NBA • The downward-spiraling team has been beset by injuries.
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It is evaluation time for the Jazz.
With a four-day wait until Utah practices and seven days separating the team's most recent game from its next, new coach Tyrone Corbin intends to use the All-Star break as an assessment period.
Corbin will take stock of the Jazz's injury-depleted roster, explore possible rotation changes and work with general manager Kevin O'Connor to determine if a Utah team that has lost four consecutive contests and 13 of its last 17 is better buying, selling or holding still as a Feb. 24 trade deadline approaches and the postseason hovers.
Whatever Corbin determines, one thing is certain: The downward-spiraling Jazz (31-26) cannot remain status quo if the team wants the 2010-11 season to end differently than the past three.
"We've got to look at where we are realistically," said Corbin, following Utah's 107-100 home loss to Golden State on Wednesday. "Who's on the team. Who's playing well. Who's not playing well. Where we can move some guys around matchup-wise for us. … There's a lot of things we'll do to look at where this team is, and the things that we can do to help them in different situations during the course of game."
Corbin said a significant lineup alteration is unlikely. He briefly flirted with the idea of starting C.J. Miles at shooting guard in place of Raja Bell, who has missed three consecutive games because of a strained left calf. But while Miles is putting up career-high offensive numbers this season, he is shooting just 41 percent from the field and 33.3 percent behind the 3-point line.
Moreover, Corbin has yet to see a healthy, fully loaded Jazz team in action since taking over for Jerry Sloan last Thursday. Utah has gone 0-3 under Corbin, and the squad has been plagued by key injuries the entire time.
"I want to go and see where we are with the way we've been going," Corbin said. "We haven't had everybody on the floor since I've been coaching. I'd like to get everybody back and see where we are from there."
The Jazz's new coach will not just analyze statistics and game tape, though. He also plans to decompress. Corbin acknowledged that the past week has not been easy for his team or him. The man who spent 16 years in the league as a player before working his way up through the coaching ranks has barely had time to catch his breath. And while fans are still discussing rumors about Sloan's hasty departure and the role that Deron Williams might have played in it, Corbin is simply trying to slow down his pulse and steady his eyes.
Ironically, Corbin sounded exactly like his mentor when pointing out the cold realities of the league.
"It just keeps coming," Corbin said. "You're right: Nobody's going to give you a break. The schedule is what it is. You have to keep working at it, man.
"I'm still happy to be in the position. I think this team's happy to have me here. And we're going to continue to work, and we'll get better as time goes."
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Falling backward, moving upward
• The Jazz have lost four consecutive games and 13 of 17 heading into the All-Star break.
• Northwest Division rivals Portland and Denver have jumped Utah in the standings, while Western Conference teams such as Memphis, Phoenix and Golden State are on the rise.
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