The Kings went 2-2 this week, and criticisms aside, that's a more than solid week for our Kings, especially considering the victory over the best team in the West.
1. Kings. Thunder. VICTORY.
This night was just amazing. I'm just going to link to my recap of the night because I'd just be repeating myself.
2. DeMarcus Cousins
See Player of the Week
3. Isaiah Thomas Led Comeback in New Orleans
17 points, 5 rebounds, and 6 assists in 26 minutes off the bench for Isaiah. The team had gotten off to a rough start in New Orleans, and Isaiah was able to come in and bring the energy boost they needed to come back and win. To top it all off, he hits the 30 foot dagger late in the game to seal the deal.
4. .Marcus Thornton Rediscovers His Shooting Stroke From Deep
Since sustaining the thigh injury, Marcus was not shooting the ball particularly well from the field. That carried a bit in the game against New Orleans as well, as he shot just 3-12 from the field. However, he did hit a big three pointer late, and since then, has been on the mark. He was 12 of 26 from three this week, or 46.2%. The Kings just need him to remain consistent as a shooter and a scorer if they hope to have further success.
5. Jimmer's Playmaking Skills
Jimmer seems to be putting an emphasis on playing the role of Point Guard lately, and has done a very good job of finding the open man as of late, particularly right at the rim. He does have problems when team's pressure him though, and the Kings will have to do a better job of setting good screens for him, while Jimmer will have to do a better job of anticipating double teams and not trying to do too much. It's a learning process for the rookie.
6. Donté Greene's Defense
Donté has played his way back into the rotation, taking Travis Outlaw's spot. He's done so thanks to his defense. He's often asked to guard the opposing team's best wing player, and this week he faced two extremely prolific scorers in Kevin Durant and Michael Beasley. Beasley scored 17 points, but needed 21 shots to do it. Durant can't be stopped, and he got his 27 points, but he had to work for each one of them, and he also had 4 turnovers. Donté's also been much more patient on offense.
1. Missed Opportunity in Minnesota
Sacramento came into this game with a three game win streak, looking to make it 4 in a row. The Timberwolves were without star Kevin Love, leaving the game ripe for the taking. A terrible start to the game and a 15 point deficit after the first quarter proved to be Sacramento's downfall though. They outplayed Minnesota the rest of the game, but Donté Greene's three at the buzzer rimmed out to give the Timberwolves the 2 point win.
2. Tyreke Evans Shooting and Playmaking
After several weeks of showcasing a marked improvement running the offense, Tyreke seemed to take a couple steps back this week. He had no game with more than 5 assists, and he also suffered turnover problems. More troubling than turnovers were possessions where he would revert to isolation, using up most of the shot clock before launching a jumper that would badly miss. Tyreke's shot has looked better at times this year, but this week it was just awful. I wonder if part of this is fatigue from how many minutes he's been playing. I hope this is just a minor speedbump in his growth as a player though.
3. Francisco Garcia's Continued Bonehead Mistakes
Cisco is supposed to be the leader a lot of these young guys look up to, but every time he comes into the game he'll make one or two mistakes that would be bad for a rookie. It's infuriating. These were especially evident against Phoenix, the only time he saw meaningful playing time this week.
4. John Salmons Regresses on Offense
John had a good week there and hit some big shots against New Orleans as well. But in the past three games, he's gone back to being a complete non-factor on the offensive end of the ball, scoring a combined 11 points in those games.
5. Jason Thompson Struggles After Early Foul Trouble
JT only had one really good game this week, and that came against the Thunder. In the other three games, he got into foul trouble early, and that seemed to take him out of his game, and he didn't end up being much of a factor in any of those games. We need consistency from JT if he's going to be starting.
6. Chuck Hayes Offense (Aside from Oklahoma City)
I can't really be too hard on Chuck Hayes. The man is playing hurt, and he hasn't had the same amount of time as the rest of these guys to get into game shape. That being said, he has looked awful on offense when he's been in the game, aside from a good stint against the Thunder where he made a few layups. His timing is off, and he hasn't had much luck around the basket. It kind of reminds me of DeMarcus early in the season when seemingly everything he threw up rattled in and out. Now Chuck isn't in the game for his offense, but it'd also be nice if he wasn't a complete zero on that end.
