SALT LAKE CITY — For a team on an 11-game winning streak, taking time off for an eight-day All-Star break probably isn’t the best timing for the Utah Jazz.
After Wednesday’s 107-97 victory over Phoenix, the Jazz won’t play again until Feb. 23 when Portland comes to town.
Jazz coach Quin Snyder has mixed feelings about the idea of an interruption right now, saying his players need a mental and emotional break after 54 games since mid-October.
“Time off is important, as much as anything mentally and emotionally,” Snyder said. “You can think about it all kinds of ways. You always need a little physical rest, we can get Ricky (Rubio) healthy and a number of things like that. At the same time, if you’re playing well, you want to continue to do it and you hope being away from it a little bit doesn’t impact that. We’ll find out when we come back."
Snyder’s biggest concern before the game was his team starting its break a day early before taking care of business Wednesday night.
"We have to block that out the same way we blocked it out when we were going through although stretch in December," he said.
Except for Donovan Mitchell, who is quite involved in All-Star weekend, the Jazz players are going in different directions.
“Everybody has plans, I’m going Miami,” said Utah’s third-year guard Raul Neto. “It’s always good to have a break during the season with 82 games, but we’re on a winning streak right now and want to keep playing well. But it’s going to be good to have a break.”
Derrick Favors is excited about spending time with his family in San Diego.
“I’m taking time off to spend time with my family and see my kids,” he said. “Kind of re-charge and get away from basketball It’s a long season The break came at the right time, we just got to make sure we ready when we come back.”
DISRESPECT OR NOT: Two nights earlier, the Phoenix Suns got some extra publicity by being the opponent Golden State coach Steve Kerr chose to not coach against when he turned over timeouts to his players.
Afterward, he said he wasn’t disrespecting the Suns and explained that “they’re tired of my voice. I wasn’t reaching them and we figured it was a good night to pull a trick out of the hat and do something different.”
Suns’ coach Jay Triano didn’t feel any disrespect, telling 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station, “He didn’t feel they were together and he wanted to challenge them a little bit. I think he’s just trying to find ways to get his team to where he needs them to be.”
Some of the Suns’ players disagreed as guard Troy Daniels said, “it’s disrespectful” and Jared Dudley tweeted out, “so you believe he would have done this vs. Spurs, Rockets or Cavs?”
Utah’s Snyder didn’t follow Kerr’s lead and did the coaching himself Wednesday.
Before the game he said it would be “unwise for me to judge any other situation whether it’s a player or a game or anything. The key thing is as a coach, you want to do whatever you feel is necessary as a coach not only to win but to help your team grow. Steve’s shown what a good coach he is and he’s creative and that was something he felt on that given night could help his team.”
JAZZ NOTES: The Jazz improved to 2-1 against the Suns this season and the two teams play each other once more, on March 15 . . . Utah shot just 42 percent from the field and 29 percent from 3-point range, but outrebounded the Suns 54-41 . . . The Jazz have four straight home games at home after the All-Star break, beginning with Portland on Feb. 23.