Hey, at least we beat the Warriors. That made my week right there.
1. Marcus Thornton is a BAMF (except when playing the Sixers)
See Player of the Week
2. Tyreke Evans Cleared to Practice
As you might have heard by now, Tyreke is out of his walking boot and practicing with the team. Last I heard he was scheduled to make a return sometime next week, coming off the bench for his first couple games to get back in rhythm.
3. Beating the Crap out of Golden State
Yes the final score shows us only winning by 10, but that's really not indicative of how the game went. After the epic fails against Golden State previously this season, this was nice.
4. DeMarcus and Sammy D's Rebounding
DMC has really been hitting the glass hard lately, especially on the offensive glass where he was so good in college. He averaged at least 4 offensive rebounds per game last week and when he gets the ball in that close its usually a score. Sammy D has also been fantastic, averaging 13 rebounds last week.
5. Beno Udrih's Passing
Beno has been playing more of the distributor lately it seems, and he's been pretty successful too, compiling 22 assists to just 7 turnovers this week. I actually would've like to see Beno take a bigger role in the offense though, especially with Tyreke gone, as Beno continues to be the Kings best shooter (49.3% on the season).
6. Here We Stay at City Hall
Well done by everybody who went to the City Hall meeting (and to those who organized it) and showed their support of the team. I wish I could've made it as well. I will say that I've never been prouder of being a Kings fan than this year though, with all that Here We Stay has done. Win or lose, its been an honor.
7. Sammy's Career Night
A bit lost in Marcus' 42 point drubbing of the Warriors on Monday was the fact that Samuel Dalembert also had a career high 27 points on 10-16 shooting. He also had 16 rebounds. Good stuff by Sammy.
8. Thunder Sticks
Opponents only shot 48-75 (64%) on free throws this week. Great job on the Free Throw Defense guys!
9. Yeti Fever
I let the Yeti fill out my bracket this year and its doing quite well. More relevant to you however, the following lottery level prospects are still in the tourney: Kyrie Irving (Duke), Jared Sullinger (Ohio St.), Harrison Barnes (North Carolina), Derrick Williams (Arizona), Kemba Walker (Connecticut), Terrence Jones (Kentucky), John Henson (North Carolina), Kawhi Leonard (San Diego State), Brandon Knight (Kentucky), Jimmer Fredette (BYU). I definitely recommend catching at least a few of these games if you're at all still interested in a potential Kings draft pick. The players listed in bold above are the ones I think have the most potential to be drafted by the Kings.
1. Sammy D, Turnover Machine
Sam has been a mess keeping control of the ball lately. He tends to make some baffling decisions when passing to teammates, or when he tries to do too much on the offensive end. 0 assists and 13 turnovers in last week's games for Sammy.
2. DeMarcus Needs to Be Parked Down Low
Many articles this year have complained about DMC's shot selection and they have a point. But as was mentioned to me on Twitter this week, a lot of the time DeMarcus isn't given the ball anywhere near the basket and this leads to more jumpers or bad drives (see his failed game-tying attempt at the end of the Cleveland game). Paul Westphal's system is as much to blame for DeMarcus shooting too many jumpers as DeMarcus's own immaturity. Sure, DMC can hit the open jumper if you give it to him, but he's so good down low that jumpers should not consist of half or more of his shots. Take advantage of your strengths.
3. Omri is Underutilized
Omri doesn't like the way he's being used and neither do I. At this point with the season over, I'd actually like to see Omri start over Francisco at the Small Forward slot. Omri seems to work better as a starter and with more touches in my opinion but he rarely gets any touches aside from spot-up threes.
4. Defense is Terrible
The Kings Defense was nothing short of atrocious this week, especially against Cleveland and Golden State. Both teams managed to shoot 50% or above, and Cleveland was able to get to the rim at will. The Ramon Sessions play to give the Cavs the lead for good was especially egregious. At such a critical juncture, nobody should just be able to get to the basket for an easy layup.
1. More Signs of an Impending Relocation
The fact that the Maloofs filed for trademarks on "Anaheim Royals", "Los Angeles Royals" and "Anaheim Royals of Southern California" might not mean much more than "Ok, if we move these are the names we want to choose from". But its still just one more sign that the Sacramento-era is nearing an end. To that I say PFFFT.
2. Losing to the Cavaliers at Home
There is currently only one team in the NBA with a worse record than us. That same team also set the professional sports record for most consecutive losses. That same team was missing two veteran players who if healthy would be their best players (Jamison and Baron Davis). But that same team beat us at home. Unacceptable. These are the kinds of games the Kings have been losing all year. What makes this loss even worse was that the Kings only lost by 4 despite have 26 (!) more shot attempts than Cleveland.
