The Good, the Bad, and the Greenies: 09-10 Finale

Gbug0910finale_medium

Bill Simmons can be funny.  But picking Curry over Evans for NBA RoY isn't.

Seeing as how this is the last Good, Bad and Ugly for the season, we're going to be doing things a little bit differently.  We'll be taking a look at the Good and Bad of the year, and then introducing the Greenies, the first ever StR awards for you guys, the commenter.  Because this site just wouldn't be the same without you.

The Good:

1. Tyreke Evans

Tyreke Evans is the best thing to happen to the Sacramento Kings franchise in a long time.  The Kings have never had a player this talented that was this young.  Tyreke is everything we could have hoped for in our draft pick this year and much more.  He's a rare talent, the kind that teams deconstruct their teams to try to get.  Be glad Sacramento.  Be very, very glad.  Not every franchise is so lucky.

2. Geoff Petrie's Draft Day

Geoff Petrie had an amazing draft day.  He snagged the likely RoY at the 4 pick, another great piece and likely All-Rookie 2nd team member at 23 in Omri Casspi, and got one of the more productive 2nd rounders in Jon Brockman.  Yes we could have taken DeJuan Blair if we hadn't traded down with Portland, but that trade helped grab us a test-drive of Sergio Rodriguez and the money to buy out Omri from Maccabi.  Overall it was probably the best draft day this organization has had.

3. Donté Greene's improvement

Last year not many were sure that Donté could be part of this teams future.  He seemed too much like an immature kid, trying too hard when he was on the court to get his shots (shot 26 of 100 from 3 last year) and played lazy defense.  This year he made great strides across the board in almost every category.  He showed flashes of one day becoming a premier scorer in this league, as well as showing that he has the defensive chops as well.  If improvement was the key for Donté this year, consistency will be the key for him next year.  I might be in the minority, but I truly believe he has the most potential on this roster next to Tyreke.

4. Beno Udrih's Resurgence

Beno was definitely the team whipping boy last year and possibly the least liked player on the team after last seasons 17 win debacle.  But after Kevin broke his wrist early on in the season, Beno was re-promoted to the Starting Lineup and played some of the best ball of his career.  He has shown the capacity to be a good veteran leader for this team and his chemistry with Tyreke is evident.  His midrange jumper was almost automatic this year and he took the reins of the team many a time during the season.  Beno has truly changed the attitude around him.  I personally think he could have a future with this team if he can keep this type of effort and leadership up.

5. Omri Casspi's impact

Nobody expected Omri to have produced as well as he did this year.  Before the fatigue set into Omri, he was one of the better rookies in the league.  A tenacious player, a good shooter, a scrappy defender, Omri played like a rookie, but one with a great deal of potential.  Omri definitely needs to work on his conditioning for next season, but he definitely exceeded expectations this year, and brought an entire country behind Sacramento.

6. Paul Westphal and staff

Westphal and staff definitely don't get a complete pass.  His shaky rotations and uncomplicated offensive and defensive schemes definitely left a lot to be desired, but he did what he said he would do: Improve the team.  He focused on Rebounding and Defense before the season and the team responded.  10th in the league in Rebounding from last, and although the defense didn't improve as much, the effort was there.  And this was the most inexperienced team in the league as well, so I think he and his staff deserved to be commended for what they did.  Next year will be telling in the direction of this team under Westphal though.  More improvement and he should continue to be lauded.  Regression or stagnation however is unacceptable.

7. The Teams effort

This team never gave up in any game this year.  Last year, blowouts seemed commonplace.  Games weren't fun to watch.  But this year the team thought they were in every game.  There were very few games that just weren't pleasant to watch despite the poor record.  The 35 point Chicago comeback exemplified everything good with the team this year.

8. The Convergence Plan

Mayor Kevin Johnson finally did what nobody else had been able to do and has finally gotten the Arena process rolling in a positive direction, with a set plan, financiers and the whole lot.  It remains to be seen how fast progress will be made, but at least we have hope that it finally will be.  But this could quickly turn ugly again.

9. The Kings Lottery Chances

The Kings finished with the 3rd worst record in the league, leaving decent odds on landing a top 4 pick (69.5%) and also managed to do it with an 8 game improvement from last year.  That's not bad at all. 

