Utah Jazz notebook: Losses are very hard to swallow for point guard Earl Watson
SALT LAKE CITY — Earl Watson hates to lose.
The Utah Jazz point guard made that clear after Wednesday's rough outing against the Golden State Warriors. Asked if the 94-83 blowout was particularly alarming, Watson responded: "To me, every loss is the worst."
It doesn't even have to be an official game, either.
Forward Marvin Williams had that made clear to him right after joining the Jazz.
"I noticed that about Earl probably the first day of training camp. He doesn't take losing lightly," Williams said Friday morning, smiling. "I don't care if he loses by one point or he loses by 100, he doesn't like it."
Watson gave a reminder of that at the Jazz's practice Thursday morning.
"It's kind of funny, but we scrimmaged yesterday and they lost and he wanted to check it up again," Williams said. "He didn't want practice to end. Coach had to call it off."
Williams has been impressed by Watson.
"To have a teammate like that, it really sets the tone for your toughness," he said. "You need that and he's absolutely right."
Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin smiled when asked about Watson wanting to continue scrimmaging at practice and his demeanor after defeats.
"That's who he is and that's what we need," Corbin said. "These guys are very proud guys, not just Earl. Guys take it hard and they should. It should feel like a loss might have took something away from you, and that's the only way we're going to grow and get better."
Losses are a part of basketball. Corbin knows that — all too well lately — and that is why he said it's critical to learn how to "work your way out of it" and react the right way.
"You can't feel sorry for yourselves. You can't start pointing fingers at anybody," said Corbin, whose team has now lost six of eight games following a 116-114 loss to the Clippers on Friday. "We have to work individually and you have to work as a group and this group has shown that. We'll fight our way out of it."
INJURY REPORT: Mo Williams missed his third straight game with a severely sprained right thumb, and there's no return in sight as of yet.
"It's frustrating to say the least," Williams said before Friday's game.
The encouraging part for the Jazz's starting point guard is that swelling has almost completely subsided. Early next week, the team's medical staff will evaluate whether or not Williams needs another MRI and determine whether or not surgery is required.
In the meantime, Williams continues to wear a brace on his right hand to protect the damaged thumb. He still struggles to do "the simple stuff" on a daily basis.
"I'm able to move it a little bit now, but it's still got some pain in there — a lot of pain in there," Williams said. "I wouldn't be able to catch the ball and stuff like that yet."
FAMILY GIFT: When he's not playing basketball, it's a good possibility Gordon Hayward is spending time playing video games. The 22-year-old didn't ask Santa for any new games this Christmas, though.
"I did not get a new video game. I pretty much have all those already," he said, chuckling. "But I got some pretty cool stuff. The best part was just having my family out here. I don't get to see them very much, so to have them out here spending the holidays was pretty cool."
Now if he could just get his family to play video games, that'd be even better.
TOUGH PREP: So, with the Clippers bringing Lob City to town, did the Jazz spend part of practice working on defending alley-oops?
"I don't think you can practice defending the alley-oop," Jazz forward Paul Millsap said, smiling. "It's not really a play. It's a broken-down play, really. Especially with two bigs (Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan) who can get up there and get the basketball, our main thing is making sure our help-side guy is over there where he need to be to try to prevent some of that."
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