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Jazz notes: Dante Exum out with knee tendinitis; Toronto fans of Jazz fans

SALT LAKE CITY — Dante Exum will be out for a while because of left patellar tendinitis.

With George Hill out, that makes the Utah Jazz’s point guard rotation resemble what it was last year with Shelvin Mack and Raul Neto getting the bulk of the minutes.

Exum, who said he’s experienced tendinitis soreness in that knee for years, will be re-evaluated in a week.

Exum’s absence not only affects the point guard position; it also makes the Jazz’s overall wing situation more precarious.

“Got to get him back,” Jazz coach Quin Snyder said. “You got to get Rodney (Hood back. Got to get George back. Got to get Fav (Derrick Favors) through his restriction, so he can play some four. We're living on borrowed time when we have five guys that are out.”

Though Exum’s offense has room for much improvement, Snyder pointed out that the team especially misses the 6-foot-6 point guard on the defensive end with Hill also sidelined.

The Jazz have now missed 88 player games due to injury this season, including two by Exum due to the tendinitis.

FAN OF THE FANS: Raptors coach Dwane Casey has a long history of coaching against Utah teams, dating back to his tenure as a Seattle SuperSonics assistant from 1994-2005. He’s remained impressed over the years.

“The fans are great. It’s one of the hot buildings in the league. It always has been. It’s nothing new,” Casey said Friday night before Toronto took on Utah at Vivint Arena. “Back with (John) Stockton and (Karl) Malone, had a lot of rivalry games with them here, coaching in Seattle. It hasn’t changed. It’s just a tough crowd.”

In other words, Casey gets you, Jazz fans.

He said the locals aren’t just on the opposing team, either.

“They’re on the officials hard, which is what a good crowd does,” he said. “They do a great job of making it a hostile environment in a good way. It’s not dirty or mean-spirited, it’s just a good basketball crowd.”

ANOTHER FAN: The Jazz helped resurrect the career of DeMarre Carroll after he was waived by Denver in 2012, and the small forward still has a soft spot in his heart for Utah.

“Won't forget my time in Utah! Every destination in life is an opportunity to grow!!!” Carroll wrote on his Twitter account. “On the road in SLC today!!”

The Junkyard Dog has plenty of fans still in Utah, too, including his former coach. Carroll and Snyder were together in Atlanta before they left the Hawks. Carroll has credited the Jazz coach for helping take his game to another level.

"I am really happy for him and where he is," Snyder said. "I have an idea of what he's put into it and the investment that he's made. ... One thing about DeMarre, he has always been able to figure out what his team needs to be successful and then he provides that. Anytime you see a guy playing that hard, it inspires you as his teammate and he is a heck of a teammate."

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