10. Sean May and Ime Udoka's Professionalism

May was the ultimate team player this year.  He came into the games to play and to help his team win.  He got into the best shape of his NBA career.  He was a great teammate, offering encouragement to all.  Udoka came in and played stellar defense, never gave up on plays, and rebounded extremely well.  It's unlikely that the Kings will retain either of these player's services for next year, but I wish them the best. 

11. Jason Thompson's Beginning and End of the season

Jason started and ended the season well.  In fact at the beginning of the season he started more than well, he was dominating.  By far the best rebounder on the team, Jason also showed better footwork and defense in the back end of the season as well, holding his fouls down despite logging heavy minutes.  He showed some promise at the Center position and with doubt as to Spencer's future, and with a draft pick coming up, it remains to be seen where his future will be at.

12. Kings picking up Carl Landry's option for next year

Carl is as good offensively as some of the best bigs of the game.  It's his defense and specifically defensive rebounding that is worrisome.  Still not picking up his option would have been risky and likely foolish with a new CBA approaching next year. 

The Bad:

1. Shipping out Kevin Martin without giving him a real chance

Things went sour quickly for Kevin this season.  After starting the season on an absolute tear, he unfortunately had another freak accident with his wrist and had to come back during the tougher portion of the schedule.  He had difficulty adjusting to the team that was now Tyreke's to lead, and the frustration seeped out into the media and throughout the locker room.  It was completely unfair to Kevin, because he and Tyreke had the chance to become one of the best and most dynamic backcourts in the league.  Luckily, Kevin landed in a good situation in Houston and the Kings got a good player in Landry as well as cap space for this summer.  Again, best of luck to Kevin.

2. Andres Nocioni's role with the team

Nocioni is probably the best SF on this team, but with the team looking to get younger and improve on that front, Nocioni's play suffered.  He shot poorly from the field (career-low 39.9% FG%) and had a DUI arrest in November.  Still Noc played scrappy defense and shot the ball from deep (Despite our jokes, he ranked highest on the team in 3P% at 38.6%.  Cisco shot 39% but he only played 25 games)

3. Francisco Garcia's freak injury

Francisco Garcia suffered a very early and big setback when he broke his shooting wrist when a physioball he was lifting weights on popped.  Cisco eventually came back to play 25 games, and although he showed flashes of the Cisco of old, it was clear that his wrist still bothered him.  It likely won't be fully healed until next season, so we'll see if he can make a resurgence (though his regression was no real fault of his own) as Beno did, next season.  Off the court Cisco is still a bona fide leader and mentor.

4. Spencer Hawes inconsistent season

This was supposed to be Spencer's season, but his relationship with Westphal started poorly as he was relegated to the bench early on, and then grew frustrated with his role and the things he was being asked to do. This eventually led to a DNP-CD after Spencer questioned his role, but it worked out in the end, as Spencer came back with a renewed passion and played like the Spencer we had wanted to see all season.  Unfortunately, Spencer's season ended early with a knee injury.  He still is very young for a Center, despite being a 3rd year player.  Hopefully he can build off some of his late season success for next season.  He is up for a contract next year so we'll see how he responds.  It's up to him to decide whether he wants to be part of this teams future.

5. Interior Defense

The biggest weakness of the Kings by far this year was the interior defense.  Opposing big men routinely slaughtered the Kings bigs and nobody the Kings could bring in really helped.  Brockman was the toughest to post up, but then players just started to shoot over him.  Spencer had the best footwork and shot blocking ability, but he gave up a lot of strength.  Jason fouled too much.  Armstrong and Dorsey were too raw.  This need definitely needs to be addressed this offseason, whether by draft or free agency. That parts up to Geoff.

Player of the Week:

Tyreke Evans

Tyreke made history as he joined Oscar Robertson, Michael Jordan and LeBron James as only the 4th rookie to average 20 points, 5 assists, and 5 rebounds as a rookie.  It was quite the accomplishment for the young rookie to acheive, the icing on an otherwise fantastic rookie season.  And the accolades keep coming in as it is widely expected he'll be named Rookie of the Year in the next week or two as well as being invited to Team USA this summer. The fact that he has so much growth left and that he's already this good should tell you how excited we all are that this kid is a Sacramento King.  