1. Failure to Compete at Home Against the Suns
It might not technically have been a blowout, but it sure as hell felt like it. Sacramento trailed the entire way, and never really made a serious run. Nobody aside from DeMarcus and Marcus could get any semblance of an offensive game going, and Tyreke Evans was just awful, shooting 1-9, with the only performance in his career being worse occurring just 4 games into his rookie season.
2. TNT Announcers Arena Goof and Subsequent Outrage
I've relayed my thoughts on this matter already, but wallywagon11 sums up my point of view in this comment:
is that locally the story here in Sacramento should have been the win against one of the very best teams in the league and the great crowd that showed up and how we saw some of the glory days and even had one of Our Guys in the house for the special game. Nothing Webber screwed up on the arena stuff changes any of that, heck even nationally it doesn't.
Unfortunately there are too many hours in the day on the local radio. Let's dedicate hours of programming on "Webber's the reason Michigan couldn't win" and "Hey let's list all of his errors on TV" and "Hey let's turn this from an error into something entirely personal and embarrass the guy!" And this is a great idea when the guy is actually in town to turn a mistake into an all day personal attack. Super idea. And then Webber gets on the air and he and Grant fight. And instead of putting the fire out and moving on, Grant goes the "Hey let's get callers in a lather and have them rant on and on about how much of an idiot and failure Chris Webber is and just overall kill the guy" route. Super job.
So congrats on calling out and embarrassing someone who busted his ass for the Kings franchise. Hey, it brings in the ratings right?
I understand why others may not agree with this point of view, and still feel outraged. But in the end, it won't matter what anyone else thinks. We're either going to clear the major arena hurdles this month on Feb. 14th and Feb. 28th, or we won't. What C-Webb, Reggie and Kevin Harlan said will have absolutely no effect on that. Attending those city council meetings and showing your support might.
3. J.J. Hickson's inability to Catch a Basketball
Seriously, this is bordering on Mikki Moore territory right now. Hickson has fumbled so many passes this year, none more egregious than one from DeMarcus at the end of the Timberwolves game that would have set him up for the tying layup or dunk and an almost assured overtime.
4. City Council Vote Closer Than Expected
The vote last Tuesday on Sandy Sheedy's proposal to send the Parking Funds to the June Ballot was expected by most to fail in a 7-2 vote, with only Sheedy and Darrell Fong voting for it, as they have been against the new arena from the beginning. It ended up being a 5-4 vote, with Kevin McCarty and Bonnie Pannell also voting for a vote. McCarty wasn't as big of a surprise as Pannell, who rambled nonsensically when it came time for her to speak. The vote was too close for comfort, as a successful vote would have essentially killed the arena deal in its tracks. I cannot emphasize enough how important the City Council meetings on Feb. 14th and Feb. 28th will be. If you can make it, be there and show your support.
5. Seattle Speculation
Another overblown story by the Sacramento media. Yes, Seattle wants an NBA team again. But that's not going to play any factor whatsoever in whether the Kings stay or not. The Kings will stay if they get a new arena. They will leave if they don't. It's as simple as that.
Player of the Week:
20.8 PPG, .426 FG%, 12 RPG, 1 BLK, 1 STL
There just aren't enough good things we can continue to say about DeMarcus Cousins. He is blossoming before our eyes, all as a 21 year old, 2nd year player playing the most physical position in the NBA. There was only one game this week where he got taken out of his groove, in Minnesota, a night after he had played 38 minutes in New Orleans. He looked tired against the Wolves, yet still managed a double-double. It's clear that the team plays much better when he's got it going, and he's had it going more often than not the last couple of weeks. The best part about DeMarcus' growth this year is that he is nowhere near his ceiling yet. He's still got a long way to go.
Image / GIF of the Week:
We may have to consider just naming this the "BurningFeathers Image of the Week"
Comment of the Week:
ElRonToro's letter to City Council was amazing. If you haven't sent one in yet, the instructions and e-mail addresses are in this post.
