PHILADELPHIA — In their second-to-last game of the preseason, the Jazz went with a starting lineup that might — just might — be the same one they use for next Wednesday's regular-season opener against the Los Angeles Lakers.
Then again . . .
Carlos Arroyo opened at the point at Philadephia on Tuesday night, Gordan Giricek started at shooting guard, Andrei Kirilenko at small forward, Carlos Boozer at power forward and Mehmet Okur at center, with Raja Bell coming off the bench at the 2 spot and Matt Harpring at the 3.
After a 97-86 loss to the 76ers with that lineup, however, Jazz coach Jerry Sloan seemed uncertain if that's the way he wants to go when the deal's for real.
"I guess we'll have to look at that," Sloan said.
"When you have a lot of different people," he added, "you have to figure out, 'Do they believe in what we're doing or not?' If they don't, then we'll really struggle."
The Jazz coach was less than thrilled with the play of his now 3-3 team in its last two games, including a Sunday-night loss at Detroit.
"We're not close to a rotation," Sloan said. "We're just trying to find guys that can play — that are gonna compete. I can have a rotation — but if they're not gonna play hard, it doesn't make any difference what we rotate.
"It's disappointing," he added. "We've had two games in the exhibition season where we haven't competed — for whatever reason."
HELPING AI: Sloan got a first-hand look at how life in the NBA could go this season, especially with the league now having its referees make more offensive player-friendly calls in an effort to increase scoring.
"I don't think we'll ever be able to guard (Sixers star) Allen Iverson, the way the rules are now," Sloan said after watching Iverson score a game-high 19 points.
KIRILENKO OK: Kirilenko returned to action Tuesday, one game after the Jazz's All-Star forward sat out Sunday in Detroit due to a slight ankle sprain.
"It feels a lot better," said Kirilenko, who shot only 2-of-8 from the field but finished with a team-high 14 points, five rebounds, three assists and two blocks in 29 minutes.
OLD ANNOUNCER: Jazz play-by-play announcer Hot Rod Hundley turned 70 years old Tuesday — and was feted by the 76ers mascot, who brought him a gift bag filled with Sixers souvenirs during a break in first-quarter play.
NOTES: Jazz big man Jarron Collins (sprained wrist) did not play, as expected. . . . Big man Mehmet Okur returned, one game after sitting out in Detroit due to some bad fish he ate for dinner. . . . The team announced Tuesday that Jazz single-game tickets can now be purchased at local Albertson's groceries stores that have teamed with TicketMaster, a longtime Jazz ticket distributor.