Utah Jazz notebook: Mo Williams out because of forefoot sprain; Kevin Murphy outbound to D-League?
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — For different reasons, the Utah Jazz were without Mo Williams and Kevin Murphy when they played the Sacramento Kings on Saturday night.
Williams couldn't go because of a moderate sprain of his right forefoot, which was still swollen and painful 24 hours after being injured.
The Jazz's starting point guard got hurt during Friday's 104-102 win over the Kings at EnergySolutions Arena, and it was initially believed he'd sprained his right ankle.
"It's just sore," Williams said moments before Saturday's tipoff. "I'll take it a day at a time."
The Jazz next play at home Monday against the Denver Nuggets.
Jamaal Tinsley took Williams' place in the starting lineup. Other options at point guard include backup Earl Watson, who played for the first time this season Friday, seven months after undergoing surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee, and Randy Foye and Alec Burks.
"We've got three veteran point guards on our team, myself, Earl and Jamaal, so I'm not concerned about it," Williams said. "We are three different guards. At the end of the day, we can run a team. We can lead a team. That's where our depth comes into play."
Williams said he's using multiple forms of treatment, including laser therapy, stimulation and ice in hopes of rapidly returning. He didn't put any extra pressure on his foot Saturday, and will see how it feels today before trying to run or play basketball again.
"Mobility's not there," he said.
Williams tried to come back after rolling his foot in the second quarter against the Kings on Friday, but was in too much pain to play. In the locker room following the game, he wore a walking boot on his right foot.
D-LEAGUE BOUND?: Watson's return Friday made it so rookie Kevin Murphy didn't dress for the first time in his young NBA career.
The Jazz would like to reassign their second-round pick to to the Reno Bighorns of the D-League by Monday, but Murphy's move could be put on hold pending the severity of Williams' foot injury.
The 6-6 Murphy has only seen action in three of Utah's first 14 games, averaging 1.3 points in 3.0 minutes.
The Bighorns don't have a mandate of how much time an NBA player assigned to them must play, but the Jazz are sending Murphy down so he can get more court time.
"We just told him to be a true professional, go down there and earn the minutes on the floor," Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin said. "The coach will play you. If you don't play, be a good teammate. He'll do a good job."
Murphy's newborn son and wife recently moved to Utah from Atlanta. The Tennessee Tech guard missed the first few days of training camp in early October to be there for the birth of his first child.
OUTGOING MESSAGE: Aside from simply getting playing time, Corbin said the Jazz want Murphy to work on expanding his game.
Defensively, the coach wants Murphy to better understand how to "get up in a guy and stop guys." On the offensive end, the rookie needs to learn how to "read situations," Corbin said. That includes improving how he is involved in plays when he's on the weak side.
Corbin gave a Murphy a message in case he ends up in Reno next week while the Jazz have a busy schedule, including a three-game road trip.
"I wanted to reassure him that he's still part of us. He's with the Jazz," Corbin said. "We just won't have the time here. We're not going to have a chance to get a lot of practice in. He can get five games in the time they're down there (with Reno)."
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