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- The Utah Jazz signed point guard Diante Garrett to a contract and he’ll be available to play in tonight’s game against the New Orleans Pelicans. The Jazz, after losing their first eight games, can obviously use all the help they can get. In Garrett, they’ll get an upgrade in defense and athleticism over the recently released Jamaal Tinsley. Coach Tyrone Corbin said he hopes Garrett can add “a little pep” to his offense. “We want him to create some pace, attack the basket, create some shot opportunities for our bigs and for him,” Corbin said.
- The Pelicans are without reserve center Greg Stiemsma, who sprained his knee in the first half of New Orleans’ loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday night. Coach Monty Williams said he isn’t sure when the valuable big man will be back. “There’s no update,” Williams said. “He has to get testing done tomorrow. Until then we can’t say anything, but he won’t play tonight.”
- Stiemsma’s absence is the latest injury for the banged-up Pelicans. Their lack of depth showed in road losses to the Phoenix Suns on Sunday and the Lakers on Tuesday. Besides Stiemsma, New Orleans is still without sharpshooter Ryan Anderson and Darius Miller. Williams looks forward to one day when he’ll have all of his players available. “I’m tired of playing with a partial roster — the last three years it’s been like that,” Williams said. “We have to weather it right now. We’re trying to improve and I feel like we have. I absolutely would like to have our full complement of players so we can really make a push and get a solid rotation. We haven’t been able to do that, but that’s no excuse for the last two games.”
- The Jazz have looked every bit as bad as their 0-8 record indicates. Williams, however, says his team won’t be looking past tonight. “We have to take every game seriously and that’s our mindest,” Williams said. “We’re not the Heat or the Spurs. We have to go into the game the same as the Jazz. We feel like we’re in the same position — desperate for a win and our guys are just as hungry.”
– Andrew Aragon