SALT LAKE CITY The Utah Jazz will be down three players against the revamped Golden State Warriors tonight at EnergySolutions Arena.
That will make them fit right in with the new-look Warriors.
Center Al Jefferson (grandmother's funeral), shooting guard Raja Bell (strained left adductor) and backup point guard Earl Watson (ankle) will not be in uniform for the Jazz in this 7 p.m. MT contest.
As such, Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin will insert C.J. Miles and Derrick Favors into the starting lineup in place of Bell and Jefferson, respectively.
The move is a bit surprising considering Gordon Hayward started for the first 36 games and then returned recently to the first five when Bell was unable to go due to an injury.
"We kind of like what we get with that second group with (Hayward)," Corbin said. "We can put the ball in his hands a little bit and let C.J. take up the slack with the starting group."
Hayward is coming off of a season-high scoring performance in which he poured in 26 points off the bench in the Jazz's 111-105 overtime win Thursday against Minnesota.
This will be the ninth game this season that Bell will miss because of adductor issues. He said he's been playing through it the last couple of games but the groin muscle has been tight and he hasn't been able to move as well as he'd prefer.
"I just feeling like I've been dragging it," he said. "I'm not really helping anybody out there doing that, you know?"
Bell isn't sure if he'll travel to Los Angeles for Sunday's game against the Lakers.
Tonight will be Miles' first start of the season. He didn't play in Thursday's game because of hay fever and dizziness, but the seven-year veteran said he's feeling better today.3 comments on this story
The Warriors are expecting to have newly acquired small forward Richard Jefferson available tonight after he was traded from the Spurs in exchange for Stephen Jackson.
Golden State is also without leading scorer Monta Ellis and rookie big Ekpe Udoh, who were traded to Milwaukee. The Warriors now have former University of Utah standout Andrew Bogut, but he will not be available to play due to a broken ankle.
The Warriors' projected starting lineup includes Nate Robinson, Klay Thompson, Dorell Wright, David Lee and Andris Biedrins.
Sharpshooter Stephen Curry is not expected to play for the Warriors (18-23).