Fans get first look at new Jazz team in scrimmage


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SALT LAKE CITY -- More than 10,000 Jazz fans poured into EnergySolutions Arena today, excited to get their first look at the new-look Jazz. The team didn't disappoint, putting on quite a show on the brand new court.

"I just was surprised. These fans really support us out here, I'm not used to that. That's big time," said first-year Jazzman Al Jefferson. "I see all these people here just for the scrimmage; that makes you feel good."

"I think Al Jefferson, when he asked me earlier in the day what I expected, I didn't know what to tell him, but were both pretty surprised when we came out and got the kind of reception we got on a scrimmage. It's pretty cool," Raja Bell said.

"We worked hard, we definitely worked hard," Deron Williams said. "You know, three-a-days and two-a-days, and then yesterday. Today, like I said, was a little sloppy, but you can expect those types of things in a scrimmage where guys haven't really got a chance to play together in this type of situation."

"I've always been patient. Just (by) my demeanor, people think I'm not patient," coach Jerry Sloan said with a grin. "I'm just like a puppy dog."

All kidding aside, it's going to take some time for the new-look Jazz to gel, but the roster's loaded with talented veterans and young players, including wirey rookie Jeremy Evans, who's making quite an impression in camp.

"We're all excited about his ability to get up so quick and so easy. We just like jealous a little bit like, 'I want to be like him right now,'" Andrei Kirilenko said.

"(Evans') intelligence of seeing and knowing what's going on is not by accident," Sloan said. "A lot of people have got the athletic ability, but they can't do anything with it. He seems to do quite a bit."

"With that kind of athleticism and body, if you can just have a high energy rate and a motor that runs all the time, you can make an impact on the game," Bell said.

Now the Jazz look forward to facing someone other than themselves. They host former Jazzman Wesley Matthews and the Portland Trailblazers at EnergySolutions Arena Thursday night in their preseason opener.

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Jeremiah Jensen

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