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News » Williams bruised and banged up but still on court

Williams bruised and banged up but still on court

Williams bruised and banged up but still on court
MILWAUKEE -- The Jazz practiced Monday in Chicago without starting point guard Deron Williams, who watched because of a bruised right calf.

Williams said a "knot" in his calf seems be moving down toward his Achilles tendon. He also has a bruise near his right knee.

"It seems like it gets worse every game," said Williams, who apparently sustained at least one of the injuries -- even he isn't sure exactly what happened -- in a Dec. 15 loss at Boston.

But Williams does plan to play when the Jazz visit Milwaukee tonight -- the final stop on a five-game pre-Christmas excursion for the 17-12 team, which is 2-2 so far on the trip.

Williams already has missed 13 games with a badly sprained left ankle, which could adversely affect his hopes for a first-ever NBA All-Star Game appearance.

"If I have a big January, it could happen," he said Monday, before the Jazz worked out at Chicago's Moody Bible Institute. "If we as a team have a big January, that's the most important thing."

But, Williams added, "I didn't start the season healthy, so I'm not really worried about it. And, you know, after not making it the last two seasons, I'm even more not worried about it."

Williams, though, is still obviously frustrated with the season.

"I'd like to be a lot better than I am," he said. "That's how injuries go. You know, it takes time to get back in the swing of things. I feel I'm just now getting back. My ankle's feeling a lot better -- and I'm dealing with other stuff.

"I thought I'd be back 100 percent by now," Williams said. "It just hasn't happened how I wanted it to."

Jazz coach Jerry Sloan actually is more upbeat.

"Deron hasn't been on top of his game, but I think he's certainly come around a lot more the last three or four games he's played," Sloan said. "I think you can all see a difference in his activity, his liveliness."

UPON FURTHER REVIEW: Sloan was adamant after Saturday's loss at Chicago that fatigue shouldn't have been a factor in his club's late-game collapse.

Monday, however, he conceded this: "Some of the things that happened ... indicated it looked like they might be a little bit tired."

STREAK STUFF: According to the Jazz and Elias Sports Bureau, power forward Paul Millsap's current streak of 15 double-doubles is the NBA's longest active double-double streak -- and one of just two in the league, along with one by Orlando All-Star Dwight Howard, since the start of last season.

The last double-double streak of 16 or more games was All-Star Kevin Garnett's run of 33 in a row from Feb. 1 through April 7 2006.

Millsap's streak also is the longest by a Jazz player since point John Stockton had 18 straight from Jan. 25 through March 3, 1992.

Millsap, who has made 15 straight starts in place of injured All-Star Carlos Boozer, has a streak of 193 games played that ranks seventh among active NBA players.

LINEUP LOOKS: Sloan suggested Monday that if Boozer was playing, he'd perhaps be inclined to start sixth man Andrei Kirilenko at small forward over C.J. Miles.

Williams, Kirilenko, Millsap or Boozer at power forward and center Mehmet Okur typically have closed games this season, but starting shooting guard Ronnie Brewer, backup shooting guard Kyle Korver, reserve small forward Matt Harpring and even sporadically used shooting guard Morris Almond all have taken turns filling Utah's fifth position in the fourth quarter of still-undecided games.

"Not everybody's exactly the same as they were last year. Some guys aren't playing as well," Sloan said. "When that happens, it makes it a little bit more difficult for you to decide who's going to play and who's not.

"I don't have a problem," he said, "with somebody stepping up and taking over that playing time."

ALUMNI UPDATE: According to Monday's Washington Post, ex-Jazz guard DeShawn Stevenson's streak of 275 consecutive starts for the Wizards will end tonight at Charlotte -- because Stevenson recently suggested to interim coach Ed Tapscott "that he'd be willing to come off the bench if it would help the team," and Tapscott decided it would. E-mail:

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: December 24, 2008


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