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- The Utah Jazz will be without starting point guard Mo Williams for the second straight game. Williams sprained his right forefoot against the Sacramento Kings on Friday night and hopes to return on Wednesday when Utah travels to New Orleans. Jamaal Tinsley will replace him in the starting lineup.
- Tinsley has a difficult matchup on his hands in Nuggets point guard Ty Lawson. Tinsley is a 34-year-old veteran while Lawson is one of the fastest guys in the league. “He will create pace for their team because as he goes they go,” Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin said of Lawson. “We got to make sure not just the guy guarding him but that [other defenders] can corral him and not let him get direct lines to the basket.”
- How can Tinsley hold his own against Lawson? “Veteran wisdom,” Corbin said. “Where he don’t have the speed he once had, he can cut angles off to try and stay between him and the basket. We’re going to need all of that tonight.”
- Tinsley is joined in the starting lineup by Randy Foye, Al Jefferson, Paul Millsap and Marvin Williams. Corbin has used five different starting lineups, but slow starts continue to plague the Jazz. “We’ll keep evaluating it,” Corbin said. “We’ve been fortunate that when we have slow starts we’ve been able to fight back. But we can’t afford to give teams that many points.”
- Denver coach George Karl praised Utah’s second team for the boost it has given the Jazz while the starters take time to get going. “I actually think their second unit has been playing at a higher level than their first unit,” he said. “In the games I’ve watched, their energy off the bench has been pretty impressive.”
- Nuggets forward Wilson Chandler will miss his seventh straight with a left hip injury.
- Karl said rebounding could decide tonight’s game. The Nuggets rank second in the league in rebounds per game and the Jazz are fifth. “Whoever will win the rebounding game has a great chance of winning the game,” Karl said. “Our guards will have to help rebound. They’re a very good running team here. It’s always a tough place to play, it’s a tough place to get calls and it’s a tough place to keep momentum on your side.”