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Oklahoma City • Diante Garrett's numbers were anything but impressive against the Utah Jazz this preseason. He went 0-for-4, finishing with a single point and no assists as the Thunder beat the Jazz.
Oklahoma City would eventually cut the second-year guard, but Thunder coach Scott Brooks said he knew Garrett would find a home.
"He had a good September when he came in early and October," Brooks said of Garrett, who signed with Utah earlier this month. "It's just a numbers game. It's hard to make it into the NBA. A lot of things have to go your way."
Brooks said he was impressed with Garrett's hustle and energy.
"It didn't work out for us but we knew he was an NBA player and he'd get picked up," Brooks said. "I'm glad he got picked up early."
Garrett came into Sunday's game at Chesapeake Energy Arena averaging 5.0 points and 4.5 assists for the Jazz.
"As he relaxes and the guys relax around him and understand what we're going to get from him, it's exciting to see," Utah coach Ty Corbin said.
Mixing it up
The Jazz have forced the Warriors, the Mavericks and the Thunder to make at least one pregame adjustment this week: which hoop they shoot on.
It's the visiting coach's choice which basket his team will attack to start the game. Corbin's preference has been to start by having his team shoot in front of the other team's bench in the first half.
"I think with us being young it would be better for us to have the offense in front of us at the end of the game," he said. "We can talk to them a little more, get guys in spots, talk about what we see. It's easier to close the game out."
Trey Burke is still facing minute restrictions as they work their way back from preseason injuries. Burke said his finger feels sore at times after games, but so far there have been no setbacks.
"I understand the process," he said. "Obviously you want to get into a rhythm and flow out there. For me, I don't want to get in there and be thinking, 'I'm about to come out.' So I try not to think about it as much as possible."
The point guard, however, said his surgically repaired finger does still impact his play.
"Sometimes I try to baby it when I don't even need to really because it's taped," he said. "Sometimes when a hard pass comes at me, I kind of, like, catch it more with my left hand then my right. But I think that's mental."