Jazz training camp report card

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SALT LAKE CITY -- The first week of training camp is in the books for the Utah Jazz. What has been impressive and what has been not so impressive? It's time for a report card.

"I don't like report cards. You might flunk sometimes," Jazz Head Coach Jerry Sloan said with a grin. We are going to give the team one anyway.

Al Jefferson said he would give himself and the team an 'A' for effort.

Raja Bell wasn't so kind. "I would give us a good 'B', a solid 'B'. Myself I would give a 'C'. I found it a little more difficult to get back into the offense," Bell admitted.

Jefferson also explained some of his obstacles over the first week of training camp. "During scrimmages my mind sometimes goes blank," he said. "That's why coach spends a lot of time going over the offense with me so I can get to the point where I can know it inside and out."

During the first week of training camp the Jazz have put extra emphasis on transition defense, something that Bell felt like he couldn't hand a out a grade on until after they play a game.

Sloan agreed. "You're not going to answer that question in a week's time. It takes time for players to understand what you're trying to do. Just keep working towards the first game of the season."

After one week of cramming to begin training camp, Jefferson himself wanted to know how this team was 'grading out'. "I asked a couple of guys that have been here three or four years yesterday how this team looked and they said by having everybody with this positive attitude and on the same page they think this team can be something really special."

The Jazz have their first exam Thursday night in Energy Solutions Arena as they open up the preseason against former Jazz-man Wesley Mathews and the Portland Trailblazers.

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Rod Zundel


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