Comment of the Week:

(In reponse to someone saying that the best point guards can't be defended, so why bother):

Nellie posts here?

because he says the same thing about shooting guards, small forwards, power forwards and centers.

by betweentheeyes on Apr 12, 2010 12:48 PM PDT up reply actions   11 recs

Highlight of the Week:

Caption Contest:

Link to Last Week's Picture

Last Week's Winner: Andy Sims

"Boy, you sure look stupid. I can’t believe you paid $9.50 for that beer."

Last Week's Runner-Up: AnotherStupidSN

Andrew Nicholson (left) to Aykis (right): "The second date is the makeout date, right?"

Lottery Projection and Profile of the Week:

Final Lottery Position: 3rd

Lottery Range: 1st - 6th

Draft Profile: Hassan Whiteside, 7'0, 235 lbs, C, Freshman, Marshall

Whiteside is a little bit like Hasheem Thabeet last year, full of promise on the defensive end, but not very developed.  He averaged 5.4 blocks in 26.1 minutes in his freshman year, a staggering number and he also brought down a decent number of boards (8.9) in the same time.  He's also probably a bit more developed fundamentally and on the offensive end than Thabeet was.  So why isn't he being projected higher? Well Thabeet does have that extra 3" and the massive wingspan, and also the Grizzlies aren't very smart.  Whiteside looks to have a Camby like career if he can reach his potential, possibly better, but he'll definitely stick in the league as a defensive role player for years.  He's probably out of the Kings range, but he's someone to think about if the Kings somehow land another late lotto or mid-1st round pick.

And Nostradumbass's Predictions:

Nostradumbass Record for the Season 48 - 34. Not a bad record for Nostradumbass over the year.  Also, before the year, Nostradumbass had a post on his pre-season predictions.  Let's go ahead and see how they've turned out: 

Predictions he was close to (any other predictions should be considered way off, but feel free to take a look for yourself.):

  • Jon Brockman averaged more minutes than predicted, but he did average twice as many boards as points.
  • Donté Greene's final stats were eerily similar to the predicted production, which was based off a career arc of Rashard Lewis.  Donté also dropped 20 multiple times (7) as predicted.
  • Predicted Kings would finish with 4th worst record (actually finished 3rd by 1 game)
  • Predicted that Maloofs would not file for relocation, that the Cal Expo plan would be all but abandoned, and attention is now focused on Natomas and the Railyards.
  • Predicted All-Star MVP Dwyane Wade.

 

The Greenies:

 

And now the moment you guys have been waiting for, the 1st Annual StR Greenies.  This year, I'm going to pick the winners, but for following years we will begin nominations a few weeks prior to the final week of the season and you guys will get the chance to vote.  But this year its a dictatorship.  Live with it.  Now without further ado, the Greenies.

1. The Nostradumbass Prediction of the Year

This award goes to the person who made the most outlandish and difficult prediction of the year.

And the Greeny goes to:

Ed_m7 for his bold prediction during the Miracle in Chicago game thread that we would come back to win the game. Lo and behold we did.  Congratulations Ed, you're optimism has been without comparison.

Runner-Up: Deleran for stating during the Open Draft Thread that Minnesota would win 15 games if they didn't trade one of the two point guards they had just drafted.  Minnesota's final record? 15-67.

2. The Xinyue75777 Troll of the Year

This award goes to the commenter who only has one purpose and fulfills that purpose like no other.

And the Greeny goes to:

Chapuforyou for his fierce devotion of all things Chapu.  The ultimate superfan, he makes being a troll fun.  And one thing you can't say about him is that he's inconsistent.  Congratulations chapuforyou.  Not even Chapu likes chapu as much as you.

Runner-Up: Kevin S. for trying to win an argument by stating that he gets 15% off anything he buys.

3. The Comment of the Year

This award goes to the most profound, or funniest comment of the year.

And the Greeny goes to:

LeaguePassAddict for this Epic Anti-Laker Tirade:

Yes

We hate the Lakers. We hate Kobe. We hate Phil. We hate your annoying bandwagon fans. We hate the look, sound and feel of your arena. We hate that you get star calls from the refs that cost us games. We hate that Pau Gasol was gifted to you. We hate that you call the color you wear purple, because we wear purple, and while ours is regal and majestic, yours gives the color purple a bad name.

