SALT LAKE CITY -- If Paul Millsap isn't happy with his with playing time, he's voicing his displeasure in a very productive way.
But then again, the Utah Jazz power forward has always thrived on doing more with less. At 6-foot-8 and 258 pounds, he's considered undersized for his position, and yet he's known as one of the NBA's fiercest rebounders, averaging more than seven boards a game over his six-plus seasons in the league. After a slow start to the season he has scored in double figures in 16 of his last 18 games, including a 19-point, 10-rebound effort last week against Phoenix.
Going into tonight's game against Dallas, Millsap is averaging a rock-solid 14.6 points and 7.7 boards per game. His double-double Friday night in Phoenix helped the Jazz earn an 87-80 victory over the Suns. On Saturday, he scored 15 points and added seven rebounds and three blocked shots in a 110-91 loss at Denver.
On the court or in the locker room, Millsap, 27, rarely gets rattled. Instead, he prefers keeping his emotions in check and letting his game do the talking.
As evidence, look no farther than last week. During a Dec. 30 road loss to the Clippers, Millsap, a starter, remained on the bench for the entire fourth quarter while teammate Derrick Favors played on.
When asked about it, Millsap said little while still trying to convey a team-first attitude.
"We're all a team," he said. "We've all got the same goals in mind."
Millsap said he hadn't even thought about the benching until reporters brought it up.
"I'm very passive," he said. "I don't let things like that try to get to me. When (head coach Tyrone Corbin) puts me in the game, I've just got to be ready to go. When he takes me out of the game, I come out of the game."
Millsap, one of three team captains this season, said he is comfortable voicing his concerns to Corbin. However, in a quiet - but decidedly passive-aggressive - response, he added that he isn't sure it would do any good anyway.
"I can express myself as much as possible," he said. "Would it work? Who knows?"
In the three games since sitting out the fourth quarter against the Clippers, Millsap has averaged 16 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.3 blocked shots.
Corbin said he has no plans to change the way he handles the power forward position. Millsap starts, Favors comes off the bench and when it comes to the fourth quarter, it all depends on matchups and gut feelings.
"At different times it'll be different guys," Corbin said.
"We're loaded at the position," he added. "We've got a lot of guys I feel good about putting on the floor. Some nights a guy that thinks he should get the minutes won't get as many."
Corbin said likes being able to juggle Millsap, Favors, Al Jefferson and Enes Kanter on the Jazz's front line.
Millsap, meanwhile, will continue his efforts to make more from less. Although he insisted he'd forgotten about sitting out the fourth quarter that night in L.A., his actions say otherwise.