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Jazz hope long break becomes advantage

Published: Thursday, July 30 2015 2:32 p.m. MDT

SALT LAKE CITY — When Saturday finally arrives, the Utah Jazz hope to do what the TV-in-mind schedule is currently doing with a Wednesday through Friday break.

Extend this second-round series with the Los Angeles Lakers, that is.

"We've got to be smart with it," Jazz power forward Carlos Boozer said of the three-day delay, "use it to our advantage and make it work for us."

In the meantime, the Jazz look forward to a repose, recharging before Game 3 tips off four full days after Game 2.

"It'll be good for us," Boozer said after Tuesday's 111-103 loss, which put the Jazz in a 2-0 hole.

"We get a chance to get A.K. a little bit more healthier before he comes back," Boozer added. "The rest of us that are banged up will get a chance to get a little bit more rested up."

The Jazz are planning some film fests, too, in hopes of avoiding a never-surmounted 3-0 series deficit.

"We'll have plenty of time to watch tape and see our mistakes and hopefully be able to fix them for Game 3," Boozer said.

Any tactical tweaks?

Utah will throw in "some different schemes," Boozer said, quickly adding with a grin, "that we're not going to tell you."

USING WILLIAMS: Are the Jazz relying too much on point guard Deron Williams?

TNT analyst and ex-NBA head coach Mike Fratello seems to think so.

"(Williams) was so good against Denver in the first round, but eventually, fatigue does set in," he said. "So much is relied upon this man to make it happen — not only as a defending guard, but he has to push the ball and make shots."

Fratello's insight in Boozer's matchup with Lakers big man Pau Gasol?

"Boozer is trying to figure out how he is going to attack (him)," he said. "Gasol is so long and moves his feet just well enough to bother Boozer. He's always aware that (Gasol) is a shot-blocker."

Then there's this from Fratello, on Jazz rookie shooting guard Wesley Matthews: "(He) is more comfortable shooting a set shot from behind the 3-point line, as opposed to the jump shot."

PUNKS, DOGS AND CHUMPS: Several Lakers are hurting with bumps, bruises, strains and sprains, but few — according to Kobe Bryant — want to admit it.

And fewer still want to miss playing because of it, even if only out of fear of peer pressure.

Said Bryant after Game 2: "I think the thing with the injuries is everybody kind of looks at each other and tries to figure out which one is going to be the first punk. You know what I mean? Because we will talk about you like a dog, like a chump. So nobody wants to be a chump."

As for his own body, nothing speaks louder than Bryant's 31 points in Game 1 and 30 in Game 2.

"I'm just healthier," he said. "It's as simple as that."

Bryant, bugged lately by a sore knee and finger, said he was at his "all-time" worst in Game 4 of the Lakers' first-round playoff series with Oklahoma City — one in which he scored just 12 points — but he has felt progressively better.

HE SAID IT: Center Kyrylo Fesenko, to ESPN.com, on his relationship with Jazz coach Jerry Sloan: "It's hard to say we have a relationship. Sometimes Coach is really harsh on me, but I realize I deserve it. Every player needs to be motivated. He's not trying to offend me. He sees the potential I have, and he wants me to get to there. It's Jerry Sloan, hall of famer. I can't complain. He was in the NBA when my mom was born, so he probably knows more than me. I saw tapes of him as a player, and I wouldn't want to play against him."

MISCELLANEOUS: The New Orleans Times-Picayune reported Wednesday that the Hornets' head-coaching search now includes eight candidates: ex-NBA head coaches Fratello, Avery Johnson and Doug Collins; Jazz assistant coach Tyrone Corbin; Dallas assistant Dwane Casey; Boston assistant Tom Thibodeau; Portland assistant Monty Williams; and ex-Jazz point guard Mark Jackson. ... Williams and Boozer were among 31 players named earlier this week to the roster of USA Basketball's national team, which will hold a training camp July 19-24 in Las Vegas. Lakers Bryant and Lamar Odom are included too. ... The Jazz took Wednesday off, but will practice Thursday morning.

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