Utah Jazz notebook: Mo Williams uses injury time to scout out old team, new teammates
LOS ANGELES — Mo Williams didn't play for the second game in a row Wednesday when the Utah Jazz took on the Los Angeles Clippers.
That's not to say he had the night off.
Before the Jazz played his former team for the first time since he was traded to Utah this summer, Williams said he planned on putting his injury-caused downtime to good use.
From his front-row seat, Williams said he'd scout his old teammate, Chris Paul, while also observing tendencies of fellow starters Al Jefferson, Paul Millsap, etc., at the beginning of the game.
"That's what I do. I evaluate," Williams said. "Trust me. I'm not just over there eating popcorn and hot dogs, even though I would like to."
Williams hopes to give up the sideline scouting gig on Saturday — not to replace it with noshing popcorn and hot dogs, but to actually play again when the Jazz host the Clippers.
The Jazz won't practice Thursday after spending the past five days in Southern California, which will give Williams' strained right adductor more healing time. The minor injury also kept the 10-year veteran out of Tuesday's win over the Lakers.
"Practice is more important than games right now. I haven't missed a practice," said Williams, noting that he'd only play 20 to 22 minutes in a game anyway, meaning it's not worth taking a risk for such a short playing stint.
"I'd rather be in there with practice with my guys," he added. "I think that's where we're going to be better, but I'll be ready to go on Saturday."
NO FAVORS: Derrick Favors also missed Wednesday's game after banging his knee against another player during Tuesday's game against the Lakers.
The 21-year-old power forward said his wrapped-up and bruised knee was "doing good" after shootaround, but the team wanted to be cautious midway through the exhibition season.
Asked if he hoped to play through the pain, Favors said, "If it was the regular season, yeah. But preseason, I don't know."
FOND FAREWELL: Things didn’t go as he'd hoped with the Clippers in his 1-1/2-year stay, but Williams said it wasn't for a lack of effort.
"I left it all on the floor," he said. "Did what I asked."
In turn, Williams was appreciative of how the Clippers treated him on the way out — namely, trading him to the Jazz.
"At the end of the day it didn’t work out for me," Williams said. "By me handling it the right way, they did right by me, put me in a situation they thought would be good for me."
Williams also related being grateful that Clippers management, including coach Vinny Del Negro, reached out to him on his way out this offseason.
SAME OL' JAZZ: Nine years later, Williams said the Jazz still pretty much run the same system that was in place when he was a rookie in Utah in 2003-04.
"You've got some tweaks in it — obviously putting a modern-day twist into it," he said. "But at the end of the day, it still works."
The question brought back a pre-NBA memory for Williams from a draft workout with Seattle.
"It was before Utah drafted me or anything, (and) they said it then, 'Utah got the best executing team in the NBA,'" Williams said. "So if you got that aura around the league and reputation, why change it?"
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