Utah Jazz notebook: Utah takes great pride in its reputation for being a physical team
Tom Smart, Deseret News
SALT LAKE CITY — On Saturday, Detroit Pistons coach Lawrence Frank said the Utah Jazz have a culture of being instigators.
The Jazz's response?
Thank you, very much.
"We are a physical team. We've been a physical team. This is a physical culture," Jazz power forward Paul Millsap said. "We've been like that for years. From ground up ... hard working. I guess if somebody say that, it's gotta be a compliment to us."
Miami coach Erik Spoelstra was the latest coach to, um, compliment the Jazz and their brute ways when he predicted "a full-pad, gridiron-type game" before his Heat took on Utah.
Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin is fine with his team getting that reputation, especially when and if it's deserved.
No pain, no gain, right?
"We're just playing the way we play. Nothing different from how we want to approach the game," Corbin said. "We want to play with a lot of energy. We want to be up on guys. Different guys call it whatever they want to call it.. We're just trying to play the game aggressively."
Physical play and a loud crowd come with the old Deseret Territory, as far as the Heat players are concerned.
"The fans give them an extra boost of confidence. They get them excited. They're always into the game," LeBron James said about Jazz fans, whom he called "amazing" on multiple occasions Monday. "They know the game of basketball, so much history as far as their organization. So they're great."
Miami star guard Dwyane Wade echoed those sentiments.
"They're very competitive here and they bring out the best in other teams. We enjoy every time we come here," Wade said. "It's a tough place to play. It's a tough place to breathe, first of all. Once you get over that, then you've gotta play the game.
"It's always tough, but it's always enjoyable," he added. "This is one place that if you walk out of here with a win, you feel very, very good about yourself."
TWEET TO EAT: On Sunday, James asked his Twitter followers for suggestions about where to eat breakfast in Salt Lake City.
So, did he take their advice?
"I get so much (tweets). Some of them are good. Some of them are awful," he said. "I'll take some of the advice. I've still got to do a little bit more research, though. I just can't walk in anywhere."
And the result? Did he find a good brunch spot?
"Yeah, I did, honestly," he said. "Right across the street from our hotel was a really good place."
JAMES ON JAZZ: Before Monday's 104-97 loss to Utah, James was quite complimentary about the hosts.
"They're a good team. They're big bodies. Millsap and Jefferson and (Derrick) Favors and (Enes) Kanter," he asid. "I think Gordon Hayward is a really good player as well, and those guys play together.
"One thing about this team is they're going to play hard and they're going to play together each and every night so we have to be ready."
James thinks the Jazz's future can be bright.
"This league is about continuing to improve each and every year," he said. "They have improved since they've been in the league, and if they can continue to do it, they'll have a good team. They have a good future."
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