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SALT LAKE CITY — The good news after the Utah's 112-101 Friday night loss to the Phoenix Suns is that the Jazz get to come right back and seek for revenge.
The bad news is that they have to play the Suns again, but this time on the road.
The Jazz have a lot to fix, if they want a victory over the Suns Saturday night in Arizona.
If there is a bright spot from the loss Friday, it was that the entire team was available to play for the first time this season.
Jeremy Evans and Trey Burke, who had been hurt for the first 10 games, played over 25 minutes each; Brandon Rush played 13 minutes and Andris Biedrins played four. This gives Utah Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin the chance to tweak his team the way he likes.
“You have to adjust some things. You have to see what you have from different guys,” Corbin said. “But you got to have effort. As we work guys back into shape and we have different options for different guys. We'll have the ability to match up with teams with different lineups — big or small.”
After 17 games, Corbin can start to make adjustments and play the players he wants to play. Injuries are a part of the game, but with a young team, it is hard to gain momentum when players are missing time.
Now that the injury woes are over, it is up to Corbin to make the team work. The Jazz flew out after the game and will spend the day in Phoenix trying to fix a defense that has given up more than 30 points in three straight quarters.
Corbin brought up effort, but there was also a lot of poor defense. The Jazz started the game 9-0 Friday against the Suns and had some good stops, but then the game turned.
For Derrick Favors the change seemed simple.
“They started hitting shots,” Favors said. “We knew coming in they were a transition team and a good 3-point shooting team and they starting hitting tough shots. That's what happened.”
Coaches and teams look very good when they just hit shots. The Suns had a lot of open looks, but also hit some tough shots. They ended the night shooting 54.7 percent.
The Suns are also a fast team that gets out on breaks, but the Jazz held them to 18 points on the fast break. That is still high, but below the Jazz's average.
The Jazz got beat in transition, but it wasn't how the Suns won. Ultimately, the Suns beat the Jazz in the half court. Favors said the Jazz could fix this by picking up the intensity.
“(We need to) be more aggressive, maybe more physical on defense,” Favors said. “We were letting guys get what they wanted to get (and) do what they wanted to do, so we just need to be a little more aggressive on the defensive end.”
The disparity at point guard is one big area of concern on the defensive end for the Jazz. Burke started the game really well, but two early fouls forced him to the bench. The Suns' point guard combo of Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe carved up the Jazz defense.
Dragic ended the night with 19 points and nine assists on 12 shots. Bledsoe ended the night with 19 points, six rebounds and three steals.
Stopping the point guard, doing better in transition and playing a stronger brand of defense will be key now that the Jazz have a full set of tools.
Now Corbin will have to show what he can do, so will the players, but he has just one day to fix a lot of problems on the road.