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Utah Jazz: Despite bruises, Williams to play in season’s finale

SHARE Utah Jazz: Despite bruises, Williams to play in season’s finale

SAN ANTONIO — Deron Williams didn't practice Tuesday due to the bruised butt he sustained in last Saturday's win over Denver, but the starting point guard is expected to play in the Jazz's regular-season finale tonight at San Antonio.

Williams also played in Utah's win Monday over Houston, and if he plays tonight as planned he will have appeared in all 82 games this season.

Also expected to play tonight is backup power forward Paul Millsap, who briefly left Monday's game with what the Jazz are calling a "jammed left big toe."

Millsap later returned to the Jazz bench and could have played again if needed, but he did not.

If Millsap plays tonight as expected, he'll have appeared in all 82 games for a second straight season.

MCLEOD ARRESTED: Ex-Jazz guard Keith McLeod was arrested this week following an alleged incident with a gun early Sunday morning.

According to the Associated Press, "McLeod, 28, of Canton (Ohio) was released from jail on a $2,500 bond on charges accusing him of carrying a concealed weapon and improperly handling a firearm."

The (Canton) Repository reported McLeod "is accused of firing two shots in the air from the window of a 2006 Land Rover while in the parking lot of (a) Denny's ... in Plain Township (Ohio). A gun was later found in the vehicle's center console, deputies said."

According to The Repository, "jail records show McLeod is unemployed."

McLeod played 119 games, including 79 starts, over two seasons in Utah from 2004-06. He started his four-season NBA career with Minnesota, and played last season for Golden State and Indiana.

The Repository also reported McLeod appeared before a magistrate," but "no plea was taken because the charges are felonies."

According to the Canton newspaper, McLeod issued the following written statement through his attorney, Bradley Iams, two hours after the hearing: "On April 13, 2008, as a result of engaging in clearly inappropriate behavior, I was arrested by the Stark County Sheriff's Department. I am deeply sorry and embarrassed by my conduct. It is my intention to take responsibility for my actions and to take steps to ensure that I never find myself in this position again.

"While I wish to apologize to my family, friends and teammates for the pain and concern this incident may have caused them, I am most concerned with any potential impact that these events may have on the young people of this community who have looked up to me as a role model. Although I realize that I can't change what happened, I pledge to do my utmost to use this experience in my efforts to help others, particularly those young people, in making better decisions."

HOT SEAT: Two ex-Jazz players completing their first full seasons as NBA head coaches — Memphis' Marc Iavaroni and Milwaukee's Larry Krystkowiak — both reportedly are on the hot seat, and could learn soon if they'll lose their jobs.

Meanwhile, the name of another former Jazz player — longtime New York Knicks point guard and current ABC/New Jersey Nets TV analyst Mark Jackson — continues to pop up as a potential first-time NBA coach.

According to the New York Post's Peter Vecsey, "Jackson is on the (Chicago) Bulls' short list," but, "though flattered to be on the Bulls' radar, (he) has made it exceedingly clear to confidants he's captivated by one coaching situation and one only, the Knicks.'"

MISC.: Ex-Jazz shooting guard Sasha Pavlovic of Cleveland is expected to miss 2-to-3 weeks — at least the first round of the playoffs — with a sprained left ankle. He was injured in the third quarter of Monday night's 91-90 win at Philadelphia. Pavlovic averaged 7.4 points and shot 36 percent from the floor in 51 games, including 45 starts, this season. ... Two of 20 panelists polled by ESPN.com, TrueHoops' Henry Abbott and Scouts Inc.'s David Thorpe, picked Williams as their Most Improved Player this season. Orlando's Hedo Turkoglu drew the most votes, nine. ... None of the ESPN 20 picked Jerry Sloan for Coach of the Year. Thirteen chose New Orleans' Byron Scott, including ABC's Jackson.

Contributing: Linda Hamilton

E-mail: tbuckley@desnews.com