SALT LAKE CITY -- On the day he returned to practice for the first time since training camp, Jazz newcomer Andris Biedrins had no trouble understating an overreaching theme.
"We just need to get some wins," the veteran center said.
Indeed, even on the heels of Monday's exciting overtime victory over the visiting Chicago Bulls, Utah (2-14) owns the NBA's worst record.
As Biedrins succinctly put it, wins are needed. And it turns out the 7-footer might be in position to help. He returned to the practice court Wednesday after missing Utah's first 16 games with a sprained left ankle.
The Latvian big man first suffered the injury in a practice shortly before the season began. He spent time in a walking boot, then graduated to a pronounced limp before the injury healed enough to permit going through a full practice.
Biedrins and former Golden State teammate Brandon Rush (knee) each went through practice on Wednesday. They continued again Thursday morning and were joined by center Enes Kanter, who endured an ankle injury Sunday night at Oklahoma City.
Kanter missed Monday's game with the Bulls and Wednesday's practice but participated fully on Thanksgiving and is expected to be a game-time decision tonight when the Jazz host the Phoenix Suns (8-7) at EnergySolutions Arena.
If Kanter can go tonight it will mark the first time all season coach Tyrone Corbin has had a full complement of players available, though some question marks will remain with Biedrins and Rush.
"More bodies, more options," Corbin said. "Brandon, being a guy who can make shots on the perimeter, can help us space the floor. He can shoot out to the 3-point line. Andris is a rebounder, an experienced guy who knows what to do on the floor and help us on the defensive end."
The Jazz are 2-5 at home this season, 0-14 on the road. They'll face the Suns here tonight then meet up again Saturday night in Phoenix, where they've already lost once this season.
The Suns, led by first-year head coach and former Jazz assistant Jeff Hornacek, are averaging 100.9 points per game and shooting 46 percent from the field so far this season.
Utah, meanwhile, averages just 88.5 points a game and shoots only 33 percent from the field.
As is almost always the case with up-tempo teams, Phoenix's first objective will be a lull the Jazz into playing at a higher tempo.
"They speed the game up, we can't fall into the trap of (playing) how they want to play," Corbin said. "They want to play fast, they're going to take early shots. They take a lot of jump shots, a lot of 3-point shots and it can be a trap for you."
Corbin said the Jazz will seek to play at a pace that best suits them, which won't include jacking up shots early in the shot clock. That has been a problem at times this season but with their first real break in the schedule this week, the Jazz have spent extra practice time refining their execution.
Corbin said he hopes that will translate into more efficient play on the offensive end.
Having a full team - or even almost-full - will also help the Jazz become more efficient.
They began the season with 15 players on the roster but only 10 were available. The five sitting out included Biedrins, Rush, forwards Jeremy Evans and Marvin Williams and rookie point guard Trey Burke.
Since his return Williams has become one of Utah's best scoring threats. Burke, meanwhile, returned from a broken finger and has looked sharp at time and, predictably, lost on other occasions.
Through four games so far he is averaging 8.5 points, 3.5 rebounds and an even three assists per game.
Contact reporter Jim Burton at 801-625-4265, or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @StandardExJimbo.