Coach Jerry Sloan held the longest scrimmage of the Jazz's training camp Sunday night and had one disturbing observation: too many tired people.
The worst offenders, in Sloan's view, were young veterans - which probably means second-year players Eric Leckner and Jose Ortiz. "I was surprised some of our younger guys got tired," Sloan said. "I didn't expect that. I don't think that's a good indication of where I thought they'd be. That kind of concerns me."First-round draft choice Blue Edwards' conditioning also disappointed Sloan, although Edwards' progress was slowed last week by dental problems and his attendance at the NBA's rookie orientation in Dallas.
"He's not in very good shape - he has trouble getting up and down the floor," Sloan noted. "He'll be all right. I'm not trying to make a big thing, but I do know he's got to get in better shape."
Edwards, the 6-foot-5, 225-pound guard from East Carolina, figures he can catch up. "The way I look at it, if you're running and working hard, you're going to get tired," he said. "You're taking a pounding from those guys, and we're expected to be on the break and runing full speed, and that takes a toll on you."
CUTTING DOWN: At the moment, Sloan plans to make a cut rather than take all 18 players to El Paso for Thursday's exhibition opener against Golden State. "I'll see how things go in the next few days," he added. The NBA has no mandatory cutdown dates, other than the final 12-man roster being submitted the day before the regular season.
CAMP NOTES: The Jazz recycle jersey numbers, so departed players live on in camp. Edwards is wearing Dell Curry's No. 30, rookie guard Junie Lewis has Bart Kofoed's No. 11, rookie guard Eric Johnson has Rickey Green's No. 14, and rookie forward Reggie Turner has Marc Iavaroni's No. 43. Forward Rory White wore No. 22 (John Drew, Carey Scurry) in his days with the L.A. Clippers, but was assigned the Jazz's No. 33, last worn by Scott Roth . . . Rookie guard Joe Hillman shared in the Oakland A's victory Sunday. A first-baseman outfielder, Hillman batted .240 for the A's Class A team in Modesto, Calif., before coming to the Jazz's rookie-free agent camp.