New Orleans • For three seasons, Jeremy Evans has been resigned to spot duty off the Utah Jazz bench.
This was supposed to be the year his role increased. The super athletic former Slam Dunk champion had refined and built up confidence in his jump shot and was expected to be a contributor and rotation player for the rebuilding Jazz.
"He’s still expected to be," Utah coach Ty Corbin said Wednesday night. "It was just a little delayed."
Evans finally got his opportunity to begin stepping into that new role Wednesday, making his season debut after a rotator cuff injury caused him to miss the first 12 games of the year.
"Finally," he said with a smile. "I’ve been waiting for a minute."
With Evans now healthy, Corbin’s bench is starting to gain depth.
"It’s not only hurting me but the team for me to be sitting because there are [fewer] bodies and I feel like I can make an impact on the game somehow," Evans said. "Blocking shots, rebounds, putbacks."
Corbin knows the struggling Jazz can use Evans’ energy.
"He can run the floor so he should be a guy that can get us a couple easy baskets," the coach said.
Evans expects a few of them to be above the rim.
"If I couldn’t dunk," he said, "I’d have to say I can’t go."
Forward Marvin Williams will have surgery on his broken nose Thursday in Salt Lake City, the team announced, but is expected to rejoin the Jazz and be available to play Friday night in Dallas.
Williams is averaging 7.6 points a night off the Jazz bench and shooting better than 45 percent from beyond the arc.
Back to bench
After starting three games at point guard, Alec Burks returned to the bench — and the off-guard position — Wednesday.
"It’s more of a natural position for him," Corbin said, "and hopefully we get him back to the attack mode we thought he would be in right from the beginning."
Burks averaged 7.3 points a game as a starter. He was averaged 12.9 points a night coming off the bench in his first nine games of the year.
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