|Jazz' Deron Williams tries to play through flu|
|Written by Admin|
|Monday, 28 May 2007 14:44|
Williams missed practice Sunday and did not participate in the team's shootaround Monday morning. He arrived at EnergySolutions Arena about 90 minutes before tipoff and was listed on Utah's starting lineup.
Williams, who had 31 points and eight assists Saturday in Utah's 109-83 victory in Game 3, said he was feeling ``all right'' as he walked toward the court to warm up with some jump shots.
Utah coach Jerry Sloan said he expected Williams to play if he was well enough to dress. If Williams was too weak, Sloan said he could move Derek Fisher to shooting guard and call on rookie Dee Brown, Williams' college teammate at Illinois.
Sloan also knows well how quickly players can overcome an illness in the playoffs. Michael Jordan overcame a stomach virus before Game 5 of the 1997 NBA finals, scoring 15 of his 38 points in the Chicago Bulls' 90-88 victory in Salt Lake City.
``We played some against some guys over the years that were sick and killed us, so I hope that works to our side this time,'' Sloan said with a wry smile.
The Jazz trailed the Spurs 2-1.
Williams, who averaged 30.3 points in the first three games, showed up at the team's practice gym Sunday complaining of stomach problems. He was given medication and sent home. On Monday, Williams received treatment while his teammates practiced.
``If Deron is not around, myself as well as a lot of guys will have to fill that void - not only his points, his energy, his toughness and aggressiveness,'' Fisher said. ``The intangibles he brings, those are what we'll need.''
Williams, a second-year playmaker who was chosen for Team USA a few days ago, was limited by foul trouble in the second round against Golden State. Brown filled in then. Brown has hardly played this series, but probably would be back in the rotation if Williams misses time.
``We have a little experience playing without Deron,'' forward Andrei Kirilenko said. ``What we need to do is be focused and play hard and we'll be all right.''