Though it appears Jerebko will be at less-than-optimal health heading into the Jazz's three-game week, it doesn't look as though it will impact his availability. Jerebko turned in his best outing of the campaign in the Jazz's blowout win over the Magic on Saturday, supplying a season-high 15 points (7-11 FG, 1-2 3Pt), six rebounds and one steal in 25 minutes.
Jerebko will start at power forward for Monday's game against the Timberwolves, Kyle Goon of the Salt Lake Tribune reports.
With Rudy Gobert going down for the next four-to-six weeks with a bone bruise in his knee, Derrick Favors has shifted over to center, which leaves an opening at the power forward position. The Jazz went smaller with Thabo Sefolosha at the four on Saturday against the Nets, though with a matchup with a bigger Timberwolves' frontcourt on tap, coach Quin Snyder has opted to push Jerebko into the top unit instead. That being said, Snyder mentioned that he didn't want to put too much importance on the starter and there's a decent chance Sefolosha still takes on a sizable workload off the bench. Either way, Jerebko is likely in line to surpass the 11 minutes he played on Saturday.
Jerebko managed six points (2-5 FG, 1-2 3Pt, 1-2 FT), two rebounds, and one assist in eight minutes during Sunday's 137-110 loss to the Rockets.
Jerebko has appeared in four straight tilts, but he has been a healthy scratch as many times (five) as he has seen the floor this season. Jerbeko would benefit if the Jazz started playing more small-ball. Nevertheless, coach Quin Snyder has been content using Derrick Favors at power forward, forcing Jerebko to fight for leftovers. With Joe Johnson (wrist) sidelined for at least another couple weeks, Jerebko will continue to enjoy an easier route to minutes, but he's clearly still finding his place in the rotation.
Jerebko tallied four points (0-5 FG, 0-3 3Pt, 4-4 FT), two rebounds and one assist over 15 minutes Monday in a preseason matchup with the Suns.
Jerebko signed a two year deal with Jazz, providing the with a stretch four to come off the bench. The Swedish forward is coming off a season in which he averaged a career low 3.8 points per game in 15.8 minutes. Jerebko is a better fit with the Jazz, being the teams only stretch four, meaning he could see more playing time this season.
Jerebko will now likely fill the void of the soon-to-be-departed Boris Diaw, who the Jazz are planning to waive Thursday. Jerebko, like Diaw, has the ability to stretch the floor in the frontcourt, as he's shot at least 35 percent from three in each of his last five seasons. However, even after seven NBA seasons, Jerebko is still unlikely to provide much fantasy value as a depth option in Utah, as he simply is not expected to get enough minutes to be a noteworthy contributor next season.
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