Kings Suffer More Embarrassment, Lose 113-80 to Lakers

LOS ANGELES CA - DECEMBER 03: DeMarcus Cousins #15 of the Sacramento Kings shoots over Derrick Caracter #45 of the Los Angeles Lakers during the second half at Staples Center on December 3 2010 in Los Angeles California. The Lakers defeated the Kings 113-80. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that by downloading and or using this photograph User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

The Kings were uncompetitive in Los Angeles as the Lakers ran through Sacramento to the tune of a 33-point win. The Kings were in the game for about 21 minutes of game time; there are 48 minutes in an NBA game, and that means about 27 of those minutes were not particularly entertaining.

The Kings did not take good shots, make good passes, make good decisions or plays off the dribble or make good defensive rotations. The Kings failed to put any pressure on the Lakers' offense -- if L.A. wanted to shoot from any particular spot on the floor, they could have, because the Kings were either powerless or unwilling to stop it.

Turnovers murdered every single sign of life from Sacramento. There were 21 in all, and no one player should be held in any responsibility when it comes to the turnovers, though I ought to note Samuel Dalembert had four turnovers in 20 minutes, and 'twere of the "Hold onto the ball!" variety. Dalembert played decent defense while on the floor, but his turnovers were so sloppy and dispiriting, and his offense in general so void of value that I was relieved when he left the court, even though that meant Pau Gasol would be carving up DeMarcus Cousins like a buche de noel.

Cousins had trouble around the rim again; he tends to get a bunch of offensive rebounds in heavy traffic, and it's difficult to convert those putbacks, so he doesn't. Sometimes he eventually gets fouled, sometimes the defense ends up with a rebound and runs away. But that's a big part of his 3-9 night. He is attempting putbacks with three bodies draped over him.

Tyreke Evans played as he has been playing, which is to say he had some nice notes -- his spot-up threes looked rather good, as he shot 3-7 from long-range -- but was overall completely unable to make a great impact on the game. He had two nice assists in the opening two possessions of the game -- a kick-out to Donte Greene and a simple set-up for a Jason Thompson jumper. Those would be the only two assists of the night for Evans. His passes weren't crisp, his shooters weren't shooting, and -- as always -- there was little movement off the ball.

It's no surprise the Kings' confidence is completely shot. But that -- a lack of belief in what they are supposed to do on any given play -- is killing the team. They make good plays every once in a while, and don't replicate them. When the opponent shifts its strategy to cover a weakness, the Kings don't shift their strategy. They fall right into the trap. That's not on coaches or players -- it's both. These players are smart about basketball, and it's not showing.

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