SALT LAKE CITY It's been over a year since the Utah Jazz won five games in a row, and they'll look to repeat that feat tonight against the Cleveland Cavaliers at EnergySolutions Arena.
Five quick shots from this morning's shootaround for the 7 p.m. MT tipoff (ROOT Sports):
The Jazz (5-3) are looking to extend their undefeated home record, having won their first four games at ESA this season and five in a row dating back to last year.
"It's home. You want to take care of your home business," Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin said. "We know the court. We know our surroundings here, but it's not going to be easy. We have to come out and focus on every team that we play and do what we need to do to continue to get better and we have a great chance of winning."
Cleveland hasn't won in Salt Lake City since Lebron James led the Cavaliers to a 102-97 victory on Jan. 24, 2009.
The Cavaliers lost in Portland on Sunday (98-78), but the NBA's worst team last season is off to a surprising start to the 2011-12 campaign with a 4-4 record.
The play of No. 1 draft pick Kyrie Irving (15.0 ppg, 5.1 apg), forward Antawn Jamison (16.0 ppg) and center Anderson Varejao (9.1 ppg, 10.1 rpg) has been a big part of that early success.
Corbin credited Irving, a quick point guard from Duke, for picking up the Cavs' pace in transition. The Jazz coach also lauded 6-foot-11 Varejao's energy and hustle.
"He gives you that second and third effort," Corbin said. "And that energy transfers to other guys because they see a guy giving all he has and they want to do the same."
Corbin isn't too concerned that the Jazz rank 28th in 3-point shooting percentage this season (26.5 percent).
"You live by the 3-pointer, you die by it," Corbin said. "I don't want to fall into a trap of searching for more 3-point shots. We just want to make sure we take the right ones, (and) the right guys are taking them. We'll make them in the long run."
The Jazz will keep the same starting lineup of PG Devin Harris, SG Raja Bell, SF Gordon Hayward, PF Paul Millsap and C Al Jefferson. Utah is 4-1 with that starting group.
"We're moving well, we're growing, we're getting better every night we step on the floor," Corbin said. "We're getting used to each other. It's working right now, so we'll continue to work and continue to explore things, but we're doing OK right now."
Player positioning is the top reason why the Jazz are second in the league in blocked shots with 7.5 stuffs for this Swat Lake City squad.
"We want to continue to be aggressive, make sure we're not taking too many chances," Corbin said. "Just be in the position to be able to make the play when it presents itself."