full day off in Miami on Thursday, and they'll practice this morning before enjoying another day in this Florida hot spot. Miami played at Dallas on Thursday, so the Jazz will have an added advantage of being fresher than the Heat come Saturday.
"It's one game. We're 1-1 on the trip," said Corbin, whose team won at Brooklyn, 92-90, on Tuesday. "We've got two games left. We want to get the last two."
NOTES: Jazz guard Raja Bell, currently in limbo in Miami until a resolution to the final year of his contract can be worked out, politely declined an opportunity to be interviewed by the Deseret News. ... Even with Favors' resurgence and the Jazz's recent struggles, Corbin doesn't anticipate tweaking the lineup. "It's a long season," he said. "We are where we are. We'll keep doing what we're doing." … Favors said he's no longer bothered by plantar fasciitis, which recently kept him out of five games. "I feel good," he said. "I'm getting my wind back." … Corbin wasn't pleased that the Jazz relied so much on outside shooting, going 2-for-15 from the 3-point line in Wednesday's loss. "Those aren't the shots we want," he said. "We want to go inside first."
Jazz on the air
Utah Jazz (13-12) at Miami Heat (17-6)
Saturday, 5:30 p.m.
American Airlines Arena,
Radio: 1280 AM, 97.5 FM
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