Scream all you want Noc. I don't care if you went 5-7 against Minnesota. You still had a horrible week in my opinion.
Overall we had a disappointing week record wise, only going 1-3, and we still haven't managed to win #2 on the road yet, despite coming close in New Orleans. Next week the schedule is a little softer, and the Kings need to take advantage of this before they have to play the likes of the Cavs, Lakers and Nuggets.
1. Injury Report
Kevin Martin had his MRI Friday and everything looked to be going well with his wrist. Hopefully we will be seeing him near the beginning of January, which would leave him with about 50 games to play if he can remain healthy. Also, Cisco had his cast removed and has already been putting up shots. To me this is very encouraging news, and it makes me wonder if his timetable for return hasn't been updated from around the All-Star break to sooner. Nothing has been mentioned yet, so we'll see what happens.
2. Assist to Turnovers
After a horrible first month or so of handling the basketball, the Kings are finally showcasing they're ball movement and not making too many mistakes on the court. The Kings had a season high 33 assists (on 50 field goals no less) against Minnesota, and had an absolutely stellar 104:56 assist:turnover ratio this week.
3. Jason Thompson v. Every team not named Miami
Jason had a great week if you don't count the Miami game, averaging 20.7 points, 10 boards, 2.3 assists, on 63.6 % shooting from the field in the last 3 games. He did foul out against New Orleans on some very stupid fouls, but he's shown how effective he can be when he's not fouling. Jason is still 4 or 5 years away from his prime, and he's showing he could possibly be a 20 and 10 guy at some point in his career. He's showing a more developed post-game and better interior defense, and he's hitting his jumpers with consistency. At the rate he's developing, we should consider ourselves lucky for getting him with the 12th pick last year. Hopefully he has longer stretches of consistency, which will probably revolve on how he handles his fouls. Once he figures that out, we should get excited, because that will mean he's learned to play defense with his feet and not his hands.
4. Beno "Mr. Automatic" Udrih
What player has surprised us more this season than Beno has? After serving as the Whipping boy last year, Beno has had a career year so far, averaging career highs in points, field goal percentage, three point percentage, and assist to turnovers, all in less minutes than he saw the last two years in Sacramento. If his production stays like this throughout the year, I think he'd make a strong case for 6th man of the year. He's quickly becoming an integral part of the team.
5. Spencer Hawes' defense
Spence has been taking a lot of flak lately, and his stats have been down from last season, but it seems the coaching staff has been asking him to improve his defense mainly and he's been doing a pretty good job at it. Besides Kenny Thomas (who can't really do anything on offense), he's definitely our best interior defender, and did pretty good jobs on Tim Duncan and Al Jefferson. He's not as much a focal point of the offense, but his field goal percentage is higher than last year. He'll never be a stellar rebounder, but as long as he plays solid defense and efficient offense, I'll be a happy camper. Is he our future at the Center? I can't answer that question yet. But he's still very young (won't turn 22 until end of April) and has a long career ahead of him if he can remain healthy.
6. Geoff Petrie's 2009 draft grade
If you take a look at this list, all 3 Kings rookies are in the top 20 in PER, with Tyreke at #1 with 18.88, Omri at #9 with 15.31, and his Brockness at 18 with 13.11. Its nice to see our rookies all playing superbly, and playing better than players who were taken earlier than them. One wonders what Quincy Douby could have been, had he decided to show up for games.
7. Kings on ESPN and $1 Beer!
The NBA has decided to televise the December 16th game against the Washington Wizards on ESPN, most likely due to Tyreke Evans and the surprising success of the Kings this year. To help fill the Arena, the Maloofs are advertising the night as dollar beer/soda/water night. This is either the best idea ever, or the worst idea ever. I shall be in attendance and I know many of you will be also. Lets hope our guys win one on national TV and perhaps we'll see more games broadcast in the future.
8. STR Night at ARCO!
Sactown Royalty will be holding STR Night at ARCO Arena on December 28th against Johan Petro and the Denver Nuggets. I will be in attendance, and I hope many of you will join me and other StR celebs like section214, pookeyguru, and edm7. Perhaps we'll even be graced with the presence of Sir Thomas Ziller, Esquire. For more information on how to attend and links to purchase tickets see this post. Tickets start and end at $25.50.
9. Fun Stat!
With Omri Casspi scoring a career high 20 points against San Antonio, the Kings have had 9 players score 20 or more points this season. Of the remaining bench players, only Brockman, Thomas, Udoka, May, and Cisco haven't scored 20. Cisco will likely score 20 at least once this season, but the others won't unless I'm greatly mistaken. But the Kings have a legitimate 10 guys that can score 20 points.
10. Thank Heaven for Tyreke Evans
See Player of the Week below.
I was not a fan of Andres this week. Too many times he would become a black hole on offense for my liking. Other than the Minnesota game, he shot absolutely terrible from the floor, only making 15 of 40 shots all week (.375) which includes a 5-7 outing against the T-Wolves. He also shot poorly from 3, 5 of 15 (.333) and from the line, 4 of 10. More weeks like this from Noc, and he will be gone sooner rather than later.
