This week has been full of ups and downs for us Kings fans (one might even say that this week has been see-saw like). But I'm glad we ended on a very high note.
1. We won a game! Hell, we won two games!
Our first win of the season against Memphis gave us a lot of things to like. Kevin Martin absolutely dominated, scoring 48 points, and Spencer Hawes had possibly the best game of his career. Tyreke was hobbled, but Beno stepped up off the bench and produced. Then against Utah, without Kevin Martin, we end up beating a Utah team that will probably be the 5th or 6th best team in the West when all is said and done, AT HOME. What a great way to end the week, and it was all led by our stud rookie, Tyreke Evans.
2. Kevin Martin's shot came back
K-Mart finally started making his shots this week in both the win against Memphis and the loss against Atlanta. Unfortunately we won't be able to see that shot again for a couple months.
3. Beno Udrih seemingly returning to pre-contract form.
Beno has definitely played well in the last few games, and hopefully it continues now that he is going to be reinserted into the Starting Lineup during Kevin's absence.
4. The end of the Sean May and Desmond Mason as starter's experiment
This was a welcome and much needed change. But I think the experiment served its purpose.
5. Spencer Hawes earning back his starting spot
Spencer Hawes brought it this week, no doubt about that. He definitely earned his starter spot back. He had what I would consider the best game of his career against Memphis, including setting up the play to get us into overtime and playing some solid defense on Marc Gasol. Against Atlanta, he really cancelled out Al Horford, something I was very surprised to see. Utah he struggled a bit with, but he played some solid defense early.
6. Desmond Mason getting waived
I said that if Mason wasn't going to start, there was no point on having him on the team. Glad to see the team shared my point of view. Good luck Des, by all accounts you're a class act. You're just not a very good basketball player.
7. Ime "Gonna kill you" Udoka
A bewildering signing at first (Another wing?!?), Udoka performed very well in his first game as a King, and was instrumental to helping us beat the Jazz. He's everything Desmond Mason was supposed to be (good defender) and more (good shooter). Lets hope he's able to do the same for us every game.
8. Donte Greene getting some nice action
4-4 for 10 points in 10 minutes against Utah isn't bad. He also played some nice defense. Hopefully we see a lot more of this Donte in the future.
9. Tyreke Evans's coming out party against the Jazz
With Kevin out, 'Reke really brought it. 32 points on 7-15 (2-3 from 3), 16-19 from the line (fun fact: Kevin Martin only had one game last year where had more than 18 free throws, and that was his 50 point game), 3 rebounds, 7 assists to 2 turnovers and a steal. Against the 2nd best point guard in the league. Not a bad deal at all. If Reke continues to put up numbers like this, we might not be as bad off with K-Mart out of action as we thought.
10. First 3 and a half quarters of the Atlanta Game
We put ourselves in a position to win this game and played hard for about 42 minutes. Unfortunately we gave the game up with about 6 minutes to go. It was a good learning experience for our young guys though.
11. Jerry Reynolds with an assist by Section 214 and StR
Jerry had a fine week, showing StR some love after Section posted the Casspi nickname thread, using "Butch Casspi and the Cisco Kid" and "Casspi off the Glasspi" in game. He also completely owned Peaches when he told him that see-saws go up and down not back and forth. We salute you Jerry.
12. Paul Westphal and the Coaching Staff
Big props to Bestphal for seemingly changing the mentality of this team. I sense that Sacramento and Houston will be the scrappiest teams in the league this year.
1. The execution in the 4th quarter of the Atlanta game
This 4th quarter was really poorly executed. Atlanta continuously broke down our defense with superior ball-movement . Westphal made a mistake in putting in Desmond Mason because it allowed Woodson to put Bibby on Mason and have Bibby become the help double on Kevin. The crappy thing is we were playing so well up until this point too. Tyreke threw up some very ill-advised shots during this time too, something that I think he will have to work on.
2. Sean May continues to struggle
May really doesn't look comfortable on the court and could see himself knocked out of the rotation if he continues to play like this.
3. Omri Casspi with a sprained ankle
Hopefully its not too serious and "Trey-del" can come back soon.
4. Losing the rebounding battle to Memphis and Atlanta.
Not a good thing. Memphis especially dominated us on the glass.
1. November 5th, 2009
A day that will live in infamy. First we have to deal with a disappointing Kings loss (the game was there for the taking). Then we find out that Nocioni got arrested for a DUI. As if this wasn't enough, we also find that Kevin's sore wrist is actually a hairline fracture and he will now miss up to 8 weeks. This day sucked.
2. K-Mart's injury
Yeah, this really sucks for us. Wins were already hard enough to come by, but now they will be nigh impossible. I fully expect us to have the worst record in the league by the time Kevin comes back. But as long as he comes back healthy, I'll be fine. I'm glad he made the decision to do the surgery instead of trying to fight through the pain (when there's really no point). I think this injury really shows us that Kevin needs to have someone else to take the attention off of him because he can't keep punishing his body by trying to be the number one guy. Hopefully Tyreke becomes that guy.
3. Nocioni's DUI
Just plain stupid. Get it together Noc.
4. Grant Napear/Peaches/The Scarlett Douchebag
This child says it better than I can.
Comment of the week:
And Nostradumbass's predictions for next week:
v. Golden State 11/8/09 W
v. Oklahoma City 11/10/09 W
v. Houston 11/13/09 L