It’s really great that the Utah Jazz got their revenge on the Golden State Warriors last night with a 108-95 victory, but that is only the second best thing to come out of that game for the Jazz. The first thing? Jeremy Evans!
If you didn’t see the game last night, I really hope you Tivo’d it or at least checked out some highlights of the Jazz’s second-round draft pick out of Western Kentucky. The lanky big man was extremely fun to watch, and he played a large part in adding a ton of energy to the Jazz during the second quarter of the game. In that quarter, Evans had 7 of his 9 points, and each point (except for a free-throw) came off of a dunk/alley-oop.
Now I understand that scoring 9 points is nothing to go crazy about, but it was extremely exciting to see a Jazz big man with some real athleticism out there. I am usually stuck watching guys like Kyrylo Fesenko try to just make sure he doesn’t lose the ball once he catches it; let alone finishing gracefully at the rim. And no offense to Al Jefferson, but he isn’t the lightest guy on his feet. Paul Millsap is pretty athletic with some of the circus shots he pulls off, but he’s not somebody I would call a high-flyer. Jeremy Evans, though, is exactly that: a high-flyer.
When the Jazz selected Jeremy Evans in the draft, I was excited about his athletic ability especially because of his capability as a shot blocker. I was also excited because of the 65% shooting percentage that he displayed in college, which meant that he was a smart player who probably finished around the rim a lot. Although Evans recorded no blocked shots against Golden State on Monday night, he did show why he had such a high shooting percentage in college, as all of the shots he took were made dunks.
Oh, and if you were wondering, Evans only played 9 minutes and 21 seconds on Monday night. With his quick impact and crowd-roaring dunks in such a little amount of time, it would be a shocker if he didn’t start getting his number called more frequently by Jerry Sloan. If he doesn’t, and the Jazz are playing at home, you know that the crowd will do all that they can to make sure that he does. Evans is a new element that this team has not had for quite a while, and the fans deserve to see their new “toy” in action much more often if he continues to perform like he did against the Warriors. With Jerry Sloan’s success with second-round draft picks, I’m certain he will find a suitable role for Mr. Evans that will have the fans more than happy.