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News » Sloan wants team to improve focus

Sloan wants team to improve focus

Sloan wants team to improve focus NEW YORK ? Jazz coach Jerry Sloan is flustered by how easily some of his players get frustrated, especially when referee calls don't go their way. "I tried to tell them we don't have time for that, because you're spending your time doing that and you're not spending your time playing Basketball and thinking about what's going on," Sloan, who didn't name names, said after Utah's home loss to Sacramento on Saturday night. "You've got to stay focused all the time," he added, "so you can have a chance to have good end results."

The Jazz were called for 25 fouls Saturday, only one more than Sacramento. "I think we got carried away with that a little bit," he added. "That's part of Basketball. You've got learn how to handle it." Defense also continues to be a topic of concern for Sloan, whose club allowed the Kings to shoot 49.3 percent from the field. "We've got some issues, it looks like," he said. "We just have to see if we can work through them. "You can see when we're effective defensively. ... Everybody's involved in it, and not just one or two guys. "I think we've got the ability to play defense," Sloan added. "But if you're worried about missing shots, and you're hanging your head because you missed shots, then you forget to defend. Unfortunately that's the way it works. You don't like to see that, but I've seen it." LONG TRIP: The Jazz open a four-game, seven-day trip tonight at New York, with stops later this week at Boston on Wednesday night, at Philadelphia on Friday night and at Cleveland on Saturday night. "We'd like to go in with a two-game win streak," point guard Deron Williams said after Saturday's loss, "but we're not doing that, so we've just got to bounce back and try to get a win in New York and build some confidence again there and then go to a tough arena in Boston." This journey ties a four-gamer after the mid-February NBA All-Star break as the Utah's second-longest trip of the season, trailing only a five-game pre-Christmas excursion to New Jersey, Atlanta, Charlotte, Orlando and Miami. "We'll just see what happens," Sloan said. "You have to come out and fight back. It's a long season." Knicks PICK: The Jazz own the Knicks' 2010 first-round draft choice, acquired from Phoenix as part of a 2004 trade that also sent Keon Clark and Ben Handlogten to the Suns for Tom Gugliotta and cash. But ? even with New York off to a 1-6 start ? Knicks president Donnie Walsh evidently is annoyed at the suggestion it's bound to be a top-five pick. So it seems based on Walsh's recent comments to the New York Times about next offseason's free-agency shopping market, which could include Cleveland superstar ? and likely Knicks recruit ? LeBron James. "Honestly? All the press and all the hoopla about free agency that comes in July is starting to bother me," Walsh told the newspaper. "Because there's an innuendo I don't care about the players on this team. And that's simply not true. And this is not a throwaway season, and I never said it was. So no, I don't like it." HMMM: Williams dished 15 assists Saturday, ending a streak of four straight games with fewer than 10. That was the longest streak without 10 or more for Williams ? who averaged 10.7 last season, and 10.5 the season prior ? since he had six in a row in November of 2007. Contributing: Jody Genessy e-mail:

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Added: November 10, 2009


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