SALT LAKE CITY — Seldom-used center Kyrylo Fesenko will start for the Utah Jazz tonight against the Los Angeles Lakers.
And, no, that sentence was not an April Fools joke, just in case you were wondering.
Because of injury issues and the Lakers' length, Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin has opted to insert the beefy 7-foot-1 Fesenko into the starting lineup along with Al Jefferson at power forward, Paul Millsap in the small forward spot, C.J. Miles at shooting guard and Earl Watson at the point.
The Jazz, losers of six straight, will only dress 10 players for this ESPN-televised matchup with the Lakers.
Devin Harris (hamstring), Andrei Kirilenko (knee), Raja Bell (foot), Ronnie Price (leg) and Mehmet Okur (back) will not be available for action due to their injuries.
The extreme injury situation led Utah to adding a 15th player to its roster, and D-League call-up Kyle Weaver will make his Jazz debut tonight.
Weaver played for Austin and Iowa in the D-League this season, but the 6-foot-6 guard from Washington State brings NBA experience from his tenure with Oklahoma City in 2008-10.
With Watson being the only healthy point guard available, Weaver and C.J. Miles could see time at the playmaker position. Rookie Gordon Hayward is another backup point guard possibility.
Weaver said he's feeling "very excited" to get back into the NBA and play for the Jazz, whom he hopes to impress during his 10-day contract.
"I'm just starting to get those nerves back again, good nerves. So yeah, I'm ready to play tonight," Weaver said. "I definitely expect to play and I just want to contribute."25 comments on this story
Fesenko, who missed Monday's game with a migraine, has seen limited playing time since registering a season-high 11 points with seven rebounds on Feb. 7 at Sacramento. He had four DNP-CDs (Did Not Play-Coach's Decision) in March and has only averaged 8.3 minutes in 51 games this season.
If the Jazz (36-39) have an advantage in this one, it's that the Lakers (54-20) are coming in after surviving a slugfest with Dallas late Thursday night at Staples Center.