The Downbeat - 1 February 2010 - #156 - The Viral Edition

1_medium Lot's of talk recently about who should be getting more minutes on the court.  Given the recent play of Millsap and Sundiata Gaines, the issue of more playing time is going to come up.  The question is where do those minutes come from?  aka who's going to lose minutes?  Tim Buckley asked that to Sloan (HT theshums).  His reply,

"Put him in the game a little earlier, I guess, if we're not playing well or struggling," he said. "We'll see what happens."

Sloan was asked about perhaps using the undersized Millsap more at small forward, but the notion was mostly squashed.

"He's probably most comfortable at 4 (power forward) or 5 (center)," he said. "When he's played 3, he's done OK. But we're also jam-packed with that."

Sloan did not, however, shy from the notion of playing longer with a smaller lineup — be it Boozer and Millsap together at 4 and 5, or even Millsap and starting small forward Andrei Kirilenko together as the team's two bigs at times.

He then went on to talk about how competition is a good thing when it comes to Gaines and Ronnie Price.  Ronnie P has been in this situation numerous times in his stint with Jazz.

You're not going to be able to promise players a certain amount of minutes.  I think what Sloan has done recently is the right approach and that's putting the people that match up well or who are playing the best at the time, on the floor.

2_medium Bad news for the Hornets.  Chris Paul is going to be out 1-2 months following knee surgery.  They're already just clinging on to the 8th spot in the West right now.  Even if Paul comes back with minimal games lost, is he going to be able to do enough down the stretch to keep them in playoffs?  Hard to say yes to that with all of the other teams fighting for that spot.

That will likely put Chauncey Billups into the All-star game.  Will that give Deron more PT?  Probably not too much.

8_medium No word yet on whether Deron's beard is gone or just trimmed up.  I imagine we'll hear some tweets from Siler or Lock soon when they report from practice this morning.

4_medium Sounds like Boozer is coming along with his calf injury. From Siler,

Carlos Boozer today at practice on his right calf: "It’s gotten a lot better really fast, so that’s good news."

He's also looking at returning later this week.  Does Millsap's play or the true contract year have anything to do with him coming back sooner than later?  Who knows?  Maybe a bit.  I'm leaning towards everything being on the up and up though.  He hasn't given me any reason this season to believe otherwise.

5_medium  AK was out of practice yesterday with a stomach virus.  Is there anyone on the Jazz that hasn't had that yet this season?  Fesenko had one.  Memo had one.  Deron did.  The KOOF had one while they were in Europe.  I think even the Jazz Bear had one.

Who's your bet for the next stomach virus?

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