AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — Coach Jerry Sloan admittedly has been contemplating starting lineup changes, but he wasn't willing to commit Thursday as to whether any will be made when the Jazz visit Detroit tonight.

"I'm still trying to decide that," Sloan said prior to practice at nearby Oakland University.

One move Sloan has pondered is benching small forward C.J. Miles and inserting sixth man Andrei Kirilenko into the opening lineup, though on Thursday he seemed to be leaning against opening with Kirilenko.

"Andrei's been a huge thing for us coming off the bench," Sloan said.

Kirilenko and backup shooting guard Kyle Korver both started the second half Wednesday, when Sloan benched Miles and Ronnie Brewer for all of the second, third and fourth quarters in a 22-point rally at New Jersey.

"I've been disappointed by the way we've started the last couple games," said Sloan, whose club opened a five-game trip with Monday's loss at Boston. "You can't always rely on a big comeback."

"I've got to get somebody," he added, "to come out there and compete and execute what we're doing, rather than just trying to take shots."

Jazz players seemed well-aware after Wednesday's win that Sloan was considering going with what could be a ninth different starting lineup this season.

"Start now? It's not up to me," Kirilenko said. "It's up to Coach."

"I'm not going to get into any of that. That's the coaching staff's decision," point guard Deron Williams added. "You know, I feel like we have a great starting group, and a great, great bench. Now, whether a switch here or there is needed? That's up to those guys."

Said Miles when asked if he figured he'd on the bench again tonight: "I'm not going to assume that."

Sloan suggested whatever change is made tonight, if any, will not necessarily be long-term — because rotation alterations are bound to be made whenever injured All-Star power forward Carlos Boozer returns.

"I wish I could tell you exactly how it is, but I'm not gonna spend all my waking moments wondering how that's gonna work out," he added. "We'll make a decision when it comes time."

STAND-UP GUY: Williams credited Sloan for aiding the Jazz's comeback win in New Jersey by getting ejected in the fourth quarter.

"He definitely stood up for us," the Jazz point guard said. "You know — stood up and fought for us. And got thrown out. We appreciate that."

But Sloan — no stranger to being tossed — seemed a bit ashamed this time that referee Steve Javie called a quick second technical on him.

"I was out of line," the Jazz coach said.

"I made the wrong decision, and that's part of it," he added. "Pay the price for it, and go on down the road."

Sloan also suggested he didn't get tossed intentionally, in hopes of sparking his club: "I've never done that in my life," he said.

MISC.: The Sacramento Kings plan to retire Chris Webber's No. 4 jersey when the Jazz visit Arco Arena on Feb. 6, and to retire fellow former NBA All-Star Vlade Divac's No. 21 later in the season. ... The Jazz's seven points in Wednesday's opening quarter were a Nets all-time low for opponent scoring in the first. ... Wednesday's 22-point comeback matched the third-largest in franchise history. ... Utah went into Wednesday's play leading the NBA in assists per game with an average of 24.8, and wound up dishing another 22.


E-mail: tbuckley@desnews.com