For much of the time since he arrived in Utah following a late-December trade from Philadelphia, backup shooting guard Kyle Korver has played in the second and fourth quarters while starter Ronnie Brewer has played mostly the first and third.
But that changed a bit during the Jazz's four-game road trip last week, and at least for now there is no telling who might finish.
"It's kind of a gut thing," Jazz coach Jerry Sloan said. "I don't have anything in concrete."
In a loss at Chicago and a win at Milwaukee at the start of the trip, it was Brewer who closed. In Friday's victory at Boston, Korver finished. And Saturday in New Jersey, due partly to matchups, both were on the floor for the last several minutes of a two-point loss to the Nets.
Brewer's defensive presence, Sloan suggested, is a big reason he's been getting called on more and more lately.
"Teams go at us some defensively," the Jazz coach said, "and Ronnie's probably is a little bit bigger and little bit stronger, and seems to be able to guard people a little bit better under those conditions at times."
Sloan said he also has confidence in Brewer as a late-game free-throw shooter, something for which Korver is well-known.
But Sloan hasn't at all lost faith in Korver, who took and missed two 3-point attempts in Saturday's final minute.
In fact, he suggested during the week that he's cognizant of the need to more regularly integrate the sharpshooter as a viable option within the Jazz offense.
"If somebody else is shooting the basketball, he doesn't get, maybe, an opportunity," Sloan said, "and it's hard for him to stay in a rhythm playing that way
"We need to help him more to get him some shots," he added, "and probably have failed some in that."
The Jazz coach also suggested that a second-year player like Brewer should not discouraged when he's not called upon: "Sometimes we have a tendency to think they've been in the league 10 years," Sloan said, "but they have to work through a lot of stuff to find out who they are in tough situations."
DEFENSIVE SNYDER: In 2004, the Jazz used first-round draft choices on Kris Humphries (No. 14 overall) and Kirk Snyder (No. 16).
Neither lasted more than two seasons in Utah.
But Humphries seems to have established himself as a reserve-role player in Toronto, which visits the Jazz tonight.
Snyder, meanwhile, is trying to salvage his NBA career in Minnesota, which acquired him last month from Houston.
According to last Friday's St. Paul Pioneer Press, "Defense has defined Snyder's brief tenure in Minnesota, highlighted by the swingman's shutdown performance against (Kevin) Durant in the (Timberwolves' March 2) overtime loss to (Seattle)."
And according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, "Since coming to the Wolves in trade for Gerald Green, Snyder has impressed (coach Randy) Wittman with his ability to defend against physical small forwards. But he wants to see more from Snyder on the offensive end."
Said Wittman to the Pioneer Press: "Now, he needs to transform into a guy who can make some open shots. We're probably going to get him some more opportunities down in the post than we have."
The Jazz face Snyder and the Timberwolves twice in their final nine games of the season, March 30 in Minnesota and April 2 in Utah.
LONG STAY: Doc Rivers is blown away by Sloan's 20-season tenure in Utah.
"I don't think anybody would have me that long," the Celtics coach told the Boston Herald. "I'm 21 years with my wife, and that's the biggest accomplishment of my life."
HE SAID IT: Sloan, queried about the play of Andrei Kirilenko, who requested to be traded in the offseason, during the Jazz's only visit to Boston this season: "He's played fine. All the stuff that went on last year has nothing to do with this year. Just try to get him to play as well as we can. That's our job. If we fail, then take responsibility for it and go on."NO GASOL? Recent acquisition Pau Gasol reportedly is not expected to play when the Los Angeles Lakers visit Utah on Thursday. Gasol sprained his left ankle Friday, when he stepped on teammate Vladimir Radmanovic's foot.
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