The hope peeked out almost immediately Wednesday night. On one of the Jazz’s first possessions in an eventual loss in Cleveland, Mo Williams passed ahead to a racing DeMarre Carroll.

The ball was tipped away and the play ended, harmless and forgettable.

But when Mo Williams returned to the Jazz on Wednesday and coach Tyrone Corbin moved Carroll into the starting lineup, he was hoping for plays like that one.

"Although they tipped the pass out of bounds," Corbin said, "that’s the kind of energy, to try and get some easy baskets to put pressure on the opposite team and get back in transition."

Starting Friday, the Jazz expect to be at full strength for the final 21 games of the season, with a notable tweak to the lineup since the last time Corbin had all of his options. Al Jefferson likely will play for the first time in more than a week. He’s listed as a game-time decision with a sprained left ankle.

The question now: Is this the group that can get the Jazz to the playoffs?

"We’ve got some things to work on," Corbin said, "but I liked what we saw."

Entering Thursday, only four games separated sixth place in the West from ninth, with the Jazz nearer the outside than in. They have lost five of their last six games, and play three of their next four games on the road with an unforgiving schedule in the final 21 games.

So Corbin tried to attack it by tinkering with a lineup he’s been hesitant to mess with. When they’ve been healthy, Corbin has had faith in his first-choice starters to play their way through their struggles.