Jonas Jerebko's buzzer-beater didn't surprise Warriors: 'He's fearless'

Brian Witt
NBC Sports BayArea

Jonas Jerebko's buzzer-beater didn't surprise Warriors: 'He's fearless' originally appeared on nbcsportsbayarea.com

OAKLAND -- The Warriors' victory over the Bulls Friday night was all but decided by the end of the first half, if not earlier. But considering the arena-wide excitement upon the sound of the first-quarter buzzer, you wouldn't have known it.

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That buzzer, of course, sounded just before a half-court buzzer-beater from Jonas Jerebko fell through the net, and yes, the bank was open.

It was the latest highlight in Jerebko's Warriors' reel, which, for having only been with Golden State for half a season, is well populated.

Jerebko cemented his spot on his teammates' good side when he tipped in a game-winner against the Jazz in Utah in the second game of the season. On Friday, he may have done the same in the hearts of the home crowd.

After Jerebko banked in his halftime buzzer-beater, he soon found himself on the floor after colliding with an overly excited Stephen Curry in celebration. But the raucous ovation that reverberated around the arena was a clear sign the fan base has fully embraced the Warriors' new cult hero.

Those fans may not have known what the Warriors were getting when Jerebko signed as a free agent at the beginning of the offseason. Their coach, however, is not the least bit surprised by what Jerebko's been able to contribute through the first half of the season.

"I've watched him throughout his career," Steve Kerr said of Jerebko following the blowout victory. "I've always liked his game and I thought he would fit right in with what we do because he knows how to play ... he's having a really good year for us.

"He's not one of those guys that's afraid of anything," Kerr continued, "he doesn't care about missed shots, he's going to keep firing, and he'll take the halfcourt shot, too. So, it was fun to see that go in."

Curry -- who knows a thing or two about long distance buzzer-beaters -- echoed Kerr's sentiment.

"I'm not surprised at all," Curry said following a game in which he moved up to third place on the NBA's all-time 3-point list. "I was excited about that signing from the jump in the summer, understanding what he can provide. He's physical, he's confident from behind the line, making plays, making his threes.

"He's just fearless. You can count on him night in, night out to be out there, put his body on the line, move the ball, play the right way. I know he's still continuing to get comfortable and understand how he can be most effective out there on the floor, but he's been great for us. A huge catalyst in some big wins we've had, and can only expect that to continue, for sure."

Jerebko has already proven to be one of the more underrated free agent signings across the league this season, and he's outplaying the contract he signed. He's only spent 42 regular season games in a Golden State uniform, so the notion that he can be even more effective than he has already been is not out of the question.

As for feeling more comfortable, well, he should feel right at home at Oracle Arena after that ovation Friday night. Of course, a few more buzzer-beaters couldn't hurt.

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