We hate Laker fans who come onto our blog and gloat after the refs put a bow on a game and put it under the tree for you. We relished the day that Derek Fisher wept because they didn’t make the playoffs. We found unmitigated satisfaction in seeing Kenny Smith show Kobe in a fishing hat.

There is nothing good I can say about the Lakers except that someday Kobe will retire and you guys will be mediocre one year until the league fixes the lottery and gives you a #1 pick for all of your suffering.

Hate is not a strong enough word. Try detest. Abhor. Wish a pox on. Vomit at the very mention of.

Any of those will do.

by LeaguePassAddict on Jan 4, 2010 9:31 PM PST reply actions   26 recs

Runner-Up #1:

This should be easy to top.

by andy sims on Mar 11, 2010 7:46 PM PST reply actions   19 recs

Runner-Up #2:

This is just Aykis trying to back up his Ilyasova manlove, so he can continue to wage his information War of biased opinion.

Gosh, news with an agenda on a sports blog? How dare you take something so pure and ruin it, Aykis? We don’t need your spin! Just give us the facts, and don’t try to push articles on us that center on your world viewpoint. Quite frankly, that you believe we’re just going to sit here and take this is horribly offensive. And not just "you farted in my general vicinity" offensive, I’m talking "you had backdoor sex with my mom" offensive. That’s offensive, Mr. Akis, and I certainly don’t appreciate it.
You see, all you bloggers are the same, really. You think the freedom of the internet gives you the right to be a cowboy in this wild wild west of journalism, just robbing trains and banging maidens with reckless abandon (see! there you go again with the mother offenses, this is getting quite ridiculous). Now listen here, Mr. Low Stirrups, if you’re going to sit on your horse and preach, don’t try to put horseshit on a plate and tell me its supper. Because I won’t eat – my body can’t handle all that fiber. Furthermore, I’m not entirely sure it is, in fact, edible. But that’s beside the point, the point I was making is that you know Ilyasova is a bad guy (deep in your heart it’s there Aykis! don’t look at me with those sad brown eyes, look inwards and admit it to yourself). You know it Aykis, and it’s pretty hard to deny. The fact that you’re trying to hide it means that you too are also a bad guy, because we know all bad guys cooperate together.
You see, this whole plotline is making me doubt your whole story Aykis. You see, I don’t even think you are you. I think you’re a mole, and I’m calling you out, and I have the evidence to prove it. First off – what kind of name is Aykis? Exactly. Moving on, what is 16? And with a name like Aykis, do you really need the 16 to get a full username? No, you don’t. Second, the announcement of you having an interview at the beginning of the Bucks game, the very Bucks game where (your comrade) Ilyasova was going to play, and who got lots of help by the referees to hit a very important shot. Speaking of comrades, how is it that you always have pictures of communist hats ready to attach to any picture of pookey’s whimsy. Yes, that piece of evidence is pretty damning. Sixth, why did that interview get cancelled Aykis? Because the interviewer "got sick" with YOUR WMDs! You have biological weapons Aykis, and the evidence is clear.
Finally, Ilyasova is Turkish. You are a fan of Ilyasova, but you say you are Greek. Greeks and Turks don’t get along, bro. The core of your identity is at clear odds against the very propaganda war you are waging! Ooops, seems like SOMEONE screwed up the brilliant-evil-plan-planning-session.
So who are you Aykis? What do you want from us? Why can’t you just accept your antagonist status? Oh that’s right, because this is AMERICA, and in America, we don’t accept antagonists, you two-face blogging psuedo-journalist with your fancy "oh see, not even the injured blames the assaulter" apologies to fool us into suckling at your news-outlet-tweet.
We won’t be fooled Aykis, we won’t be fooled. Everyone will find this and rejoice, for these thoughts harmonize. Together we will uprise as a proletariat against your evil communist rule and take your socialist agenda down, allowing us to generate and share news and articles amongst each other free of your tyranny.

by iashwash on Mar 24, 2010 10:38 PM PDT reply actions   14 recs

Runner-Up #3:

Oh

We released the Kraken.

by Kfan in Korea on Mar 29, 2010 3:19 PM PDT reply actions   14 recs

4. The StR Photoshop of the Year

This award goes to the best display of fake imagery of the year.

And the Greeny goes to:

Landreee_medium

by JediLeroy, but the original concept was provided by iashwash in this thread.

