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SALT LAKE CITY -- As we enter the preseason NBA schedule expect a lot of experimenting by Utah Jazz Head Coach Jerry Sloan.
"We will try a lot of different combinations to see who is going to play." Sloan told KSL during Thursday's shoot-around before the first exhibition game with the Denver Nuggets.
The starting line for the Jazz against the Nuggets will be Deron Williams, Carlos Boozer, Mehmet Okur, Andrei Kirilenko and C.J. Miles. Sloan issued a warning after announcing tonight's starting lineup.
"I told the players not to read anything into the starting lineups. They look at the lineup and say ‘I guess I'm not going to play.' We're just trying different combinations and they need to be ready to play."
One of the experiments Sloan may use more this season that last is putting Paul Millsap, his big new $10 million contract and all, at the small forward position on the floor at the same time with Boozer at power forward.
Millsap, who started at power forward while Boozer was injured, rarely played side-by-side last season with Boozer, but said he's been working in the offseason on playing further away from the basket.
"I've been working on that. I feel comfortable with my jump shot away from the basket," Millsap said.
Deron Williams is also comfortable with Millsap further away from the basket at the small forward spot.
"He's played that in practice and I like him at [small forward]," Williams said.
So Thursday night is the first experiment of an expected many as Sloan has about one month to figure out who plays well together and who doesn't.