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News » Koufos waiting for opportunity

Koufos waiting for opportunity

Koufos waiting for opportunity Philadelphia ? A year ago, Kosta Koufos made the first start of his NBA career in this city against the 76ers, pressed into action with Mehmet Okur attending to his ailing father in Turkey, Jarron Collins out with an injured elbow and Kyrylo Fesenko dealing with visa issues.

A 19-year-old rookie at the time, Koufos was one of the youngest players to start in Jazz history. He finished with six points and five rebounds in 21 minutes, but has found playing time scarce in the 12 months since.

Koufos came into Wednesday's loss to Boston having played just 17 minutes all season, even after the Jazz exercised a $1.3 million option to keep Koufos for the 2010-11 season. He totaled six points and four rebounds in six minutes against the Celtics.

"I wouldn't say tough," Koufos said when asked about the situation. "I'm ready. I've been working hard, maintaining my shape, and whenever my number's called upon, I'm going to get in there and try to produce."

As he often does, Koufos reiterated that he is focused on working hard, getting better and helping the team. A native of Canton, Ohio, Koufos will be returning home for Saturday's game in Cleveland.


Injury report

After deciding to play Wednesday despite his strained back, Deron Williams was planning to go through at least the shooting portion of Thursday's practice.

"It felt a lot better yesterday and it feels a lot better today," Williams said. "I started to move around a lot more instead of just laying in bed, so it feels better."

The Jazz have ruled out Ronnie Price (sprained left big toe) tonight for a second consecutive game. Price was walking around with his left sneaker untied at practice Thursday.


Premium payrolls

Although they were little match for the Celtics on the court, the Jazz are almost equals with respect to player salaries this season. The Jazz project to have a $82.2 million payroll (not counting luxury-tax penalties), compared to $84.5 million for Boston.

rsiler@sltrib.com Jazz at Philadelphia

At Wachovia Center

When ? Today, 5 p.m.

TV/radio ? FSN Utah, 1320 AM, 98.7 FM

Records ? Jazz 3-5; Philadelphia 4-4

Last meeting ? Jazz won 112-95 on Dec. 29

Line ? XXXXX by X

About the Jazz ? The Jazz have obvious areas for improvement after giving up 105 points, going 0-for-10 from three-point range and committing 21 turnovers in Wednesday's loss to Boston. They have swept the season series against Philadelphia in three of the last four seasons. Deron Williams has gone just 7-for-21 while battling a bad back on this trip.

About the Sixers ? Even though they shot 39 percent, the Sixers still beat winless New Jersey 82-79 on Wednesday. Elton Brand continues to struggle, going 0-for-6 and finishing with five points and six rebounds. Brand is Philadelphia's fifth-leading scorer this season. Second-year big man Marreese Speights is averaging 15.1 points and 7.1 rebounds off the bench. Nineteen-year-old rookie Jrue Holiday was born in 1990 and is the NBA's youngest player.

Play Basketball Hot Streak and win prizes!

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: November 14, 2009


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