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Portland, Ore. • Josh Howard ran across the Rose Garden floor at full speed.

He darted left and right, dribbling the ball from side to side during a full sprint.

He stretched his body in various directions, then put up a series of mid-range shots that displayed his once-familiar soft touch.

Howard's full-on action was promising. But it all occurred before the Jazz tipped off a preseason game Monday against the Blazers.

Just because the recently signed small forward looks 100 percent doesn't mean he is, Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin said. Moreover, Corbin has no plans to give Howard a full greenlight until the eight-year veteran becomes comfortable with Utah's offensive and defensive schemes.

"[It's about] getting him familiar with the situation and getting his teammates familiar with him," Corbin said. "And then making sure he's in NBA shape to go the amount of time he may be able to play, his 20 minutes or 30 minutes."

Howard's ready to roll as soon as Corbin calls his number.

"It feels pretty good. … Getting into basketball shape is probably the best part of the game — just getting out there and having fun with it and having a good time," Howard said.

Game on

Raja Bell is also having a good time. After struggling through a frustrating 2010-11 season, the Jazz guard has drawn praise from Corbin for his preseason performance.

The 11-year veteran's work was rewarded Monday, when he started with Devin Harris and C.J. Miles in the Jazz's backcourt.

Healing smarter

Utah forward Paul Millsap sat out Monday's game due to right quadriceps tendinitis.

"[I'm] being more mature about the situation, just being smart about it," he said. "We've got a long season ahead of us, and we want to be healthy."

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