SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Jazz might have one more big man to put in Dirk Nowitzki's path tonight when they host the Dallas Mavericks.
Backup center Enes Kanter is a game-time decision to play after missing the past two games with a right sprained ankle, but he remains hopeful he'll be good to go.
"It felt great," Kanter said after today's shootaround. "I can step on it now. I can jump. It feels good."
Watching his teammates play in Phoenix and Denver made Kanter "hungry" to get back onto the court to contribute.
"I'm just going to try to go tonight," he said. "I really wanted to play (on the road trip), but I couldn't play because of my ankle."
Speaking of hunger, Kanter revealed that he remains on his seafood-and-salad diet that helped him shed about 50 pounds this past offseason.
"I'm still trying to eat healthy," he said. "No carb, just protein."
Other short shots from shootaround:
Jazz forward Marvin Williams on the challenges Nowitzki presents:
"It'll be a tough game. Obviously, Dirk he's back. About this time, he's probably got his legs under him (after the knee surgery). With him in the lineup, it'll definitely be a different team. He's a constant, constant match-up problem. He's been so successful in this league. There's not too many 7-footers who can handle the ball the way he does, especially shoot the ball the way he does."
Jazz center Al Jefferson on whether he's thinking about his upcoming free agency:
"Nah, actually I haven't thought about it. That's something else that I don't want on my mind right now. It's all about taking care of this season right there with my teammates. Whatever's going to happen this summer's going to happen regardless."
Added Big Al: "I'm just taking it one game at a time, like I always say, and trying to get this team back to the playoffs."
Jazz swingman Gordon Hayward on the Mavericks being better than their 13-21 record:
"We can't really worry about what they're going through. We just have to come out here and play Utah Jazz basketball tonight."
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"Hard-nosed, physical, selfless basketball, play for the team, not for yourself," he added. "We're going to get after it out there and we're going to leave it all on the court."
Hayward on whether he feels pressure of living up to the hype of the last performer in EnergySolutions Arena — Justin Bieber:
"No," he said. "I saw some vans the other day that had all kinds of stuff about Justin Bieber on them, so I’m sure he had a good turnout here in Utah."
Hayward was in Denver, so, no, the young NBA player didn't attend the concert.
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