Cavaliers-Jazz Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated January 18, 2013
The Utah Jazz are ready to get back to work after a lengthy layoff. The Jazz will try to slow down Kyrie Irving and the lowly Cleveland Cavaliers, who are wrapping up a five-game road trip Saturday night. Utah (21-19) has not played since a 104-97 victory over Miami on Monday. Coach Tyrone Corbin gave the Jazz the next two days off before they returned to practice Thursday. "It was good while it lasted," top scorer Al Jefferson said. The Jazz are one of three teams to play a league-low 16 home games to this point. The contest with the Heat began a stretch of 10 of 12 at home for Utah. "I think we're not exactly where we want to be but we're in the range of being in position to get ourselves in the playoffs, and to take a good run here with this homestand that we have, we'll put ourselves in a good position," Corbin said. Another team that has played 16 at home is Cleveland (10-31), which ended a three-game slide with Wednesday's 93-88 victory at Portland. Irving bounced back from consecutive 15-point efforts to score 31 as he outdueled rookie point guard Damian Lillard. "When he's aggressive, he's pushing the ball and he's in attack mode,'' coach Byron Scott said of Irving. "I think our guys feed off of that.'' Irving averaged 21.0 points on 51.5 percent shooting as a rookie last season in two defeats to the Jazz, who have won five straight in this series. Former Cavs All-Star point guard Mo Williams is out for Utah following thumb surgery. Jamaal Tinsley has started in his place the last 12 games, with the Jazz winning seven times. Jefferson, who had 23 points and 11 rebounds against the Heat for his third straight double-double, insists that Utah won't overlook Cleveland. "We've got to be ready to play, we've got to treat them just like we treated the defending champs," Jefferson said. "Go out there with that (same) kind of mindset and that kind of confidence because that's the worst to lose a game that you're supposed to win." The Jazz will see a familiar face when C.J. Miles returns to face his former team for the first time. A second-round pick by Utah in 2005, Miles spent his first seven seasons with the club before signing with Cleveland in the offseason. Paul Millsap, the Jazz's second-leading scorer, was a second-round pick the year after Miles - who has started his last eight games for the Cavs. "We still keep in touch a lot," Millsap said. "I'm happy to see him do well out there. Hopefully he can continue to do it, just not Saturday." The Cavs know they are rebuilding with two second-year players and a rookie in their starting lineup with the injured Anderson Varejao out. In addition, rookie second-leading scorer Dion Waiters has been coming off the bench lately. "All these losses that we've accumulated this year and the heartaches that we've had are going to make us a better basketball team in the future, and I truly believe that," Scott said. "But you have to go through this process."
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Roger Goodell to attend first game in New England since Deflategate

NBA commissioner Adam Silver wants a female head coach ‘sooner than later’

How significant is Celtics’ milestone of passing Cavs for the top seed?

Grant Hill reflects on Christian Laettner’s shot on its 25th anniversary

Chargers need to draft a young QB according to head coach Anthony Lynn

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Seahawks GM stomps Marshawn Lynch rumors

Mel Kiper: Joe Mixon is most talented RB in draft

Gonzaga's Jordan Mathews long road back to the desert

Lonzo Ball on Markelle Fultz: ‘I’m better than him’

Harden: Playing every game should count in MVP discussion

Texans owner: We didn’t know Brock Osweiler well enough

The 'Are you mentally prepared for 'One Shining Moment'?' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Serge Ibaka can't connect

Can the Padres' Christian Bethancourt really succeed at pitcher and catcher?

The Raiders will forever belong to Oakland

The Rewind: George Mason's improbable run to the Final Four

Box Score 3/28: Wilt's last game

Baseball movies you can stream now to hold you over until Opening Day

Best, worst and hard to stomach MLB offseason moves

The 28 craziest ballpark foods for the 2017 season

Best of Yardbarker: Did Team USA's victory save the World Baseball Classic?

Breaking down the Naismith Award race

Box Score 3/24: Waiting on West Virginia

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The 'Are you mentally prepared for 'One Shining Moment'?' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Serge Ibaka can't connect

Can the Padres' Christian Bethancourt really succeed at pitcher and catcher?

The Raiders will forever belong to Oakland

Best, worst and hard to stomach MLB offseason moves

The Rewind: George Mason's improbable run to the Final Four

Baseball movies you can stream now to hold you over until Opening Day

Best of Yardbarker: Did Team USA's victory save the World Baseball Classic?

Breaking down the Naismith Award race

Eat, Drink, Watch: Weekends are for upsets

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker