The Utah Jazz won’t look anything like the Utah Jazz
tonight when they visit American Airlines Center.
Jerry Sloan? Gone in a stunning retirement before the
Deron Williams? Gone, in a stunning trade with New Jersey
that should be official before the day is done.
None of that bothers the Mavericks, of course. They have
bigger fish to fry than the in-transition Jazz.
“I don’t know about the trade,’’
Jason Terry said after shootaround. “I don’t know if it happened or
it didn’t. I don’t care if John Stockton and Karl Malone came out
here tonight. We’re hungry, we’ve been off for six days, we want to
After a pause, Terry realized what he had said.
“I know they’re going to put it on Twitter:
Stockton and Malone, coming out of retirement,’’ he said.
What is headline worthy is that the Mavericks continue to
hold steady with the team they have. All the rumors about Devin Harris coming
back where, as expected in some corners, little more than a price-driver for
the New Jersey Nets, who indeed fetched a tidy return on Harris and Derrick
Favors. Williams is a perennial all-star.
But the Mavericks continue to maintain that they have what
they need right now, with nothing incoming.
“We got a great group of guys,’’ Jason
Kidd said. “We feel confident we can compete with the best. With moves or
no moves, we feel we can win a championship. It starts tonight and we have to
compete and play the way we played before the break.’’
As Terry said, the Mavericks don’t expect anybody else
to arrive before Thursday’s trade deadline. When Terry was asked if this
is a championship team, he said:
“I don’t want to put that out there right now
because somebody on Twitter will say that I’m guaranteeing it. But I feel
very confident that we’ll be playing very late in the season.