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Skokie, IL 60076
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·,1249,600121807,00.html

They are coming off what Jazz coach Jerry Sloan deemed to be the best game of the season for each "as far as competing hard."
For forward Kris Humphries, who started and logged a career-high 28 minutes, success came on the offensive end with a career-high 17 points on 7-of-9 shooting from the field in Utah's Saturday-night win over Milwaukee.
For guard Kirk Snyder, who played just 12 minutes off the bench against the Bucks, Sloan saw it on the other end in the form of a steal here, a deflection there and all-around defensive involvement.
With 13 games remaining in their first NBA season, including tonight's Delta Center meeting with the Houston Rockets, that's progress.
But if you think that means the two rookies are meeting Sloan's expectations, you are as sadly mistaken as the blockhead who thinks the 22-47 Jazz still have a chance to make the playoffs.
"No," Sloan said. "Our expectations are pretty high.
"On the other hand," the Jazz coach added, "we have to be fair and try to be realistic. They are young players."
Humphries is just 20. Snyder, still 21.
Youth, however, offers only minimal cover from the wrath of a coach who demands the utmost even from kids a year removed from college.
"At times they've worked," Sloan said. "At times they haven't."
That's not good enough for a man who doesn't know the meaning of punching a time clock.
"The important thing is to learn how to work," Sloan said, "so you can stay more consistent and be ready to play.
"The ball seems to come to you, it seems to bounce a little better, when you're working hard," he added. "If you're not working hard, you're feeling sorry for yourself, then you get yourself in a lot of trouble."
Sloan mustered a smidgen of praise for Snyder after Saturday's win, the second in three outings for the Jazz following a nine-game losing streak.
"He was trying to do something positive," the Jazz coach said of the University of Nevada product who was selected at No. 16 in the 2004 NBA Draft. "That's how you get better."
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