Runner-Up:

Wwg9dw_medium


Concept and production by JediLeroy.  You can also find Hawkman and Brawes, Benocioni, Tyson Evanson, and Quinté Grouby in this FanPost by JediLeroy. 

5. The Everybody Dance Post-Game Thread Gif of the Year

This award goes to the Post-Game Thread Gif that received the most recs all year.

And the Greeny goes to:

 

by swoosh91 on Jan 23, 2010 7:15 PM PST reply actions   17 recs

Runner-Up #1:

Kevin was all like :

Meanwhile Landry was just like:

 

by Apoet on Mar 3, 2010 8:26 PM PST reply actions   14 recs

Runner-Up #2:

Runner-Up #3:

Tyreke gets it done.. Celebrate that at least!

by chenp22 on Apr 12, 2010 9:38 PM PDT reply actions   13 recs

6. The Best Natting Meme of the Year

This award goes to the meme that lasted the longest and was most used and recognized by StR users throughout the year.

And the Greeny goes to:

Eric Maynor > All, first started when the Utah Jazz radio announcer said that Eric Maynor was better than Tyreke Evans during the final pre-season game of the year. The first person to begin using Maynor > Evans can be tracked to swoosh91, who repeatedly mentioned it during the 2nd half game thread.  Throughout the year, it escalated from Maynor > Evans to Maynor > All NBA players to Maynor > All.

Runner-Up: NaPG, which started ever since we drafted Tyreke.  Everytime Tyreke would do something point guard like, it became customary to let people remember that he was in fact, NaPG.  The starters of "NaPG" was elfboy, who suggested Reke be nicknamed "Not a PG" which was then turned into NaPG by Kfan in Korea.

7. The Dejan Bodiroga Foreign StR Commenter of the Year

This award goes to the best poster on StR from another blog, and can at times be considered one of us.

And the Greeny goes to:

Xiane from the Houston Rockets Blog, the Dream Shake.  Xiane came to our boards shortly after the Houston-Sacramento trade for Kevin Martin and has been a class act and somewhat of a mainstay on our blog.

Runner-up: Southern Oregon from the Portland Trailblazers Blog Blazers Edge.  Just another example of what being a good fan for your team and respectful of others is all about.  Blazers fans have my vote for 2nd best fanbase in basketball (behind us of course :P).

8. The StR Nickname of the Year

This award goes to the nickname given to a player by StR that didn't become mainstream but still managed to become an StR favorite.

And the Greeny goes to:

Wabeno Udrih, started by Ziller after Beno began to actually start playing well, something we hadn't seen from him last year.  As such, Wabeno became Beno's alter ego.

Runner-Up: Mancakes, a nickname for Jon Brockman that never caught on in the mainstream, and referenced his insane pancake eating ability.  The nickname was thought up by AnotherStupidSN.

9. The StR Rookie Commenter of the Year

This award goes to a commenter who joined after the end of the previous season and managed to become a solid contributor and member of the StR community.

And the Greeny goes to:

MustangMBS (joined August 13, 2009).  Mustang is as passionate a Kings fan as I have ever met.  He's constantly on the blog and has been since joining.  He attended both StR nights and isn't afraid to state his opinion.  I'm pretty sure he bleeds purple (Note: If you do actually bleed purple, please consult a doctor.  That's probably not healthy)

Runners-up: MyLosingSeason and SactownheartOChouse.  Both these posters joined after last season and although they don't post as often as a guy like Mustang does, they've added some truly great stuff to the StR community.  MLS had a couple great posts that eventually got front-paged, including his apology to Beno Udrih.  SactownheartOChouse had a truly memorable Kings Christmas song.

10. The Good, Bad and Ugly Reader of the Year:

This award goes to the reader I appreciate most this year.

And the Greeny goes to:

Betweentheeyes, for always providing me with valuable feedback on the content of the article itself instead of just a caption.  It means the world to me, because I put a lot of time into these (too much time as my girlfriend would say) and this kind of feedback keeps me going.  So thank you.

Runner-Up: Bluejohn for pretty much the same reasons and the kind words I received from him during the early days of Good, Bad and Ugly that helped me keep going with these, and why they'll be making a repeat next year.

 

But seriously thanks to all of you for reading me this year.  This truly is one of the best fanbases in all of sports and I'm proud to be considered as one of you.  Until next season, this has been the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.

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