Utah Jazz: Ever-changing lineup presents new opportunities for players

Published: Tuesday, Dec. 4 2012 10:40 p.m. MST

"We can't afford to (allow) guys going to the rim, because we don't have that shot-blocker in Derrick to come across and save us."

Backup point guard Earl Watson sees this is a prime opportunity for growth. The Jazz still has 63 of their 82 regular-season games remaining. They’ve had six starting lineups for various reasons and dozens of rotation combinations, and that's only going to increase as the season progresses.

"The players out are big for us," Watson admitted. "Marvin is big in a X-factor type of way. And Fav is just Fav. He controls the paint."

But … new opportunities for other guys present chances for improvement.

"I think it's a positive," Watson said, regarding players getting to try different roles. "I think it's a chance for us to get better and grow as a team, because you never know with foul trouble or injuries in the future what we might need to happen."

The last thing Corbin wants his players to do is to become fixated on specific roles, especially because the situation is fluid.

"Play ball," Corbin said. "Play basketball … that's what everybody's role is and we'll figure things out from there."

In that sense, players can learn from Carroll's willingness to take on one of the quickest and most talented guards in the world. Guarding a point guard isn't usually his role — neither is starting, for that matter — but he embraced it just as he's tried to diversify his game with outside shooting.

"We don't want guys to be narrow and thinking I'm just a rebounder, I'm just a ball-handler, I'm just a shooter," Corbin said. "We want you to play basketball and we'll put you in a position to show what your talents are within that."

Sooner rather than later, they hope that helps produce wins again, too.

EMAIL: jody@desnews.com


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