If you haven't already read about it here, here, here or here . . . let me be the first to tell you that we won. It was a come from behind victory over the team that eliminated us from the 2007-2008 playoffs. It's always satisfying to beat the Lakers, even if it's pre-season and our All-Star doesn't play -- but Kobe and Pau both do. I did not watch the game, even though I've already paid for my NBA League Pass. The Boxscore does not appear to fully recognize the efforts of Ronnie Brewer who played much better against Kobe (in the 5 minutes that bean played in) -- Brewer was dunking on everyone's head like he had activated some cheat code. (For the people out there in the John McCain age bracket, click here to find out what a cheat code is) Brewer ended up with 13 points on 50% shooting.
Millsap had 13 points and 2 rebounds in the start, to contrast that, in one more minute of action Andrew Bynum had 15 points and 8 rebounds off the bench. I guess size does matter (6'8 vs. 7'0). Speaking of size, Fesenko had 5 defensive rebounds and 2 assists in 8 minutes of action. He continues to get killed on Utah sports talk radio -- but really, that's quite good. If he played Bynum minutes that adds up to 15 rebounds. Bynum only had 8. I fail to see the need to completely kill Fesenko for doing his job. Some people make it their job, though.
Deron Williams has 11 and 8 in two quarters and Mobe came off the bench to score more than Korver did (10 to 9) on 4 less shots. Lyde had a good game with 7 points and 2 blocks . . . clearly using his weight to his advantage. As great as all of that is, this game was interesting for a variety of reasons . . .
- Boozer did not play as he as (again) injured his hamstring
- Koufos played 2 minutes and also injured his leg (he did make the only shot he took though, so yeah, he continues to shoot the ball at a very high rate, 1 shot per 2 minutes -- for a point of reference, Deron Williams shot the ball 6 times in 24 minutes, or 1 shot per 4 minutes. Should our rookie Kosta be shooting more frequently than Deron? Why doesn't anyone talk about this?)
- Due to a variety of reasons (no Boozer, hence starting Millsap, hence the need to start CJ; no Harpring, so need vet off the bench), Andrei Kirilenko came off the bench and did an okay job. Also his psyche is stronger than some people give him credit for, and he didn't rock himself in a corner at the prospect of not starting. He was two blocks shy of having as many blocks as the entire Lakers team.
Injuries are going to be an issue this season, apparently. Kosta is down, and he's 19 years old. Boozer is down too, and Harpring is down. If this keeps up, Jerry Sloan may tell Kevin O' Conner not to tear up that Jarron Collins contract just yet.
Our 2nd game of the pre-season goes tonight at home vs. the Phoenix Suns. Should be interesting to see if the AK as a 6th man experiment continues. (Boozer, Kosta and Harpring are all out for this game, so I almost expect it) In good news, LHM will be at this game, so the Jazz better win.