I have been a long time reader first time writer. I felt I needed to contribute to this wonderful site and put my opinions out there. I am by no means an English grammar major so I apologize for grammatical errors ahead of time. I absolutely love checking this site daily (most times dozens of times daily). Like everyone else on Sactown Royalty I am a loyal Kings fan. I am born and raised in Sactown who grew up with the privilege of those glory kings back in the late 90’s. I absolutely love watching our Sacramento Kings compete and cannot get enough of it. especially because this team is going to be very exciting for years to come.
I Just finished watching the Sacramento Kings vs. the Portland Trailblazers game. I was very excited about this match up coming off the great win verse the Lakers. The first half went just as planned. The Kings looked sharp with energy, but by the 3rd quarter it was all gone. I saw some glimpses of greatness and then some glimpses of last years Kngs. I wanted to touch on some subjects nothing too particular just express opinion about the team thus far. I know only 2 games into the season (very small sample size) but I just couldn’t help myself. I'm so excited for our Kings.
I have to give credit where credit is due. In this case the blazers played at a higher level than the kings tonight. The first half was inspiring but the second half was a completely different story. First and foremost the blazers are a very talented team with some great players.
I have to start with Gerald Wallace I have always admired him especially starting his career with the Kings. I can remember him as a rookie coming off the bench in garbage time and just playing at a different level mostly above the rim, not much has changed except he is a smart veteran now and very polished. I still can’t believe Charlotte traded this guy. He plays hard on both ends always hustling and creating for his team. He had a block on Tyreke that I felt was a sure bucket, and then led the fast break a 4-point swing in seconds. That is just the kind of player he has become. Wallace was just fantastic I’m glade he reached his full potential but at the same time a little bummed it wasn’t with the Kings.
I thought LaMarcus Aldridge was going to be the hardest person to stop tonight. I felt he had it going from all over and got to pick when and where he wanted to attack. His post moves looked smooth and then we started crashing on him so he decided to take his game outside where he was just as effective. LaMarcus is a special player should have been an all star last year one of the biggest snubs ever (next to Kevin Love). Also I like that he brings the half hook its very effective.
I guy who I have always admired from afar and have patiently hoped Petrie would try to acquire is Nichols Batum. He is a glue guy that does the little things I love. He is not a superstar but he’s smart, long and talented and for the price he’s awesome. He’s a wing player who can guard anyone, runs the floor and likes the corner 3 ball. I have felt for a while now he could flourish with the kings but that’s a whole different fanpost.
I am a die heart Kings fan and I just have to take my hat off to the blazers. We got out played by a better team. I feel the Kings now know what a superior team looks like and I hope they aspire to become a superior team. I cant express how excited I am for this team. The way I see it we have the youngest team in the league and if they can grow and learn with each other who knows anything’s possible. Only time will tell we have to keep this core together.
Some highlights/ notes from the Kings end.
The first half was excellent because we were winning quarters and playing well together. If we can compete for all 4 quarters we will be in a position to control the game and begin consistently winning. The second half of this game was a completely different story. The blazers made some half time adjustments and took us out of our comfort zone and made everything more difficult on offense then we just imploded. We settled for far too many outside shots and we weren’t hitting them at all. The blazers half court defense was solid and we got forced into many shot cock violation or bad shots (because we didn’t want a shot clock violation). One aspect I just couldn’t get over was how many times the blazers would leak someone out for easy buckets. It was killing me we would work so hard on offense then they would get a rebound and then bam they would outlet to a guy running the floor and easy points. I felt that really messed with the team and they began to force stuff to play catch-up.
