BOSTON – At some point tonight, Jonas Jerebko will likely come swooping through the lane to shoot a hook shot that will remind long-time Celtics fans of the legendary Tommy Heinsohn.
While Jerebko has a tremendous amount of respect for Heinsohn, his hook shot was established well before he arrived in Boston two years ago.
The way Jerebko tells it, the shot came about out of necessity because as a 15-year-old he was often playing against grown men who were more than twice his age.
And he had yet to hit a growth spurt so the hook shot was often the only shot he could get up and not be rejected.
“It’s a shot that’s pretty much unblockable,” he said. “I bring it out every now and then.”
The swooping hook shot is just one of the many that we’re seeing more of from Jerebko this season.
Jerebko has been one of the more efficient scorers for the Celtics this season, something they will be counting on again tonight when Boston hosts the Detroit Pistons at the TD Garden.
He’s averaging 5.0 points and 3.2 rebounds in 17.5 minutes per game while shooting a team-best 44.4 percent from 3-point range.
More telling about Jerebko’s impact offensively is the fact that he’s taking 3.9 shots per game which is slight improvement from last season when he took 3.7 per game.
“My teammates telling me to shoot it,” Jerebko said. “I know I can shoot the ball. I just have to be more confident out there.”
Confidence should not be an issue for Jerebko, especially how he has been shooting of late.
Boston (10-7) has won five of its last seven games.
In that span, Jerebko has averaged 6.4 points while making 18 of his 22 shot attempts – that’s an insane 81.8 percent from the field and unlike some bigs who put up off-the charts shooting numbers, most of Jerebko’s points are coming from the perimeter and not the paint area. And he’s just as Jacuzzi-hot from 3-point range by connecting on 80 percent (8-for-10) of his 3s in the last seven games.
Jerebko put on a bit of a shooting show following Tuesday’s practice. Jerebko, Jae Crowder, Marcus Smart and Terry Rozier competed in a 3-point shooting contest with the first game won by Jerebko (the second one by Rozier).
While Jerebko has established himself as a key rotation player for head coach Brad Stevens, he’s quick to acknowledge that he’s more concerned with the team’s overall success than him having a more prominent role.
“I wish we won more games,” Jerebko said. “I felt we gave some away especially at the beginning of the year when we had some injuries. We’re just going to get better this year. The longer this season goes, I think we’re just going to see a better and better team.”