2. The Westphal Mandates
Before the season, Westphal said the immediate things he wanted to fix was rebounding and opponent 3P%. I'm going to refer to these as the Westphal mandates. For the year, the Kings have done a great job at rectifying these issues, but this week, the effort on these parts of the game seemed to slip. The Kings were outrebounded twice against New Orleans and San Antonio, only won the rebounding battle against Miami by one, and even though they grabbed 52 rebounds against Minnesota, they allowed 45. And for the week, opponent 3P% was .481, led by the ridiculous 8-9 from downtown by the Spurs. Hopefully the Kings tighten up on the mandates once again.
3. Execution at the end of quarters/halves
The Kings haven't really been playing very well to end quarters, letting teams either cut into leads, take the lead, or extend the lead. This was particularly evident in the Miami game, when most of the damage Miami caused happened during a terrible 4 and a 1/2 minute stretch near the end of the half that put Miami up 15. It's definitely something that needs some work, and I don't think we'll become a playoff team until we learn to do so.
The Kings had more fouls than anyone they played this week, and as such, give they're opponents a lot more free throws and take our players out of the game quicker. The Kings are currently 6th in the league in fouls per game. Much of this revolves around Jason Thompson, who leads the league in Fouls Per Game with 4.0, and is tied for most total fouls with Dwight Howard with 88.
1. NBA League Pass
A big fail on League Pass's part, when they broadcast the Cleveland Cavaliers v. Houston Rockets game instead of the Sacramento v. San Antonio game. Even worse was they're customer service reps when nbrans complained. See the fallout here. Working at Raley's, if I had given a customer that type of service, I would have been fired.
2. Free throws
The Kings were absolutely atrocious at the stripe this week in each and every game. The poor shooting even cost them a winnable game against New Orleans. 51-88 or 57.9% is unacceptable for an NBA team. The Kings are currently 27th in the league in FT% at 72%. Needless to say, if you can't hit you're free throws, you're going to lose some games because of it. The Kings have too many good shooters to be missing so many free throws. It seems more mental than anything.
3. Kings Frontline v. Miami
Jason Thompson, Spencer Hawes, and Andres Nocioni had a terrible game against Miami, contributing only 22 points on 8-26 shooting, and only 17 rebounds between the 3 of them. A really concerning stat was that Jason only had one foul. This was definitely the worst game of the season for him, because he didn't have that excuse of foul trouble. Meanwhile, Miami's frontline had Beasley with 20, Richardson with 20, and Haslem with 15. Abused is not the word.
Player of the Week:
23 PPG, .500 FG%, 4.5 RPG, 5.75 APG:2.25 TOPG, 2.5 SPG
Evans has continued on a beastly tear, and has been very consistent in both wins and losses. He more than held his own against the likes of superstars Dwyane Wade, Chris Paul, and Tony Parker, and absolutely dominated fellow rookie Jonny Flynn. I can't believe I'm actually going to quote Peaches, but what he says is applicable. If you don't think this kid is special, you don't know what special is.
Highlight of the Week:
Comment of the Week:
No, you listen Old Man
I’ll fight you. I’ll fight you hard. And when I’m chewing on your ear cartilage, knuckles bloody and nose broken, I’ll be laughing. Because this is fun for me. Now pause for a minute, and think to yourself – what kind of shit is going to come out of your fat mouth now, and how is that going taste with busted lips? It’ll be sweet for me, and not no Splenda-sweet bullshit that’s not fullfiling… I’m going to live on it, it’ll feed me and I’ll want more, because the glucose is going to hit my blood stream with a sugar high of such infamy that it would be a banned substance had the pharmacies put it in a pill. Not just adrenaline, punk, this would be bottled rage, with my teeth grinding into your appendages like chewing gum, I will eat your soul, eviscerate the entire memory of your being from the worlds collective conscious. You’ll be at the Pearly gates, and St. Pete won’t have you on either of his lists… God himself won’t remember you, the Devil won’t even want you. No forgiveness, no punishment – you’ll just disappear. You ready for that old man? Because I am. Now lift your hand, hit that reply button. I dare you. I’m waiting for you.
And Nostradumbass Prediction for Next Week:
@ Portland 12/15 (No Oden, Kings really want to win one on the road. It will be a tough one, but as long as we don't make Przybilla look like Shaq in his prime, we should be fine) W
v. Washington 12/16 (A probable sell-out for Arco and ESPN coverage could help rally the Kings, but Washington's talent will mean its a close one) W
@ Minnesota 12/18 (Should be a pretty solid win for the Kings, probably not another 20 point blowout) W
@ Milwaukee 12/19 (Evans will outshine Jennings, but Milwaukee's a pretty good defensive and rebounding team so I think the Kings lose despite a good effort) L
Nostradumbass's Record for the year (13-9)