SALT LAKE CITY — One of the criticisms of Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin has been his tendency to use the same rotations of players at the same times from game to game.
Over the past month or so, however, Corbin has been more flexible in his substitution patterns, and it’s paid off.
It certainly did in Monday’s win over Miami.
Several moves by Corbin ultimately contributed to a 104-97 victory over the Heat.
The first player in the game was DeMarre Carroll for Marvin Williams, a move Corbin said he made because Williams had been out with a knee injury and was “a little gimpy.” He said he wanted Williams to play a little at the start before using him more substantially later. Carroll responded with 12 points in the first half and Williams played more in the second half when he primarily guarded LeBron James.
Alec Burks, who had played so well in recently, didn’t even come off the bench in the first half, which was a surprise to many. However, he was brought in at point guard for Jamaal Tinsley in the third quarter and played eight minutes until the middle of the fourth.
Gordon Hayward, who usually comes in late in the first and third quarters, didn’t play a minute in the third quarter. However, he was the only Jazz player to play the entire fourth quarter and keyed the Jazz's win with 10 of his 22 points down the stretch when the Jazz badly needed scoring.
Meanwhile, Enes Kanter and Earl Watson, who played nine and seven minutes, respectively, in the first half, didn’t get in at all the second half.
BIG BREAK: Up until this point of the season, no team in the NBA has played more games than the Utah Jazz, who have taken the court 40 times already. Both San Antonio and Phoenix have also played that many, but nobody has played more.
The rest of the league will get a chance to catch up as the Jazz now have a rare four-day stretch with no games. The only gameless stretch of the season that's longer for Utah will be next month during the All-Star break when it goes five days with no games.
Most of the season the Jazz either have back-to-back games, a day in between or two days in between games. Only twice during the season do the Jazz have three days between games — once was back in late November and the other will be next month right after the All-Star break.
One oddity about the Jazz schedule — they have no games on Thursdays.
JAZZ NOTES: Six of the next seven Jazz games are at home, beginning Saturday night against Cleveland, and 14 of the next 19 up until March 3 will be contested inside EnergySolutions Arena. ... Perhaps the biggest improvement for the Jazz this year has been 3-point shooting. The Jazz currently rank No. 8 in the NBA in 3-point shooting at 37.3 percent. Randy Foye is sixth in the league at 43.9 percent while Hayward is 17th at 41.1 percent. ... Al Jefferson ranks 11th in rebounding (9.8 rpg), 23rd in free-throw shooting (85.2 percent) and 25th in scoring (17.4 ppg). ... The Jazz have no players in the top 40 in the league in assists or steals (but, of course, they do have the all-time NBA leader in both categories in John Stockton).