Jazz: Williams unlikely to play against Boston
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The Jazz are preparing to be without Deron Williams for tonight's game against the Boston Celtics after Williams sat out the team's pregame shootaround Wednesday morning and said his strained back had gotten worse.

The Jazz already have ruled out Ronnie Price with the sprained left big toe he suffered in Monday's victory over New York. Without Williams or Price, the Jazz would be down to just one point guard in rookie Eric Maynor and nine total players.

The Jazz end shootaround by dividing into big men and guards to shoot at opposite baskets. With Williams and Price both sitting along the baseline in warmups, the guards numbered just three in Maynor, Wesley Matthews and Ronnie Brewer.

"That's why I might play," Williams said. He will see a chiropractor this afternoon but said the tightness had moved up his back. Asked if he would play if he felt the same tonight, Williams said, "No, probably not."

"I just don't want to affect the team in a negative way," Williams added. "That's my main concern if I'm not out there full strength. When I'm on the court, people look for me to score and not only get people open but create shots. I couldn't really do that last game."

Maynor, meanwhile, would be making his first NBA start after having played just 16 minutes this season. He had been third on the Jazz's depth chart at point guard behind Williams and Price.

"It's a tough situation to be in," Williams said. "Your first game you're going to get big minutes in, to be on the road in Boston against the Celtics. But he's a solid player, so he'll be all right."

The Celtics have opened the season 7-1 and might be the NBA's best defensive team, giving up just 84.4 points a game on 42.1 percent shooting. Maynor said he was focused on playing hard and doing the things coach Jerry Sloan wants to see.

"That's the nature of this league," Maynor said. "That happens, and you've got to be ready when your number is called. My number was called, so I'm going to be ready."

Sloan also would have Andrei Kirilenko and Ronnie Brewer handle the ball if necessary. Maynor did average 22 minutes a game in the preseason, along with 8.8 points and 4.1 assists.

"I think it helped a lot," Maynor said, "and that's why I think I'm ready. Just being out there and getting a feel for it. I feel like I'll be ready tonight, I'm going to be ready to go."

"I kind of was in the same boat as a rookie," Sloan added, "never got to play and then all of a sudden, a couple guys get hurt, I started the first six or seven games of the season right off the bat. It scared me to death."

rsiler@sltrib.com