3. Spencer Hawes Gets the Best of Us
When the Kings traded Spencer Hawes and Andres Nocioni for Samuel Dalembert, the thought was that Dalembert would fix a couple of our biggest weakness (interior rebounding and defense), while the Sixers were contemplating blowing it up and going for a rebuild. But look at both teams now: the Kings currently sit at 16 wins, on pace to only win 20 (5 less than last year), while the Sixers passed the overhyped New York Knicks for the 6th spot in the Eastern Conference. Obviously this means Spencer Hawes was the key. Obviously.
4. Luther Head Hate
Luther Head was waived by the Kings yesterday after an inauspicious season for him. But some of the vitriol I've seen directed to him here (and much more mean-spirited on twitter and on the Kings facebook page) is borderline offensive and plain wrong. The guy tried his best, not everybody can be Tyreke Evans or Marcus Thornton. Best of luck to Luther.
Player of the Week:
24 PPG, .444 FG%, 3.7 RPG, 2 APG, 3 STL
Marcus gets Player of the Week almost solely because of the Golden State game. 42 points for a 2nd year player is impressive any way you cut it. I still don't understand how Monty Williams and New Orleans failed to utilize him more, instead opting for guys like Marco Belinelli and Willie Green to play over him. Sure, Marcus isn't the best defender, but he scores so well that you simply can't keep him off the floor. When Tyreke comes back, the Kings are going to have some interesting options now that Marcus is in the mix.
In conclusion I give you this wonderful GIF from our Australian friend, chenp22:
Image / GIF of the Week:
Comment of the Week: (In response to someone saying its sad to see people clinging to false hope)
Highlight of the Week:
Interesting note: DeMarcus is already one of the leading big men in Steals. Guards don't often expect a big man to have such quick reflexes when they throw passes near him.
Last Week's Winner: andy sims (who was last week's runner-up)
"The NBA illustrates marriage: Agent Zero Head."
Last Week's Runner-Up: section214 (who was last week's winner. Ladies and Gentleman we're witnessing a new Caption Rivalry for the Ages. Who's corner are you in?)
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 gets all the leftover Luther Head jerseys in the Kings Team Store.
Lottery Projection and Profile of the Week:
Current Projected Lottery Position: Tie-2nd with Washington Wizards
Current Lottery Range: 1st - 5th
Draft Profile: Jonas Valanciunas, C, 6'11, 240 lbs, Lithuania
Out of all the International Prospects in the draft, Valanciunas might be the most intriguing prospect (note: Not the most NBA ready) of them all. Valanciunas isn't the most skilled player, but he's got a fierce competitive streak and boundless energy.
In fact, my closest comparison to him would probably be if you took Jon Brockman, made him 6-11 with a 7-6 wingspan (Valanciunas measurements) and let him loose. Jonas feasts on the boards, especially offensively, where quite a bit of his baskets come from. It's a large reason why his shooting is so efficient (he's shooting 70% right now, impressive even in Europe). He's also great at utilizing his length and strength to finish around the basket.
But Valanciunas isn't much of a scorer or shot creator, which is fine by me (especially when considering we have DeMarcus Cousins. His post-game needs work, and he doesn't take any jumpers (although his free throw percentage is sky-high at 92%). He also turns the ball over too much.
But his defense is outstanding for a player so young, mostly around the basket. He's not the toughest yet as he still needs to put on some weight, but his length lets him contest most shots, although he'll likely need to be a tad less aggressive to avoid foul trouble in the NBA.
Worst case scenario, he's Andris Biedrins redux. Best case? One of the better centers in the league.
Next Week's Profile: Harrison Barnes
Question of the Week:
Have you bought your tickets to Here We Stay 2 on April 11th against the Thunder? Tell your friends and family, both real and imaginary, and get out to the game. If its anything like the first Here We Stay night, it's gonna be a blast.
And Nostradumbass Prediction for Next Week:
Going to be as optimistic as I can this week because hey, why not?
3/20 @ Minnesota W (Sacramento has to win this because otherwise Minnesota wins the season series and then I won't feel right about all those Darko jokes.)
3/21 @ Chicago L (Chicago has quietly become a title contender, currently boasting the NBA's best defense and the Eastern Conference's Top Record, despite missing both Joakim Noah and Carlos Boozer for chunks of time. I don't see any 35 point comebacks this year)
3/23 @ Milwaukee W (Milwaukee has a tough defense, but also the worst offense in the league. This could get ugly, but I'm also tentatively slating this as Reke's return so hopefully he'll be a difference maker)
3/25 @ Indiana W (Indiana is somehow fighting for a Playoff spot with a record of 30-40 so they'll be trying to win, but the Kings can beat this team)
Nostradumbass Record for the Season 29 - 37