It was an interesting game. A game of runs, and different play. I had a play by play (that would have been cut short because my dvr stopped recording with 2 mins left in 2nd OT--some things just suck)but that got deleted too. So I'll offer a synopsis.
1st half: Brad Miller was the player of the 1st half. Until Isiah went small his going big backfired. Until Crawford/Starbury made huge impacts in the 2nd half Brad Miller and Kevin Martin made the biggest impacts of the game.
Spencer Hawes did some good things. He showed some understanding of team concepts on defense and generally played like a "warrior". I imagine Reggie was pleased with his play.
Quincy Douby was very disappointing. He clearly needs to have better understanding of the shot clock.
2nd half: I thought Reggie Theus deserves his share of blame. The Kings were cruising, and with exception of when John Salmons had the ball in his hands, the Kings offense severly stagnated in the 2nd half. Some of that was Reggie's substitution pattern.
Ron played like a man and the player that he is. Clearly he's more valuable to this team because of the ways he can play. But Kevin also proved that he clearly needs to take his offensive game to another level tonight. Ron had a pretty good game overall. I give him an A- (docking him for that hitch in his stroke.)
Kevin had a very good game overall. But Stephon Marbury did a great job of A) denying him the ball and B) shoving him around a little. Sure Stephon is shorter but he's much stronger and tonight it showed. Kevin has to learn how to use picks better and maybe backcuts. When Brad Miller was in the game Kevin clearly plays off him better than anyone else. For the Kings to become better that 2 man game has to happen with Ron too.
John Salmons proved his worth tonight. Especially off the bench. David Lee had a monster game off the bench ,particularly after the half, and the reason it didn't make a bigger impact was because of Salmons. He played all in all probably the 4th best game. Not bad considering he practically did nothing in the 1st half.
Francisco Garcia looks like he's running 3 different speeds simultaneously. He's gotta learn which speeds he needs to go. His adjustment curve is very high, and he's struggling with it.
Isiah Thomas outcoached Reggie Theus tonight. This is a trend that can't consistently happen. I'm not sure if Reggie did anything other than sap the Kings of the offensive flow Brad and Kevin were generating. Maybe Reggie didn't coach that bad of a game.
Beno Udrih picks up his dribble 30 feet from the basket way TOOOOOOO much. Okay, at least he hit those shots at the end of the 4th.
Brad Miller is this team's complete x-factor. When he's active they have a good shot of winning, particularly against the lower tier teams. If not you're entirely dependent on the duo of Martin/Artest. Many nights that won't be enough.
Martin and Artest's game don't mesh very well. Particularly when Ron goes on the perimeter or Kevin's struggling. This has to change as the year goes on. It's on Theus/Artest/Martin to get it done.
What I liked: Ron's warrior heart
John Salmons overcoming his slow start
Kevin Martin's great 3 qtr offensive game
Brad's overall energy level
Ditto with Shawes
Kevin Martin's 10 boards
Beno Udrih not looking totally inept
What I didn't like:
Reggie Theus interruption of the offensive flow of Martin in the late 3rd qtr. I also think keeping Miller/Martin in the game helps the Kings keep ball movement. When they moved the ball they scored. When they didn't the Knicks got back on the game on the strength of their superior rebounding (which became evident when Lee was the sole big on the court).
David Lee, on the Knicks.
Martin's being taken out of the game by Starbury. That's unacceptable, but Martin is still growing as a player. There's time and I'm sure he will learn.
Overall I think it's positive they won in 2OT. The Kings were generally the better team but the Knicks battled them consistently. Curry gave them problems early and late. Lee gave them problems the whole 2nd half on. Artest proved how great his talent reaches. Salmons proved being an iso player can help a team when their offense breaks down. Shawes has upside. Brad Miller played a huge game with his double double. His energy and effort I think helped wear the Knicks down (or at least make it harder to mount a full comeback.) Douby needs to get his head out of his ass. Reggie Theus needs to mix Artest and Martin together better.
This team has talent and good swings. Those swings, thankfully, all bring excellent across the board skills. While Theus, and I don't think I can stress this enough, is learning the league he's still learning this team. With Artest out for the first 7 games, and Shawes out for a chunk of those, with Moore struggling, and Brad Miller being himself this isn't a simple team to coach at the moment. The quicker Theus lessens the curve, and the quicker Martin and Artest learn to play off each other, will mark the rise of this franchise to more wins.
(This is a FanPost from a member of the Sactown Royalty community. The views expressed come from the member, and not Sactown Royalty staff.)