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News » Flash coming together at a great time

Flash coming together at a great time

Flash coming together at a great time
OREM ? With eight games plus 25.2 seconds remaining on the regular-season schedule, first place in the NBADL's West Division seems like a nice place to be. But that doesn't mean Utah Flash coach Brad Jones is exactly comfortable. "I'm not comfortable at all," Jones said.

"On April 11, if I'm in first place at about 10 o'clock at night, I'll before comfortable ? at least until the next day when we find out who we're playing in the playoffs." What should make Jones comfortable is the way his team is coming together down the stretch heading into the playoffs. The Flash will play five more games at home, three on the road, and will replay the final 25.2 seconds of a game against Colorado on April 10 due to a disqualification error by game officials in a Dec. 26 contest. "I think everybody's excited about (how we're playing)," Flash point guard Kevin Kruger said. "We've got a lot of swagger and confidence right now, because we're playing well, we're playing hard and we know we're one of the better teams in the league." In typical D-League fashion, the Flash have been pieced together from a variety of sources in what seems like a fairly short time span. This weekend, the Flash lineup featured three NBA-assigned players ? Morris Almond and Kosta Koufos of the Utah Jazz and J.R. Giddens of the Boston Celtics ? in back-to-back wins over the Anaheim Arsenal, 109-82 on Friday and 103-100 on Saturday. But getting those guys and the other Flash players on the same page ? particularly with the playoffs looming ? seems nothing short of a tall order. "Our existing players have to mesh with them, (and) they also have to mesh with our existing players," Jones said. To really understand the challenge Jones faces, one need only look at the varied routes to the Flash taken by Utah's starting five of Almond, Giddens, Koufos, Kruger and Ron DuPree. Almond began and has spent most of the season with the Jazz. Koufos was assigned by the Jazz to the Flash for the first time this season just Thursday. DuPree was acquired from Tulsa in a trade on Jan 21. Kruger rejoined the Flash just 12 games ago after spending time overseas, and Giddens is on his third assignment to the Flash from the defending NBA champion Boston Celtics. "The good thing about the D-League is you get chances to play with NBA players, like we have right now," Jones said. "And the challenging thing is that you never know what is going to happen." Fortunately for Jones, he's been the recipient of players who play hard and want to win. And with the playoffs coming into view, he's also lucky to have a good share of guys who know the system he runs and who are familiar with the organization. "As long as I'm here, I just wanted to help the team and try to bring a lot of energy out on the court every time I play," Giddens said. "I think we've got a good nucleus." with all the guys that are here." Giddens took part in the Flash training camp last year and has played 17 games this season. Kruger played 49 games for Utah last season, Almond played 32 games for the Flash in 2007-08, and the Flash run about 95 percent of the plays Koufos has become familiar with while playing for Utah Jazz coach Jerry Sloan, Jones said. "We've won six or seven of the last 10 or so," Kruger said. "If that's gelling, then I think we're all going to take that, because we're just getting better. We played better last night than we played the game before and we played the game before better than the game before that." And that's something in which Jones ought to take comfort. E-MAIL:

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: March 30, 2009


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