See if this coach sounds familiar as he talks about his
“They stayed together to try to give themselves a
chance to win. You can’t do it by yourself. You got to have help. I think
we’ve been able to pass the ball better. Guys look like they enjoy trying
to get the ball to somebody who has a little better opportunity and when you do
that, it makes it a little easier for you.’’
It’s not Rick Carlisle, although it could be.
It’s Jerry Sloan, who is as no-nonsense as they come
when the subject is taking basketball seriously. Sloan’s Utah Jazz
started out the season 2-3 and have gone 13-2 since, including a
Mavericks-matching seven game winning streak going into tonight’s 9:30
p.m. match on FSSW.
The light-bulb moment for the Jazz came early.
“I think so, after we got waxed a couple times to
start off with,’’ Sloan said. “Everybody had us winning 70,
80 games, I don’t know what it was. So it looked like the season was
over. But after having been here a couple years, you just have to be patient
and our guys were.’’
Deron Williams admitted this morning that this is more than
just one of 82 games in the regular season.
“It’s a big game for both of us to keep the
streak alive and keep the confidence going,’’ The Colony product
said. “They’re playing as good as anybody right now. They’re
a lot better defensively than they have been and they’ve always had
weapons on offense. I think they’re just playing better.’’
Asked if the Mavericks were better than they were last
season, Williams said: “Yeah, definitely.’’
And like the Jazz, it’s togetherness that is being
stressed more than anything.