PHOENIX — With the temperature hovering around 10 degrees in Utah the past few days, there aren’t many places better to go to right now than Phoenix, where it’s in the mid-60s.
However, to most of the Utah Jazz players, who are playing the Phoenix Suns tonight, it doesn’t really matter if they’re in Phoenix or Philadelphia.
“I’m not really big on tanning, so it doesn’t bother me,’’ quipped Earl Watson, who said it might have made a difference in his younger days. “I’ve been going to Phoenix since ’97 since UCLA used to play ASU, so for me it’s just another trip.’’
The 34-year-old Jamaal Tinsley, agreed he may have taken notice of going to Phoenix in early January when he was younger, but not any more.
“We’re not worrying about the weather,’’ Tinsley said. “We’re going down there to win a ball game and hopefully we can go on the road and get two games.’’
At least Paul Millsap acknowledged it’s nice to be going to warmer weather, but added, “in 24 hours we have to head to Denver and that’s worse.’’
ANOTHER MAN DOWN: In the closing moments of one of his best games of the season when he had 15 points and eight rebounds, Enes Kanter suffered a sprained ankle, which kept him from practicing Thursday. He’s listed as questionable for Friday’s game.
“We’ll miss him — hopefully it’s not very serious and he’ll be back soon,’’ said coach Tyrone Corbin. “We’ll just have to shorten the rotation and guys will have to play a few more minutes.''
Corbin said because they’re playing a smaller Phoenix team, the Jazz may be able to “go small at times.’’ He also said Marvin Williams can play the big forward position and that Derrick Favors can play the 5 spot. Also Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap will both play likely more minutes than usual.
Veteran Earl Watson doesn’t expect Kanter to be out long.
“He’s about 12 years old he should be fine by tomorrow,’’ he said.
MURPHY IN D-LEAGUE: In 11 games with the Reno Bighorns of the NBA D-League, Jazz draftee Kevin Murphy has started nine games and is averaging 12.0 points on 43.5 shooting.Comment on this story
With the Jazz down a man as Mo Williams is out for six weeks, Murphy would be a logical possibility to fill a roster spot. However, according to Corbin, it’s not happening soon.
“We’ll look at it, but they have a showcase coming up so it will be an opportunity to get a few games under his belt and get some more looks there,’’ he said. “But we’ll discuss it going forward.’’
The four-day, 16-game annual Showcase will be Monday through Thursday in Reno. It’s an opportunity for NBA decision-makers to watch all of the D-League’s players up close and see if any are ready for the NBA.