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Utah Jazz: General manager Dennis Lindsey says 'big picture' outweighs short-term results

Published December 31, 2012 6:46 pm

Jazz • Lindsey says "big picture" outweighs short-term results.
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As streaks go, the one the Jazz are on is bad.

They have lost seven of their past nine games and play three more very losable games this week, at home against Minnesota, then at Phoenix and Denver (places the Jazz have already lost this season).

However, Jazz General Manager Dennis Lindsey tried to offer some perspective Monday on his rebuilding team.

"There's quite a bit of taking a step back and trying to make sure you don't get lost in the details," he said, "and are seeing the big picture."

For Lindsey, that includes recent injuries to Mo Williams and Marvin Williams, which have set the Jazz back, and, conversely, the improved play of Alec Burks, Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter.

"Many times," Lindsey said, "when you ask the question when the team has lost seven of nine and at times we look young or at times Mo Williams' injury looks like it sets us back, there's still some positives to be gleaned."

Amid a 15-17 start to the season, the Jazz are 6-13 on the road and have lost three-straight games, including back-to-back defeats to the red-hot Clippers.

"You're always concerned," Lindsey said, "no matter if you're playing good or playing average or playing poorly. I think a lot of time in this job if you do it well you're paid to worry. I think you're always in a state, some people call it paranoia, some people call it highly alert. I like to think we're highly alert to what we're doing and what we need to get better in."

The Jazz, despite a frustrating run, still in some ways are in an enviable position long-term. Their eight expiring contracts allow them the fiscal freedom to make a run at any free agent they covet in the offseason. They are not burdened with a bad contract or a bad locker room presence.

So, while Jazz fans may want to see Utah catapult to the top of the West this year, Lindsey preaches patience.

"You benchmark yourself on where you've been in the past," Lindsey said. "This team's probably most appropriately benchmarked with last year's team."

In the lockout-shortened season a year ago, the Jazz finished 36-30 and were swept out of the first round of the playoffs by the San Antonio Spurs.

On Sunday, the Jazz once again dipped two games below .500, a mark coach Tyrone Corbin said is important to the mental health of a team.

"It's almost like being even. We're one down," he said prior to Sunday's 107-96 defeat. "We'd like be 30 up or 31 up, but you are where you are. It's better to stay even from an even plateau than getting five down, or four down and trying to fight your way back. Especially if you look at the way the West is with playoff implications, you don't want to dig yourself too big of a hole."

boram@sltrib.comTwitter: @tribjazz —

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