Don't Drink and Drive Kids.
Sort of a disappointing week in my opinion for Sacramento. They might still be 3-3, but they still haven't been able to play a whole game of good basketball yet, and lost a very winnable game against Memphis recently because of it. I think we should be 4-2 right now, but I'll take 3-3 and hope we improve.
1. Tyreke Evans
See Player of the Week.
2. Samuel Dalembert's Defense and Rebounding
Sammy D has been a breath of fresh air, for the complete opposite reasons Spencer was. He's cringe inducing at times on the offensive end, and he does make some silly mistakes now and then, but he's a monster on the glass (He's had 3 games in a row now with double digit rebounds, and he's pulling in a ridiculous 22.4% of all available rebounds so far), and he's able to alter shots around the basket (He's blocking 8.7% of all shots now. For comparison, Spencer led the team last year with 3.2%, and Javale McGee led the league at 8.0%. Dalembert blocks a lot of shots.) As of now, I'd be more for retaining him after this season than I would for Carl.
3. Francisco Garcia is officially back
I think its fair to say that Cisco is back, and he's playing better than ever. His shot is by far the best on the Kings, and he may be Sacramento's best perimeter defender as well. He has a TS% of 68.7% right now, admittedly based off a small sample size, but remarkable nonetheless. If Cisco keeps this pace up and remains healthy, and the Kings win some games, I definitely could see his name coming up in conversations for 6th man of the year.
4. Jason Thompson's Effort
Jason had a good week in my opinion, despite not putting up stellar numbers or even numbers similar to those of his career averages. But he's really being asked to do quite a lot, a bit unfairly if you ask me, especially with regards to playing out of position. But still he's taking it in stride and doing his best to contribute to the team. He's also doing a lot better about staying out of foul trouble too, with only 5 total fouls this week, 3 of them coming against Los Angeles's ridiculous frontline. I commend your effort JT, and I hope you stop being jerked around and given a specific role instead.
5. Beno Udrih
Beno had a bad game against Memphis, but that shouldn't take away from his wonderful performances against Toronto and Los Angeles. Other than Tyreke, Beno is probably our most consistent player, so hopefully the Memphis game was an aberration, and he picks up the pace once again. It came as no surprise to me that Beno's off game was the one where we scored the least. He probably should have had the ball in his hands more often against Memphis, especially considering the Kings turnover issues that game. Beno does a very good job running the offense, and only had 3 turnovers on the week, compared to 13 assists.
6. Darnell Jackson
Gotta love the Juice Man and his hard work. He might not put up the biggest numbers, but he affects the games with his defense and rebounding. We wouldn't have won against Toronto without his effort to keep us relatively close in the first half. And once again, Happy 25th birthday to the big man.
7. DeMarcus Cousins late in the game against Toronto
DMC showcased some special stuff against Toronto, playing with 5 fouls and his team in desperate need of points, he took over the game for a small stretch, getting extra opportunities, and taking it right at the Toronto defense. I loved what I saw from him in that game, and its hopefully only a preview of more good things to come.
Omri had a bit of a mixed week, especially being ineffective against Los Angeles, but against Toronto, he was a life saver with his threes. I think sometimes he gets a bit trigger happy with his shot, but he really seems set to do his job night in and night out, and I love his effort on both ends. His defense still needs improvement, as most young players do, so I actually wouldn't mind if he goes and works out with Ron-Ron this next summer. I think it'd be good for him and the Kings. Tyreke probably could learn a thing or two as well. Oh, one more thing. I absolutely love his patented quick two hand slam. Its not super flashy, but it gets me fired up each time anyway.
9. Luther Head's Defense
Luther Head surprisingly might be one of our better defenders. He did perhaps the best job on Kobe Bryant of any King, and against Toronto he helped slow down a bit of that guard penetration. His defense is the part of his game that I've been the most impressed with, along with his ball handling (only 3 turnovers on the year so far).
10. Kevin Johnson's Efforts
As was reported yesterday, Mayor Kevin Johnson is flying to Chicago to discuss with Inland (the new owners of the Railyards) the possibility of bringing a new Sports & Entertainment facility to Sacramento, presumably at the Railyards). Its heartening to see a public official put so much time and effort into the arena project, as he's done since getting in office. I applaud you Mayor Johnson, and good luck.
1. DeMarcus Cousins in the other two games
The games against Los Angeles and Memphis showed the side of DeMarcus that really needs work. His shot selection against Los Angeles was atrocious, going increasingly away from the rim, and even shooting 4 threes (which needs to happen approximately never again). Against Memphis, he wasn't able to get anything going against Marc Gasol or Zach Randolph, and he also made quite a few careless mistakes. Yes, there were a few bad calls against DeMarcus, but I think his body language as a whole was pretty atrocious. He needs to be able to shake bad possessions off and simply continue to try to work inside. Foul trouble also continues to be a problem for him, and he picked up 5 in each of the three games this week. Not good.
