clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Kirilenko back; Giricek out

Utah's Andrei Kirilenko blocks a shot during the Jazz's lopsided loss to the Pacers at the Delta Center on Tuesday night. Kirilenko returned from an injury.
Utah's Andrei Kirilenko blocks a shot during the Jazz's lopsided loss to the Pacers at the Delta Center on Tuesday night. Kirilenko returned from an injury.
Tom Smart, Deseret Morning News

The Russian returned, but the Croatian took a seat.

Jazz forward Andrei Kirilenko was back in Utah's lineup Tuesday after missing seven games with a sprained ankle, but usual starting shooting guard Gordan Giricek sat out with a strained calf muscle.

Giricek, wearing a walking boot on his left foot and lower leg since sustaining the injury during practice Sunday, is listed as "day to day."

With Giricek out against Indiana, Devin Brown got his second start of the season at the 2.

Kirilenko did not reassume his usual starting small forward position, however, as Jazz coach Jerry Sloan instead stayed with Matt Harpring.

With Deron Williams at point (Keith McLeod remains out at least another week with an avulsion fracture in his lower back), Mehmet Okur at power forward and Greg Ostertag at center, that's the seventh different starting lineup the Jazz have used in the past nine games.

Only Okur and Ostertag have started all 15 Jazz games this season.

SARUNAS CROWE: Much has been made recently of Pacers guard Sarunas Jasikevicius spurning an offer from Cleveland to sign with Indiana last summer, but what few may realize is that the Jazz feel they finished second to the Pacers in the chase for the longtime Euroleague star.

Utah offered a contract believed to be more lucrative than the one Jasikevicius signed, but the University of Maryland product from Lithuania ultimately decided Indiana is more of a contender than the Jazz.

In Indianapolis, Pacer fans evidently have fallen in love with the hard-playing combo guard, who seems like a quintessential Sloan-type player.

"He's almost like Russell Crowe in 'Gladiator' when the guy goes up to him and says, 'Win the crowd,' " TNT's Reggie Miller, the ex-Pacers star, recently said on the air.

"He is a fiery, emotional, fist-pumping player who dives for loose balls," Miller added. "When you win the crowd, you win the backing of this city, and he has won the crowd."

Jasikevicius, who had eight points in Indiana's 84-60 win Tuesday, also sounds like one who speaks his mind.

"In general we have a competitive team and it shows," he told the Indianapolis Star. "A lot of times it shows, man. But sometimes . . . let's face (it), we just don't bring it as a team.

"We just have to be a little more professional, no question about it. We have the talent; the maturity level is just not there every single night."

MESSAGE BOARD: For the benefit of Delta Center upper-bowl spectators, the phrase shaved into the back of Ron Artest's haircut is "TruWarier" — the name of his record label.

According to Artest's Web site, TruWarier "is any individual with the ultimate determination to accomplish anything they desire."

ALUMNI UPDATE: According to Tuesday's Rocky Mountain News in Denver, "Nuggets swingman Bryon Russell said his rehabilitation from right knee surgery is going well, but he does not know when he will begin traveling with the team."

MISC.: Injured Jazz forward Carlos Boozer (strained hamstring) is back from Los Angeles, where he was rehabbing last week. . . . Mehmet Okur's eight-point, nine-rebound night included his 2,500th career point and 1,500th career board . . . Because of national TNT coverage, the Jazz's Thursday home game against the Los Angeles Lakers does not begin until 8:30 p.m. . . . Healthy Weber State product Eddie Gill of Indiana was inactive. Gill has been active for four games this season but has played in just one . . . Utah native Scot Pollard of Indiana did not play (coach's decision) . . . Indiana big man Jeff Foster (Achilles tendon) has been out all season. Jonathan Bender (left knee rehab) also was inactive Tuesday for the Pacers.


E-mail: tbuckley@desnews.com