Anyway, here are my thoughts on the game as I watch at my in-laws'.
1. Fesenko! I have loved his potential since I saw him in the Rocky Mountain Revue a couple years ago. His quickness is nuts for how big he is, but he's struggled a lot learning the game and harnessing his abilities. This season hasn't really been any different from most of his career (translation: he sits on the bench), but for some reason, Sloan decided to give him some play tonight and he's been awesome.
Perfect from the field on three shots, a super impressive block on Blake Griffin (we'll get to him in a bit) and he's adjusted a few other shots. I hope he can pull it together. He's been the key to beating the Lakers for the last few seasons, in my opinion.
2. Jefferson is a disappointment. I've been following box scores, and his 47% shooting is definitely a concern, but I hadn't been able to see how tentative he is until tonight. He takes too long in the post and relies too heavily on his little jump hook. I thought coming to Utah and playing with an actual point guard would help his game, but he's recessed. And as I typed that, he hit his third shot in a row. Hmm.
3. Blake Griffin in a beast. I know, he's the worst-kept secret in the NBA right now, but holy moley. Big, strong, quick, fearless and can jump out of the gym. He reminds me of Dwight Howard with much better footwork and understanding of how to score. He's a special, special player. Scoring 21 and pulling down 12 a game in what is essentially his rookie season? He'll be a great one for years to come.
4. And then there's DeAndre Jordan. Another guy on the Clips who can sky and throw it down. He just caught a lob from Baron Davis about a foot above the rim, two feet out and jammed it home with two hands.
5. Al-Farouq Aminu hit three shots in a row from deep at one point. Maybe after the first one, Jazz defenders, you should cover him a little more closely, eh? But not, the next two shots were completely uncontested. Shooting 46% from 3 in his first season. Do some homework, Utah.
6. Memo looked good in limited minutes in the first half. Wish he could play halfway decent defense, but it is not to be. I'm reading Bill Simmons' Book of Basketball right now, and he makes it a big point to discuss a player's impact on the defensive end when evaluating their impact on the league. Okur needs to be a 25+ points per game scorer to really make me feel like he's making up for his complete lack of effort on the other side of the floor.
7. Deron didn't seem very involved in the first half. But after checking the box score, he's got 10 points, 4 assists and 3 rebounds. Maybe my expectations are too high.
8 The Clippers have some good pieces. If old man Baron Davis can play well, this is a potentially scary team down the road, if not this season.
Other random thoughts as I wait for the second half to begin.
-Watching the Lakers self-destruct against the Spurs last night was very fun to watch. Call me a hater, but every time Kobe goes into "I am awesome" mode, shoots 30 times, misses 22 of them and the Lakers lose badly it makes me happy.
-Boozer playing well for the Bulls. Paired with a good-to-great defensive center in Noah, that's a fantastic situation for him.
Second half comments next.