Fesenko finally had a good game -- against Greg Oden no doubt. Due to early foul trouble (Mehmet Okur picked up a few in the 1st) Jerry Sloan looked to the bench and went with Kyrylo Fesenko. The young man from the Ukraine delivered with 10 points, 10 rebound (7 offensive) and 3 assists. He also hit all of his free throws -- all of this in 22 minutes of action. I would have liked to see some blocks, but hey, this is a positive sign and a game for him to build upon. Oden had been averaging 13 ppg so far in the preseason, and finished this game with only 6. I did not get a chance to watch the game (save for the ESPN gamecast), but he seems to have played okay. (He did get blocked by Ike Diogu twice though) I'm happy because he finally did SOMETHING, and I'm happy because he finally got some praise for his efforts:
Jerry Sloan: "That's the best I've ever seen him play since he's been alive. That was kind of a shock. But it was a pleasant shock because he's big and he can play around the basket . . . He had a little success, and hopefully he can carry that forward."
Deron Williams: "He was more active, played within himself . . . he did a great job. Even when he couldn't get the rebound he was still active enough to get his hands on the ball, and somebody else got the rebound because of it."
Andrei Kirilenko: "Fes was terrific. He tried to get open. He tried to post up his guy. I haven't seen him play back in Europe, but here it was definitely his best game."
Fesenko himself had this to say about the unusually high praise, "You don't hear that from [Coach Jerry Sloan] a lot, so it means a lot to me. It means a lot, and it means that I'm doing the right thing. So I cannot stop. I have to keep on going."
This is a promising first step. This doesn't mean that he has arrived. It just means that he is capable of producing when his number is called. Apparently a big factor in all of this is the fact that AK is creating off the dribble and finding Fesenko for shots he can make. If Harpring is playing SF with Fesenko we know that Harp can't drive and dish like Andrei can, and don't expect Fes to score so often. Maybe AK off the bench is a really good thing, after all?