Linkifying Zhiv - An excellent post from Citizen Zhiv below, who really needs to get over his fear of linking. You're a bright guy - you can do it. At any rate, I'm promoting it to the front page, and adding the links that he zhived (is that one 'v' or two?) on his own.
Do I have this right? I "prolly" (a word getting some usage here these days, so why not say hey) should be checking before posting, but I've been pretty deep into the Summer League experience thus far and I'm pretty sure that was the set-up.
SP's analysis and discussion of Hasheem Thabeet leading up to the draft I believe (not sure where the link might be, and I zhiv linking pretty intensely), put DeAndre Jordan into a whole new light, and his stock was on a slow steady rise though the season anyway. DJ has been great in summer league, a big part of the good news. Have to say that Griffin is helping and making him look good, but KA had a nice, quick analysis of DJ's effort as a top summer performer, and no less than David Thorpe, who is probably the Clips newest, bestest buddy for a number of reasons, starting with KA's yeoman work in getting him to notice Eric Gordon last year, but primarily because he's going to spend a lot of time analyzing Blake Griffin this year, tweeted the other day that DJ seems to be easily the most improved player, freshman to sophomore, that he has seen in the summer leagues.
DJ was completely ignored during the draft and trade discussions. It was making me a little nuts. We citizens, of course, remember that there was a lot of "it's the Clippers" nonsense, "how will they screw this one up," after they got the number one pick, along with a fair amount of discussion about the absolutely untradeable Zach Randolph and the crowded Clipper frontcourt, including some ridiculous speculation that the Clips didn't even need to draft Blake Griffin--why? because it's the Clippers! And even in the reasonable and supposed expert analysis at the time, the "crowded Clipper frontcourt" consisted of Zbo, Kaman, and Camby. After SP drew the comparisons between DJ and Thabeet, my antennae were searching everywhere for any sort of mention of DJordan, as he's potentially a critical part of the future of the Clips, as can be plainly seen when he plays alongside BG. I held out hopes, being the optimistical Zhiv, that some one might actually say that the Clips already had their own version of Thabeet, who had plummeted down to them in the draft the year before, but it was pretty clear that was never going to happen. And his name was never mentioned more than twice through the entire process, and it didn't even come up again, I don't think, after the "miracle" of the relatively predictable Zbo trade--it was uniformly Griffin-Kaman-Camby, with no DJ notes.
My surmise was that DJ would finally start to show up on the radar in summer league, and that has been true, to a point beyond even the zhiviest expectations. The first game was all about the debut of Blake Griffin, and rightly so, and that part was deeply satisfying, and DJ didn't exactly get off to a great start by missing the bus, but by the middle of the second quarter the announcers (talking to David Stern), including David Aldridge, along with others no doubt, were in the middle of remembering who DJordan was and that he might play a role on the Clippers. It could be argued that the second game, against NOH, belonged to DJ more than BG, as DJ's productivity was a bit gaudier, but it needs to be mentioned again that BG's game is so potent and well-rounded that he's a significant factor in helping DJ's cause, and it helps having Eric Gordon out there too.
SP pointed out, going into the NOH game, that there was no big man test for DJ, and that helped quite a bit as well. He's playing with great confidence now, but it should be added that hitting his free throws, including two important ones down the stretch, was a big step forward for DJ from game one. And that brings us to tonight.
Should be fun.