Maine Red Claws 107, Utah Flash 84

Only one game last night.  It was pretty good for awhile.  And then the second half started.  (Box Score) (Now with highlights!)

  • Dontell Jefferson had six assists at halftime, and none the rest of the way.  Utah as a team shot the ball terribly.  Luke Nevill and Gabe Pruitt were each 0-5; the normally reliable Carlos Wheeler and Jefferson each shot 1-7.  The Flash even had a 40-26 free throw advantage, and couldn't take...advantage, shooting under 70 percent there.
  • Kosta Koufos was a bit streaky coming back to the D-League.  He came off the bench, then proceeded to commit a foul, miss a jumper and get called for traveling all within the span of about a minute and a half.  He played better after that, then tailed off again.  16 points and seven boards overall, but it's clear he still has work to do.
  • Alexis Ajinca, Koufos' counterpart of sorts, had almost identical numbers (16 and eight), and played similarly streakily.  Good in the first and third, not so much in the fourth.  I don't know if it's a stamina issue or just plain inconsistency - he didn't play in the last seven minutes of the second quarter, in part because he picked up his third foul, but that also means he picked up three fouls in the first 17 minutes of the game.
  • Maine seriously might have the best rebounding lineup in the league with Ajinca, Noel Felix and Trey Gilder up front and J.R. Giddens in the backcourt.  Especially with Giddens, who had a game-high 10 boards, and is a fantastic rebounder for his position.  As creative as Boston has been working around Rajon Rondo's offensive skill-set, I really wish they'd take more advantage of Giddens's abilities.  Especially since they're having rebounding troubles.
  • With three-point specialist Billy Thomas getting a DNP (UPDATE: He was apparently waived due to injury), Tony Bobbitt apparently decided to try and fill that role.  He took five shots in the first half, four from outside, and made one of them.  He was a lot better in the second half when he took it inside the arc with a little more regularity.
  • Brian Hamilton was probably Utah's best player last night.  7-9 from the field and a bunch of trips to the free-throw line to give him 23 points, a season-high.  Hamilton is a good defender and has gotten some NBA attention (he's gone to training camp with the Nets the last two years and worked out for the Grizzlies last season); if he can build on this game and start to develop a shot (all of his field goals were either layups or tip-ins), he can be a really solid player.  He's 27, though.
  • The Flash are one of the few teams in the league this year that have played better on the road than at home.  Last night's loss dropped them to 5-6 in Orem, compared to 9-6 elsewhere.  I have no idea what that means.
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