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Utah Jazz: Jazzman Brandon Rush admits season's been 'a little frustrating'

Published: Saturday, March 29 2014 12:00 a.m. MDT

Dallas Mavericks' Vince Carter (25) goes up for a shot between Utah Jazz's Derrick Favors, left, and Brandon Rush (25) in the first half of an NBA basketball game, Friday, Feb. 7, 2014, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez) (Tony Gutierrez, AP) Dallas Mavericks' Vince Carter (25) goes up for a shot between Utah Jazz's Derrick Favors, left, and Brandon Rush (25) in the first half of an NBA basketball game, Friday, Feb. 7, 2014, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez) (Tony Gutierrez, AP)

NEW ORLEANS — Hours after Wednesday’s Jazz game, Brandon Rush tweeted “Won’t let me eat,” a phrase many people interpreted as being a complaint about playing time.

Rush grinned when asked about the meaning of his Twitter message.

The 28-year-old shooting guard, who hadn’t played in the four previous games and hasn’t seen much action all year, admitted this season has been “a little frustrating.”

But Rush claimed his tweet was misinterpreted.

“That was about something else,” he said. “I was talking to my little cousin.”

Whatever the case, Rush admitted this has been a strange season for him after being traded to Utah from Golden State in the offseason.

New Orleans Pelicans center Alexis Ajinca (42) battles Utah Jazz center Enes Kanter (0) for a rebound in the first half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Friday, March 28, 2014. (AP Photo/Bill Haber)  (Bill Haber, AP) New Orleans Pelicans center Alexis Ajinca (42) battles Utah Jazz center Enes Kanter (0) for a rebound in the first half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Friday, March 28, 2014. (AP Photo/Bill Haber) (Bill Haber, AP)

The shooting guard observed much of fall camp as he continued his rehab from a January knee surgery and didn’t play in the first four games. After a 10-minute performance in Brooklyn on Nov. 5, Rush sat out the next 12 contests as he tried to get back in shape, learn the Jazz system, and regain confidence in his knee.

Rush, known for his 3-point shooting and perimeter defense, hasn’t played much since then, only getting 11.1 minutes in 37 games with Utah. Rush is only averaging 2.1 points on 34.1 percent shooting compared to 9.8 points on 50.1 percent shooting in his last healthy season in 2011-12.

Rushed missed all but two games in 2012-13 with Golden State because of the ACL injury in his left knee.

“It’s been up and down. It’s not what I expected,” Rush said of this season. “But I just fight through it and continue to try to get better, try to get this knee right for summertime. It happens.”

Utah Jazz center Derrick Favors (15) backs into New Orleans Pelicans forward Luke Babbitt (8) in the first half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Friday, March 28, 2014. (AP Photo/Bill Haber)  (Bill Haber, AP) Utah Jazz center Derrick Favors (15) backs into New Orleans Pelicans forward Luke Babbitt (8) in the first half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Friday, March 28, 2014. (AP Photo/Bill Haber) (Bill Haber, AP)

Rush will be an unrestricted free agent this summer. He knows he’ll have to prove his worth to teams in the offseason seeing how he hasn’t had much opportunity this season.

“I might have to work out for a few teams so they can see me,” he said. “Other than that, I think it’s going to be a good summer for me.”

Rush said he doesn’t have major qualms with Jazz management, and Utah coach Tyrone Corbin said as much about the seldom-used veteran.

“He’s been great. He’s been working, just coming out working,” Corbin said. “He should be a little disappointed in his minutes. I would be too.”

Corbin admitted the team has been “trying to get his confidence back,” but the Jazz coach added that “the team’s moving on."

Utah Jazz guard Gordon Hayward (20) tries to get around New Orleans Pelicans guard Anthony Morrow (3) in the first half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Friday, March 28, 2014. (AP Photo/Bill Haber)  (Bill Haber, AP) Utah Jazz guard Gordon Hayward (20) tries to get around New Orleans Pelicans guard Anthony Morrow (3) in the first half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Friday, March 28, 2014. (AP Photo/Bill Haber) (Bill Haber, AP)

“It’s not just him, it’s where we are now, how we plan to move forward and not interrupt that,” Corbin said. “He needs some time to get himself going and at times we don’t have time to wait on it. Just keep working. Hopefully, we’ll try to find opportunities to give him.”

GETTING CLOSER: Alec Burks admitted Friday that he’s disappointed his goal of playing 82 games was derailed last Friday when he stepped on a teammate’s foot and sprained his left ankle while playing one-on-one.

“That’s everybody’s goal,” said Burks, who’d played the first 69 games before getting hurt. “It’s the game of basketball. Injuries happen.”

Burks participated in shootaround Friday in New Orleans, but ended up missing his fourth-straight game due to the injured ankle.

“I feel good,” the Jazz shooting guard said. “I ain’t in shape right now. I want to go play some one-on-one, some two-on-two before I get out there, get my ankle warm.”

That could happen Saturday when the Jazz practice in New Orleans before leaving for Oklahoma City, where they play Sunday afternoon.

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