New Orleans • Brandon Rush’s revitalization never happened.
And as the season winds down, it looks like it likely never will with the Utah Jazz. Rush, the sixth-year guard, hadn’t seen playing time in four straight games leading up to Friday’s matchup with the Pelicans.
"It’s been up and down. It’s not what I expected," Rush said at the team’s morning shootaround. "But I’ll just fight through it and continue to try to get better, try to get this knee right for summertime."
That knee injury, suffered just two games into last season, sidelined Rush for over a year. And when he did finally return to the court, he wasn’t ready.
"Coming in and not being healthy early, it kind of put him behind and trying to get in and trying to get his confidence back," said Jazz coach Ty Corbin, who indicated minutes will likely remain scarce. "It’s not just him, it’s kind of where we are now and how we’re playing to move forward and not interrupt any of that. Not that he would interrupt it, it’s just the pace we’re playing with and he needs some time to get himself going and at times we don’t have the time to wait on him."
Rush has played in just 37 games this year, averaging just over 2 points in 11 minutes. When he has seen the court, he’s been in a hurry to prove himself.
"I press. I press a lot because I know I won’t be out there too long and I’ve got to try to make something happen," he said. "Everything speeds up and I just play out of my comfort zone."
Rush will be a free agent this summer and expects that he will have to work out for teams as he tries to land a new deal.
"I think it will be a good situation for me," he said. "Everyone will finally get a chance to see me after this injury."
Corbin said Rush’s attitude and work ethic remain high despite the situation.
"He’s been great," Corbin said. "He should be a little disappointed in his minutes. I would be too. But [that’s] where we are and where he is and trying to work his way out of it."
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