Entering his second season with the Utah Jazz, a healthy Thabo Sefolosha is eager to help the team win basketball games.
Thabo Sefolosha, a very important piece to the Utah Jazz, only played in 38 games last season. That’s less than half the year. Remember, due to violating the NBA’s anti-drug policy, Sefolosha will be forced to watch from the sidelines during the first five games of the upcoming regular season as well.
The most encouraging piece of information coming from Thabo during Media Day of 2018 was his clean bill of health. Sefolosha missed 44 games last season after undergoing surgery to repair damage to his MCL.
“The knee feels great,” Thabo said when speaking at the podium. “I’m super excited to get back, get started, and it’s a good time for all of us. I’m just excited.”
Just getting Thabo back on the court will be a blessing for the Jazz, but don’t forget how effective he can be for this team. At the age of 33, Sefolosha averaged a career-high 8.2 points per game last season, while shooting a more-than-respectable 38 percent from deep.
That three-point shot remaining efficient will be key for Sefolosha, who envisions himself playing more power forward this season. It’s usually tough for opposing power forwards to guard the 3-point line.
“Honestly, I’m looking forward to playing the four,” Sefolosha said, when asked about splitting time between small forward and power forward. “I think it’s going to allow me to do different things and I’m looking forward to exploit those match-ups.”
The 13-year NBA veteran also expects the Jazz to play inside-out basketball this season.
“One of the things that is going to be important for us is to play inside and out,” Thabo said. “Teams now have a tendency to switch and play a little smaller. We’ve got to take advantage of Derrick (Favors), Rudy (Gobert) and Ekpe (Udoh) rolling to the basket and feeding them. I think that’s going to create some space.”
There’s no doubting what Thabo Sefolosha brings to the Jazz on the court: Defense, energy, toughness and leadership. The Utah Jazz organization and the fans just need to hope we see him out there on the court for a lot more than 38 games.