Truth in advertising. I am a King's fan. Season ticket holder for 24 years. My son attended Mitch Richmond, Derrick Dickey, Vinnie Del Negro and many other King's summer basketball camps. He learned a lot about the game and some about life. He had attended the Dickey camp at about age 8. About 6 months later he saw Derrick on the floor after a game. He asked if he could speak to him. I said he doesn't want to be bothered. He said Derrick had stated they could come up to him to talk anytime, so I said OK. As I watched the conversation extend to 5 minutes I walked down to make sure things were ok. I found Derrick talking him about hoop and the importance of education and to watch out for the kids who may try to lead you away from your goals. My son is now 25 and remembers the camps and the departed Dickey fondly. He is now well educated but unfortunately genetically challenged for the NBA.
All that said, I won't bore you with how the jobs and revenue will help the Sacramento Community and help diversify our jobs market from state related jobs.
I will say that the King's charity work is irreplaceable. I won't remind you that you have all agreed that the current parking revenue stream will be replaced (say a 4 or 5 $ a ticket surcharge?) so that is a non-issue. I will remind you that the tourism head said a few years ago that the King's directly influenced 3 or 4 million dollars a year being spent in Sac. I will also remind you that the chief of police wants the jobs it will provide for our city.
My point is, that even with all the Disney on Ice events and all the concerts I have gone to with my daughter, I still think the primary thought should be "does this project pencil out and will it be good for the city". From everything I have read, heard and surmised, this project goes beyond pencilling out; It could change the dynamics of the city forever.
You people are in control of the future of Sacramento. This is a time to forget politics, forget how will your vote affect your chances of being re-elected, and do what's best for the city. Let Sacramento have the greatness it deserves. To stumble or fail here could adversely affect the next 50 years . I want to , in 20 years, walk with my kids, and their kids, through the streets of the Railyard and tell them that I remember when this booming bustling heart of sacramento was just a pile of toxic dirt.
As a side point, I was reading a Sac Bee circa 1955 + or - and it was discussing all the possibilities of the railyard. Seriously. I am 61 and the city has spent my entire life trying to figure out what to do. End the discussion, vote for greatness, and you will forever be known as the city council that ushered in the great new era of Sacramento.
35 and 31. I'm calling it now. Reke and Cousins 1-2 in most improved award both All-stars. Jimmer leads rookies in scoring, passing and Ole's. Make 2nd round of playoffs and Salmons is not here by seasons end.
FanPost of the Week:
A Story Within the Enemy Camp by Schneezel
Highlight of the Week:
The entire win against the Thunder was the best, but the best individual highlight has to be this shot to cap off a huge 4th quarter for Isaiah Thomas in New Orleans.
Marcus Thorton: "OMG Ref, you actually got an erection watching us play!"
Ref: "LOOK AWAY!"
Last Week's Runner-Up: TheLokey1
Marcus Thornton becomes the first player in NBA history to be ejected for his terrible mustache
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 an Isaiah Thomas brand Ice-Maker.
Question of the Week:
Are you going to the City Council meeting this Tuesday, February 14th? I understand it's Valentine's Day. There will be another meeting on February 28th, which will probably be even more crucial. If you can't make it this Tuesday due to Valentine's Day commitments, try to make it out to the 28th. We need to continue to show our support and keep fighting until the new arena becomes a reality.
And Nostradumbass Prediction for Next Week:
@ Chicago 2/14 L (This is one of those games where I'll be happy just to see us compete. As such, I'm fearing the worst.)
@ New York 2/15 L (Now this is a winnable game, in an arena that the Kings have played fairly well in the last few years. But New York is playing much better, and may be back to full strength when this game is played. I see it being a close one, but with the Knicks edging us out.)
@ Detroit 2/17 W (Detroit is in a similar situation to the Kings, although they have better veterans in guys like Rodney Stuckey, Ben Gordon, and Tayshaun Prince. Still, they've been routinely terrible this year, and the Kings will be hungry to avoid another big losing streak.)
Nostradumbass Record for the Season: 17-10