As far as some of the players
Jimmer: I really liked Kemba more then Jimmer in the draft but I see why the kings selected Jimmer. It’s all about what’s between his ears. Jimmer oozes fundamentals and possession management. Who knows who will have the better career but as far as our team goes Jimmer was the right selection. The way Jimmer runs the offense is patiently aggressive. Defenders are terrified he's going to drain a deep shot on them and jimmer uses it to his advantage. He has a strong pump faking and he’s good at sending the ball to the post or the wing. I do have a problem with him leaving his feet while passing but he’s still smart about it. When we get second chance opportunities he doesn't force things he's looking to get the best shot available for the team. We all know his range is limitless but he doest just shoot it even though its there. He understands the rhythm of the game and getting teammates involved. I know his defense is a weakness and teams are trying to exploit it, but our frontcourt does a nice job siding over and helping out. In the second half I did notice jimmer was forcing things a bit more I think it came down to urgency and he was just trying to get thing happing and get some momentum.
Cousins has matured greatly. He still show emotions but I feel for the most part he is doing a good job not letting it take over his game. He is our special player and soon to be All Star. He will average a double double this year easily if he doest get stuck committing silly fouls. I felt he had a strong game considering he had LaMarcus and Camby to go against. Cousins had one spin move on the baseline where he made Kurt Thomas look like a rookie, it was truly beautiful. I have noticed he is hungrier this year and it’s exciting to see. He's following shots and not pouting that he didn't get the ball and its working for him, because of his effort he consistently ending up with the second chance rebounds. I really love watching cousin and JJ(Love this guy. He never stops moving plus he gives us offense) work together. They work really well together on both ends of the court and complement each other. Also I think adding a guy like chuck Hayes to the equation made a huge difference for Cousins on and off the floor.
Hayes is the biggest difference from last year to this year. He has established defense and a sense of accountability. He sets the tone for this team. It speaks volumes he was elected the lone captain of the team. He is absolutely one of the best additions Petrie has ever made. He makes everyone play hard every play. Every shot that goes up he’s blocking out and making his presence known. The first few minutes of the game he already had 4 rebounds and he was going against Camby. In my eyes he’s insanely awesome and fearless. I love everything he brings to the court. For such a young team Hayes is a leader to look up too (pun intended I know he’s 6-6).
Salmons in his second time around with the Kings is our best on ball defender. In my opinion he got screwed in this game with fouls. I didn’t feel he even deserved half of those fouls called against him. Once his presence left the floor we had no chance Wallace ran loose. I like that we don’t have to run the offence through him but he will create his own offence when needed and take advantage of his opportunity. I truly feel it would have been a different game with salmons on the floor. The 3rd quarter was our Achilles heel and salmons barely played. We needed the veteran during the dry spell. Overall I like the way he fits in with the starting rotation.
The real glare was the play of MT23 and Tyreke. They could not get it going at all tonight. We really needed them to have strong performances but it just didn’t happen. MT23 was getting frustrated and kept shooting hoping he could get some sort of rhythm but could hit anything consistently in the second half. Tyreke just played terrible with 4 turnovers in the first half and poor shot selection. I hope I didn’t see the old Tyreke trying to come back with that terrible flat fade way jumper. I hope he watches the film and corrects it before he starts practicing bad habits.
Outlaw is better than Garcia will ever be. Sorry but I have no love for Garcia and I guess coach Westphal feels the same way. Outlaw uses his length well and I feel he has a lot of it. Once he forms chemistry with the team he will really shine it will take a little time. One play that comes to mind was a fast break attempt the blazers pushed the ball up and tried to start a fast break ally oop but then outlaw just jumped up and plucked the ball out of the air and that was the end of that attempt. (On that same play Wallace ended up creating a jump ball but luckily outlaw was able to control the tip. Gracia would have allowed the ally oop plus a foul)
Isaiah Thomas is our own JJ barea. Once he steps on the floor its peddle to the metal. He is a refreshing change of pace driving the ball in and finding the open player for the open shot. I really like his quickness on both ends. I once heard, "cant knock the hustle" and that’s exactly what I think about when I see him on the floor. He had a series where he got back-to-back charging calls . thats the stuff that changes momentum and is something that will spark our team. He is very fun to watch and I have great love for our rookies and their effort tonight.
JT showed up with tons of energy and was great to see. i hope he keeps it up because i think the days of him getting 30 minutes are long gone.