Utah Jazz: Short shots from shootaround ahead of James Harden, Linsanity and Houston Rockets
Elise Amendola, AP
SALT LAKE CITY — These aren't your Texas-born uncle's Houston Rockets the Utah Jazz play tonight at EnergySolutions Arena.
For that matter, they don't even resemble the 2011-12 Rockets.
Back from their four-game East Coast swing, the Jazz will take on a revamped Houston team that features almost a mostly new roster, including the likes of James Harden (trade) and Jeremy Lin (free agent signing).
The Jazz (5-6) are trying to get back to .500 at home where they've yet to lose this season in three outings. For the second game in a row, the Jazz will go with a starting lineup that includes Mo Williams, Randy Foye, Paul Millsap, Derrick Favors and Al Jefferson.
Houston (4-6) traveled to Utah after losing to the Lakers in Los Angeles, 119-108 on Sunday night. Forward Chandler Parsons, one of the few returning Rockets, had a team-high 24 points in L.A.
Some short shots from shootaround:
— Paul Millsap on the Jazz's Big Three lineup that has him at small forward, Favors at power forward and Big Al at center:
"The good outweighs the bad. We've just got to stay with it. Offensively, we've got mismatches. We're a better rebounding team with that. We could be a pretty good defensive team with that lineup. We just have to get the rotations down." (Millsap quickly added that he's the one who needs to better adjust at the three spot.)
— Derrick Favors on Utah's challenge tonight:
"Our pick-and-roll defense has been kind of sloppy lately, but we've been working on it in practice and watching film on it, so we should come out with improved defense on the pick-and-roll."
Added Millsap: "They're going to pick-and-roll you all night, and we've just got to be ready for that."
— Favors on what the new Jazz starting lineup has to do better after falling behind 15-2 in Saturday's debut vs. the winless Wizards:
"(Saturday) we just couldn’t get a shot to fall. Our shots were in and out. Just come out aggressive, with a lot of energy, start the game off good and I think we will win this game."
— Jefferson on Houston being a good fit for Harden, who was traded to the Rockets from Oklahoma City right before the season started:
"He didn't come to Utah so I really didn't care, just to be honest with ya."
Jefferson continued: "I think he happy. He got a nice contract. He (is) the man on the team now. If I was in his shoes, I'd be happy too, but I wasn't really concerned about it."
— Gordon Hayward on his new reserve role (Marvin Williams is also coming off the bench after starting):
"I think whatever the coach wants us to do is what I'm going to do. As long as we get wins, that's what it's all about. Ttat's what we're going to do."
— Hayward about his new role, which should include more offensive opportunities:
"I think it's just a matter of maybe we get the ball in my hands a little bit more. (I'm) able to make a little bit more plays. We've got a lot of options in that first group, so it's just a case of getting more opportunities with the second group."
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