Jazz hold first practice; C.J. Miles stands out

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SALT LAKE CITY -- The Jazz open up the preseason schedule Thursday night at home against the Denver Nuggets. The team held its first practice of two-a-days Saturday morning.

The players spent most of the time running, getting up a good sweat and getting re-acquainted with each other and the system.

"Really, the first practice is all, just, you know, getting familiar with what's going on and doing a couple defensive drills. You know, putting in a couple sets so, you know, we can come back and do some things in the afternoon, as far as scrimmage and the contact," Deron Williams said. "You know, there's only so much you can do, you know, without contact. It was a good first practice, though."

Head Coach Jerry Sloan said he didn't have to yell at anyone during the first practice.

"I don't yell anymore. I can't get my breath that high," Sloan joked.

But Carlos Boozer said that could change.

"It's early. Let's see what happens tonight," he said.

One player that has already caught Sloan's eye is C.J. Miles.

"You see a difference in guys. As they get older, they realize: I better get in better shape. C.J. Miles is probably in better shape than he's ever been," Sloan said.

Miles started 72 games last season, but he still was a little skinny and not strong enough to battle inside. Now his work over the summer has built up his lean frame.

He added, "It feels good for everyone to see the work I've put in. I mean, not just to talk about it."

Miles dropped his body fat from 8 percent to 4 percent over the summer.

E-mail: rzundel@ksl.com

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