SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin admitted in a perfect world today would have been an ideal off day for his players.
No such luck.
With the blink-and-you-missed-it preseason over and the crazily condensed schedule only five days away, the Jazz returned to the practice court and film room less than 12 hours after their 92-89 exhibition win over Portland.
"There's still a sense of urgency," Corbin said, "to get as far up to speed as we can as early as we can, so we have a chance to compete and win."
And that includes a light practice today along with "full speed" workouts Friday, Saturday and Monday.
Yep, you read that correctly. Santa Corbin will give his players Christmas Day off.
That will be the only rest day for the Jazz in the preseason. They've practiced every day since Dec. 9, including five days of two-a-day workouts.
After changing his lineup a bit from the first to second preseason game, Corbin said he'll be narrowing in on a more structured starting five in the next few days.
"We'll tighten it up tomorrow, a little bit more Saturday," Corbin said. "We'll be ready by Tuesday to get the guys understanding who's going to start so we can go into the game familiar with that rotation of that group of guys on the floor at the same time."
But the Jazz will need contributions from as many players as possible because of the compressed 66-game schedule, so it's important to bring everybody along, including the team's fresher faces.
Point guard Devin Harris said the offense continues to be a "work in progress," and the team is pleased with defensive improvement and communication. Comfort and chemistry will continue to build with increased playing time and familiarity.
"We're a deep team," Harris said.
They'll be even deeper when Paul Millsap fully returns to the fold. Millsap, last year's starting power forward, is day-to-day with right quadriceps tendinitis.
Millsap said he'll be ready to play by Tuesday's season-opening game against the Lakers.