DALLAS — The Utah Jazz’s lineup is in flux again heading into tonight’s matchup against the Dallas Mavericks.
The good news is that point guard Trey Burke continues to progress and has been cleared to play more than the 12 minutes he logged in his NBA debut Wednesday in New Orleans.
Whether or not Gordon Hayward and Marvin Williams play remains to be seen.
Hayward participated in this morning’s shootaround at American Airlines Center after sitting out practice Thursday with a bruised right kneecap. The shooting guard had X-rays on his knee taken right after shootaround as a precautionary measure.
“He looked like he’ll play. He’s a very tough guy,” Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin said. “We just want to make sure that we look at everything, make sure that there’s nothing going on that we don’t know about.”
Williams flew to Dallas from Salt Lake City on Friday morning and will be a game-time decision. The 6-9 forward had surgery Thursday to reset his broken nose, which was injured last Friday against the Spurs. He also had a new mask designed to wear for protective purposes.
Williams missed Wednesday’s game in New Orleans.
Corbin said Williams’ surgery “went very well,” and they’ll evaluate his playing availability after he reunites with the Jazz this afternoon.
As for Burke, Corbin is looking forward to allowing the rookie point guard to play more tonight for the Jazz (1-12) against the Mavericks (8-4). He scored 11 points on 5-for-8 shooting with one assist, one rebound and zero turnovers.
Corbin wouldn’t give specific time limitations for Burke, who had surgery to repair his fractured right index finger just more than five weeks ago. But the coach said he plans on playing the 6-1 point guard at the end of the quarters in the first half, with the possibility that he’ll get even more minutes in the second half if all goes well.
"He felt good yesterday — had a good practice,” Corbin said, “so we can increase his time.”
Dallas coach Rick Carlisle shared a few thoughts on the Jazz after his team’s limited shootaround (no veterans) on Friday morning.
“Their personnel situation’s improving,” he said.
Carlisle on Hayward:
“He’s always aggressive. He’s their best player. He’s their leading scorer, so he’s going to be aggressive. We’ve got to be aggressive with him.
“You’ve got to keep the best players from getting going if you can. It’s hard to do that in this league. We’ll make every attempt. They’ve got other guys that can hurt you, too. They’ve got big guys inside. They’ve got (John) Lucas making shots now. They’ve got Burke back.”
Carlise on Burke:
“Everybody watched him in the NCAA, what he did. He got in the other night and was 5-for-7. He’s going to be aggressive. He’s a very well-rounded scorer. He can score really from anywhere on the court. He’s a threat anytime he touches the ball.”
Carlisle compared Burke to Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook:
“He’s good. He’s from a great program and he’s got a great opportunity to play for these guys. He’s going to come in there with guns blazing.”
Carlisle on Burke’s size (6-1):
“He didn’t look small on TV in the game that I watched, the last game. The small guys have advantages, too. They’re lower to the ground, so they can get through little holes and get places, and they’re quick. Guys like him are resourceful. They find ways to make it to their advantage.”
Carlisle on the struggling Jazz, who have lost four straight:
“Teams that are 1-12 are desperate and teams that are desperate are always dangerous. In the NBA, you’ve got to play 48 minutes.”
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