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Utah Jazz Extra: From slumping woes to missing toes

Published: Sunday, Jan. 23 2011 8:17 p.m. MST

Utah Jazz big man Francisco Elson (Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News) Utah Jazz big man Francisco Elson (Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)

Starting Five:

Five items of randomness regarding the Jazz — from their slumping woe to a strange sensation in someone's toe:

Move over, D-Will and CP3

TNT analyst Charles Barkley has jumped off the Deron Williams' bandwagon and hopped onto The Derrick Rose Express. "The reason why I anointed (Rose) as the best point guard is because Chris Paul and Deron Williams have been battling to be the best point guard for two years. I'm giving (Rose) the edge because of his leadership." Barkley is impressed that Rose has the Bulls winning, even without injured Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah. "He's the leader of that team." Boston's coach gave D-Will some high praise this past week, though. Doc Rivers on Williams: "He's one of those rare guards. He can beat you with his speed. And he can beat you with his shoulders. All he needs to do is get his shoulders in front of you."

Big Moses Jefferson?

The Celtics' coach also has a soft spot in his heart for Jazz center Al Jefferson, who spent the first three seasons of his career in Boston. Big Al even still has a video Rivers gave him as NBA newbie. Jefferson's skill set reminded his Boston coach of basketball legend Moses Malone, so he gave him a tape of Malone to help Jefferson emulate his rebounding and post moves. Said Rivers: "Moses was really unorthodox and I think Al was that way as you can see. I thought he would be a great guy for him to watch, and especially how hard Moses played. I thought it would be good for him to see." Jefferson indeed watched, and learned. Added Big Al: "He asked me one day in practice did I know who Moses Malone was. And I was like, 'No.' So the next day he gave me a video and I went home and watched it. I still got that video.. I still watch it."

As the wise Bell tolls, Part I

Interesting quote from Raja Bell about the Jazz's lineup change, with rookie Gordon Hayward taking over Andrei Kirilenko's spot in the starting five: "I roll with Jerry. If Jerry says that's what's going to help, then that's what's going to help. But I still think that what's plaguing us right now has nothing to do with lineups. It's fundamental. It's at the core of what we are and what we're doing right now that's the problem, and we can figure it out and get better from it. But the lineup changes, we're all professionals. We have to deal with that."

As the wise Bell tolls, Part II

And the veteran guard had this to say about the team fighting back and playing hard: "I don't think we heave (a) quitter's type of mentality in this locker room. We're all down a bit. ... I'll always continue to play hard even when you're not shooting the ball well and things aren't going right for you, and I know all my teammates play the same way. That's not a concern of mine. A concern is figuring out what we can do combined with playing had to start getting some wins."

Elson playing with four toes

Remember Francisco Elson's annoying toe issue that caused him to lose his right big toenail because he didn't break his shoes in well enough? Turns out, the foot still bothers the 7-footer in a bizarre way. "There's no feeling in there. It's weird," Elson said. "It feels like I'm playing with four toes." For the record, he confirmed that the tendinitis in his left quad has nothing to do with his shoes. Good thing, too, because he kidded that he'd sue if it did.

Coming Attractions

Tuesday at Lakers, 8:30 p.m., FSN/NBA-TV

The Jazz hope eight (straight losses) is enough when they return to L.A. where they haven't beaten the Lakers since '06.

Wednesday vs. Spurs, 7 p.m., FSN

The Spurs gave Jazz one of their 11 double-digit losses, and that's when Utah was actually playing well. Yikes.

Friday vs. Timberwolves, 7 p.m., FSN

Big Al had his homecoming in Minnesota last month. Now it's Kosta Koufos' turn to return to his NBA roots.

Sunday at Warriors, 8 p.m., ESPN

Jazz return to the West Coast site of one of their worst road showings of the season.

Who's Hot

Andrei Kirilenko

Though sent to bench, AK has three straight double-digit games

Who's Not

Utah Jazz

Most players seem to be in a playing funk for some bizarre reason(s)

The BIG Stat:

8 — The Jazz have now been outscored in eight quarters in a row, which statistically made it impossible to beat the Celtics or Sixers.

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