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Andrei Kirilenko Checks Himself Before He Wrecks Himself

Kirilenko's case of fragility reared its ugly head today at an unfortunate time--during the end of today's practice session. According to the Deseret News, AK will be staying home tomorrow night and not joining the team as they go on the road to play the Portland Trailblazers. He's suffering from back spasms, an injury which caused him to sit out some games during the 2005-2006 season.

With these starting small forward minutes, coach Jerry Sloan has a few options as to who will get the start tomorrow.

  • Matt Harpring, who just may be Sloan's favorite player in all of professional sports, is a likely favorite.
  • CJ Miles has been playing really well the last few games and I could see him getting some extra tick. His perimeter play would compliment Ronnie Brewer's inside game.
  • Paul Millsap might get some extra minutes at the three, but he's more valuable backing Carlos Boozer and Mehmet Okur.
  • Kyle Korver has played well in his first two games, but if there's one thing Sloan doesn't like doing is veering from the plan. You never know, because Sloan has been very pro-Kyle since he joined the team. I'd personally like to see them play a Boozer/Korver/Okur/Deron Williams/Brewer lineup. The Williams/Boozer pick and roll would cause mayhem in the paint, freeing up Okur and Korver on the outside and Brewer to slash towards the basket.

This will propably be a game time decision so we'll just have to wait and see. Hopefully AK will get back quickly, as his help defense will be missed.

Mehmet Okur vs. Gordan Giricek: The Euro War To Settle The Score

Many people think that Giricek's exit from Utah was mostly due to some feuding with Sloan, but maybe it was a beef with Okur. If you remember on Wednesday night's game, Giri took a somewhat hard foul from Okur, to the point he was screaming at the ref that it should be a flagrant. I didn't buy into it then, but look at this footage of the Jazz from their game in Philadelphia in November:

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You can clearly see Okur trying to trip Giri from behind. Thanks to the Jazzfanz message board crew for finding this one.

Quote of the Day

"The reason I liked Harpring was he came in here and kicked our tail."

This was said by Utah Jazz owner Larry Miller on a radio interview on January 3. The secret has been revealed. If you want to play for the Jazz, all you have to do is have a good game against them before you become a free agent.

That's it for today and have a great night. We'll be back tomorrow with coverage of the Jazz/Blazers game.