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Among those watching the Jazz's rotation and minute distribution with great interest in Wednesday's opening night win over Dallas was Alec Burks. Late in the first quarter, all of the players Burks has grown accustomed to playing alongside DeMarre Carroll, Jamaal Tinsley, Enes Kanter, Derrick Favors were called into the game.
But Burks watched. And watched. Finally, out of a timeout with 2:16 remaining in the game, Burks entered with the last of the Jazz bench.
After averaging 10.5 points per game in the preseason, Burks was constrained to a lesser role than the one he had last year, when he averaged 7 points and 18 minutes per game.
Following the 113-94 win over the Mavs, coach Tyrone Corbin said the flow of the game was what kept Burks on the bench and on Thursday cautioned that not too much should be read into the lack of time for the athletic guard.
"Alec has worked his butt off to deserve minutes on the floor," Corbin said. "All the guys are in a bind for minutes. It's going to be a tough thing to get guys quality minutes night in and night out."
Corbin added that because the Mavs tried to beat the Jazz with a small lineup, his response was to go big and attempt to overpower Dallas.
Burks, who did not score in his cameo appearance, remained confident Thursday.
"I know I'm going to get my time," he said. "I just have to wait for it."
'I deserved it'
Burks wasn't the only Jazz player surprised to find himself on the bench. Mo Williams picked up two quick fouls in the first quarter and, as he walked to the bench, was called for a technical foul by veteran referee Ken Mauer.
"I think I was just sending a message to him," Williams said. " 'I want to play.' That's what I told him: 'I don't want to sit and watch the whole game.' But it's cool. I deserved it."
With the Clippers last season, Williams was whistled for five technical fouls and ejected once, far off the pace set by the league leader. Oklahoma City center Kendrick Perkins received 13 technicals in the lockout-shortened season.
Hornets still without star guard Gordon
The Jazz will play a second consecutive game against a team playing without one of its marquee stars.
The Hornets invested big time in Eric Gordon in the offseason, matching an offer sheet for the point guard reportedly worth $58 million over four years. So far, the Hornets haven't seen much return.
The former Indiana and Clippers star, acquired in the Chris Paul trade last year, was limited to just nine games last season due to soreness in his right knee. That injury reportedly resurfaced between the U.S. men's basketball team Olympic trials and fall camp. Gordon is out indefinitely.
Jazz at Hornets
P Friday at New Orleans Arena
Tipoff • 6 p.m. TV • ROOT
Radio • 1280 AM, 97.5 FM
Records • Jazz 1-0; Hornets 0-1
About the Jazz • Utah won its season opener 113-94 against Dallas on Wednesday. ... Three Jazz players recorded double-digit rebounding totals in the opener, including 15 from Paul Millsap. ... Newcomers Mo Williams and Marvin Williams were co-leaders for the Jazz with 21 points.
About the Hornets • New Orleans will be without point guard Eric Gordon, who signed a $58 million contract in the offseason, as he continues to rehab from knee soreness. ... The Hornets opened the season 0-1 with a 99-95 loss to the Spurs, who the Jazz face on Saturday. ... Anthony Davis, the No. 1 overall pick in this summer's draft, led New Orleans with 21 points and nine rebounds in his first career start.