One of Utah Jazz power forward Carlos Boozer's strengths on offense is his array of ways to get shots.
"To be able to finish with both hands keeps them a little bit at bay; they don't know which hand I'm going to shoot with sometimes," he said Wednesday.
"Sometimes I'll face them up, sometimes I'll jab, sometimes I'll drive, back them down. For me, a lot of times it's twisting and moving, making a move side to side, try to use my quickness as an advantage."
That twisting and moving could be a bit of a problem tonight against the Los Angeles Lakers at EnergySolutions Arena at 8:30 for Boozer, who took himself out of Monday's home win over Toronto with 6:13 to go after mildly straining a muscle in his lower left back.
He took treatment Tuesday and Wednesday but did not participate in contact in Wednesday's practice. He is expected for today's shootaround and said he will play tonight.
The injury does affect his twisting, he said.
"Yeah, a little bit, but we'll take care of it (Wednesday) and make sure that it's ready to go (tonight)," Boozer said. "I'll be ready (tonight), absolutely."
Boozer said he was hurt Monday when, "we were trying to trap (Toronto's Jose) Calderon, and I think I just reached out there, and it just pulled a little bit, and I felt it right away."
Having Tuesday off helped a great deal. "I got a lot of healing done (Tuesday)," Boozer said.
Center Mehmet Okur also left Monday's game early less than six minutes into the first quarter with a stomach virus. He was told to stay home for Wednesday's practice but was expected to participate in today's shootaround and is considered a game-time decision for tonight.
BIRTHDAY BOYZZ: Kyle Korver celebrated his 27th birthday Monday with a win. Ronnie Brewer would like to do the same tonight for his 23rd birthday.
But C. J. Miles was the one who had the important birthday Tuesday, his 21st.
What did he get? "A birthday breakfast bar and a practice," he said Wednesday before practice while munching on one of those health bars. At least the Jazz didn't practice on his birthday, and at the team autograph session that day, a number of people standing in line wished him happy birthday, and he got some cards.
Miles said he tells his parents, back home in Dallas, he doesn't really want presents.
"They usually try to do something, but I tell them I don't need anything. The thing with that is, I just try to be around my family. That's the biggest thing now because I'm away so much, so like if they could come up here during spring break or something, that's the best present for me."
But they couldn't this year because spring break for Dallas schools was last week when the Jazz were on the road. "But we play in Dallas next month, so I'll see everybody," Miles said. -->
His teammates went to dinner with him following Monday's game. "We just all hung out," Miles said. "Most of us. We hang out a lot as a team. Everybody knows me, Paul (Millsap) and Ronnie (Brewer), 'Three Amigos,' We always go together, but as a team, we're pretty close. That's a big thing for us, we're all like family. Like brothers."
"Everybody keeps asking if he feels different being of legal age now. It's just like the same. It's not like it's going to let me have this epiphany on life," Miles said. "I don't know. That's what everybody acts like 21 does, but I've been on my own basically since I was 18 almost, so it's not the same. Just feels like another year to me.
"It was a bigger deal as far as the guys, like there was this crossover or something. I'm the same, feel the same."
Miles did buy himself some presents a matching watch, bracelet and necklace.
DON'T LIKE BOOS: Boozer and Deron Williams said Wednesday they were not fans of Jazz fans booing former teammate Derek Fisher the last time the Lakers were here. Some fans thought Fisher used his daughter's illness as an excuse to get out of Utah, getting the Jazz to let him out of his contract so he could sign with another club in a city that had the medical facilities needed for his daughter's eye cancer.
"Yeah, I heard some some of them boo. That's not really right, if you ask me," said Williams. "I don't think Fish cares. If they want to boo him, that's fine, but I don't think he deserves it."
"I was surprised," said Boozer. "I didn't expect them to boo him that much.
"We all get booed on the road," said Boozer, who's heard it big-time around the league for not re-signing with Cleveland after it let him out of his rookie contract. "We've all been through that, but I didn't expect it every time he touched (the ball)."But the thing about Fish, he's been around for a long time. It wasn't the first time he's been booed, so it will be all right. He'll be all right," said Boozer.
E-mail: [email protected]