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Jazz notes: Mo Williams' thumb injury adds to Utah's woes

Published December 22, 2012 10:15 pm
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Miami • Mo Williams looked glumly through designer eyeglasses, cast his eyes down past the thick plastic cast on his right thumb and stared at the floor.

"Right now," he said, "I just can't feel it."

In the second quarter of the Jazz's 105-98 loss to the Heat, Mario Chalmers drove past Williams. He swiped at the ball, and his thumb caught Chalmers' leg instead. All he felt after that, when he felt anything at all, was a throbbing pain, he said.

That pain was not unknown to Williams. He said it reminded him of when he tore a ligament in his thumb in 2008, requiring offseason surgery.

"It's the same feeling," he said, "I'm just crossing my fingers that the MRI is negative."

The Jazz said late Saturday that the team was still deciding whether that MRI would be Sunday in Orlando before the Jazz face the Magic in their fourth game in six nights or if it would be once the team returns to Salt Lake City. Williams tweeted late Saturday night that he would have the MRI on Sunday.

Either way, it makes it doubtful that Williams will be able to play Sunday in Orlando, although the 30-year-old point guard said, "We'll see how it feels tomorrow."

Before leaving the game, Williams scored five points in 16 minutes, including a 3-pointer. He also committed three turnovers against four assists.

"Mo's one of our playmakers, shot-makers," Gordon Hayward said. "It's obviously going to be different without him. But the guys that came in and replaced him [Earl Watson and Jamaal Tinsley] did a pretty good job. But any time you have your starting point guard go down, it's going to be different."

Williams has already missed four games with injuries: three with a sprained right forefoot, and another earlier in the year with a strained adductor. The Jazz are 3-1 in games Williams does not play and Tinsley starts in his place.

Back-to-backs to the wall

The Jazz fell to 2-6 on the front end of back-to-backs and with another game tomorrow night, but the more pressing stat is that they're no better in the second game.

The Jazz are just 2-5 on the back end of back-to-backs. They have not swept a back-to-back this season.

Al Jefferson said the second game is particularly challenging.

"I'd think the first one would be somewhat of a normal game," he said, "but the traveling and getting to a hotel late at night and be expected to go out and play your best."

On Sunday, the Jazz will play their sixth road game one night after playing another game.

The Jazz beat Brooklyn 92-90 on Tuesday before dropping a 104-84 game to the Pacers in Indianapolis a night later.

Randy Foye thought the travel was a factor.

"I'm not the one to complain or cry about anything," he said. "I think just the situation, the flight from Utah to New York and then flying two hours to Indiana and after an emotional win like that, and everybody played their hearts out — we didn't only use all of our physical strength, we used a lot of our mental."

No hitter

In addition to LeBron James' 30 points, nine rebounds and seven assists Saturday, another of the reigning MVP's statistics is making waves around the NBA. That "0" in the fouls category.

After Saturday, James has played 250 minutes 4 seconds without committing a foul, a streak spanning six games and 27 quarters.

"I didn't even know that was a stat," Jefferson said. He added: "I guess he's playing the smart way. That's amazing."

Asked how a player can be aggressive and effective without eventually getting called for a foul, Foye said, "I guess he's just moving his feet really well as of late."


Twitter: @tribjazz




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