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Raja Bell Benching Coming? - The Downbeat - #652

Brian T. Smith wrote a couple of days ago that a starting lineup change could be in order after the Jazz got blown out by the Lakers. There wasn't anything done for the Nuggets game but now Jim Burton of the Standard-Examiner is writing that if there is a change, it could involve a couple of spots,

If Corbin does opt to juggle the lineup, Miles and Millsap are two likely candidates to move from the bench to the starting five, replacing Raja Bell and Derrick Favors.

There's no denying that Millsap has played well when he's been in. There's no reason to think that his play would slip either as a starter. He put up career numbers in that role last season after spending most of his career coming off the bench.

They're not dependent on each other, but would you have Favors come off the bench if it meant Bell did as well?

I would still like to see what Millsap and Favors could do on the floor together in certain spots.

I watched a little bit of Ostertag last night and it wasn't pretty. That's no surprising of course given that all he's done since he's retired is hunt and golf. He took just a couple of weeks to try and get back into shape and it really, really shows. From Scott Schroeder at Ridiculous Upside (click through for the screen grab of Tag)

Ostertag became the oldest player in the D-League when he joined the Texas Legends earlier in the week and, in a move that wasn't at all surprising, the 38-year-old looked that way when he took the court for the D-League affiliate of the Dallas Mavericks. The longtime center for the Utah Jazz scored just two points in 17 minutes of court time while fouling four times to almost offset the 11 rebounds he hauled in for the losing team.

The boards that I saw him haul in were ones where the ball fell right to him. He's a big body with NBA experience so he might get a shot in this shortened season where depth will be needed. I'm certainly rooting for him though I don't have much hope for the guy.

Of course Andrei is no hurry to sign with an NBA team when he's partying with mogul Russell Simmons. From the NY Post,

Occupy Wall Street supporter Russell Simmons invited the One Percent to his lavish annual party Wednesday at the Eden Rock hotel on St. Barts. The hip-hop mogul hosted a bash with jet- setters, models and celebrities, including Tamara Mellon, Brett Ratner, Russian basketball star Andrei Kirilenko, Rachel Zoe, Simmons' ex-wife, Kimora Lee, and his new girlfriend, Australian actress Melissa George.

That's interesting to say the least. He's not in Russia and I doubt that he flew to the Caribbean just for the party only to fly back. Is he close to signing with a team then? I know he has through the first week of January to opt out of his Russian deal.


One thing to watch for tonight will be the team's defensive rotations. According to Paul Millsap, that's the team's biggest issue on defense right now. From Jody Genessy,

"Rotation, rotation, not being in the right rotation," the backup power forward said. "Not helping each other. Anything you can name, we kind of lost track of that."

That was a big issue as well last season. Adding a few changes this season to the defensive scheme hasn't helped yet as the team tries to adjust again. At the same time though, a lot of this shouldn't be new for these guys. They've all been playing ball for a while. I'm not sure why it hasn't clicked yet.