2. Jason Thompson at the Three / Fréé Donté
Didn't we try this nonsense in his rookie year with Theus? Didn't it fail then? Sure he's grown up a bit, but I still don't like it. When you look at JT, you should be discussing whether to play him as a Center or a Power Forward, not as a Small Forward. I know I'm going to re-iterate a lot of what High Tops has said in other threads, but the Kings need their Small Forwards to be able to hit outside shots and defend his man. Hell, Westphal himself said thats what he was looking for from his SF. With JT in the game, the Kings have one less outside shooter, and he's not really quick enough to guard the opposing wing. We probably increase our rebounding a little bit, but is it really worth it? When Rudy Gay was killing us, how would it have hurt us to at least try Donté Greene? Same against Kleiza/Bargnani in Toronto, and same against Odom/Artest for Los Angeles. The only way Westphal is going to be vindicated by his decision to bench him is if he plays him and he does a bad job. But sitting him on the bench and playing JT out of position doesn't do it for me.
Coming into this season, rebounding was supposed to be a major strength of ours, what with all the new bigs the Kings have added. But so far this season, the Kings have been out-rebounded 252-249 by their opponents, and thats with us having a 15 board advantage on the offensive glass. That might not seem like much, but its bad that we're still having trouble corralling our defensive boards, especially since we've replaced Hawes/May with Dalembert/Cousins. We did manage to beat the Lakers on the glass which is impressive, but losing to the Raptors (Reggie Evans mainly) is a tad embarrassing.
4. Bottom Hat
I can't even bring myself to call him Top Hat right now because he just doesn't look like the same player. I don't know if its the coaching or Carl himself, but he's not playing like himself. He's taking more and more jumpshots, rebounding less than usual, and getting to the line less frequently. When his jump shot is going in (like against Toronto), that's all well and good, but when it isn't, he becomes a complete non-factor. He's great at finishing around the basket, and he needs to get back to doing that, as well as the Kings coaching staff and his teammates putting him in a position to succeed.
5. Cisco Didn't Channel His Inner Doug Christie
I would have loved for this to have gone somewhere.
1. Antoine Wright's DUI
Drinking and Driving is a serious issue, and for a NBA player, an inexcusable offense, what with the resources available to them. Why the NBA doesn't hand out 1 game suspensions for DUIs but do for reckless driving cases (also inexcusable), I don't know. Anything that puts another persons life in danger should be met with a suspension in my opinion. Learn from your mistake Antoine, and never do it again.
2. Luther Head's shot
Talk about Ugly. Luther only shot 3-13 in two games, including 1-8 from three. Against the Lakers, he even airballed two of his 3PA. I understand he's a shooter and feels that he needs to shoot when he's open, but maybe stop shooting when you're not even close. Maybe instead, try to take it to the basket and get to the line instead, something Lex has shown he's quite capable of (3rd on the Kings in FTA per game despite only playing 18 minutes a game).
3. Guarding the Three Point Line
Hey, maybe we should try doing this sometime? We gave up 20 threes to Los Angeles and Toronto, and should've given up more than just 3 to Memphis, but they luckily missed them even though they were wide open. Its one reason I was really bothered by our Zone defense against Memphis. The Zone dares opponents to shoot three pointers. Too bad thats what our regular defense does. Something needs to change here, especially as teams begin to opt to shoot more jumpers with Dalembert lurking in the paint.
4. The Kings have gone down by 16 or more in all 6 of their games so far. That's not a winning strategy. This needs to stop and soon, or we could be in for a long season.
Player of the Week:
24.7 PPG, .585 FG%, 5.3 RPG, 4 APG, 2.3 SPG
Tyreke put up some really good numbers this week, and his improved jump shot is really showing in his Field Goal %. He hasn't been racking up the assists as of late, but he's also had to carry more of the offensive load on his own shoulders trying to get this team back into games. The crazy thing is, Tyreke is putting up these numbers almost effortlessly and I can't imagine how good this guy is going to be one day. He still has a lot of work ahead of him (especially defensively, perhaps the weakest part of his game right now), but there's no doubt in my mind that he's on track to be a top 5 player in this league one day.
GIF of the Week:
Comment of the Week:
Highlight of the Week:
Last Week's Winner: LeaguePassAddict
Omri, realizing the Kings have started out the season with a winning record, on the road of all places, decides Hell must have frozen over and waits to catch a snowflake on his tongue.
Last Week's Runner-Up: Ziller
Omri: "Oh my Yahweh!"
Omri: "Is that … Darko Milicic raining down from Heaven?"
This Week's Picture:
A reminder of the rules for the Caption Contest. Leave your caption in the comments below, and the most rec'd (to recommend a comment, hit action, then rec) caption wins.
This week's caption contest winner will receive Donté Greene's Playing Time.
And Nostradumbass Prediction for Next Week:
v. Minnesota 11/10 W (We beat them without Tyreke and Dalembert on the road. If we don't win, it will be a MAJOR disappointment. There aren't many teams out there that the Kings should be expected to beat, but the Timberwolves are one.)
@ Phoenix 11/12 L (The Kings should have the advantage on the boards, but Phoenix is tailor made to destroy our defense with their three point shooters, and that has probably been the biggest defensive weakness for the Kings so far.)
Nostradumbass Record for the Season 2 - 4 (That's what I get for trying to be optimistic)