The best Kings coaching move of the evening:
And the worst coaching move of the evening:
Now guess who made which call.
Yeah, Ron Artest is the guy who called a timeout after Steve Nash cut the 17-point halftime lead to nine in six minutes. Not Rick Adelman, not Mike Bibby. Ron F. Artest saw the time bleeding and wanted to talk it over.
Of course, Rick Adelman made the decision to go small, subbing a swingman for the center to try to matchup with Phoenix's lineup.
At that point, the Kings were up by five. When Miller came back in about four game-minutes later, the Kings were down by two.
But Miller didn't come in for Wells or Artest or Martin, the three swing guys on the court with Bibby and Abdur-Rahim. He came back in for... Shareef Abdur-Rahim, clearly the most effective King against the Suns' weak inside players! Baffling.
Look, I'm all for experimenting with lineups and matchups, especially with young guys. I love Speed and Francisco. I think they are bright lights in Sactown's future.
But sh*t, man. Let's not have the season ride on a singular 10-minute experiment in the 79th damn game of the season! It's not f*cking rocket science. Shareef Abdur-Rahim and Brad Miller are two of your best four players. One is having a stellar game (Reef: 6-7 for 16 points in 22 minutes), the other having a solid game (Miller: 13 points and 8 boards at that point). The one having the stellar game CANNOT BE DEFENDED BY ANYONE IN A PHOENIX UNIFORM! Not freaking rocket science.
If you try to match up with Phoenix slasher for slasher, speedster for speedster, swingman for swingman, you will get burned. It seems pretty obvious, though someone felt the need to see it proved.
So this doesn't happen in the fortunate chance Sacramento meets Phoenix in the postseason, let's lay out some ground rules for our head coach:
- Phoenix has little defense. Of that, absolutely zero of it is interior defense. Pound pound pound. You have one of the best low-post power forwards in the league, one of the best low-post small forwards in the league, and one of the best low-post shooting guards in the league. USE THEM!
- The best way to stop Phoenix's fast-paced game is by (SURPRISE!) slowing down the game. Feeding the post (hi Reef!) and working the ball around with your best passers (hola Brad!) is a good start for slowing it down.
- When you have a 17-point lead at the half, you don't want to give up your offense, but you might want to adjust it to take up some clock. Emphasizing transition defense, against the best up-tempo team in the league and the best up-tempo point guard in the league, is a start.
- If you feel an opposing team gaining momentum - especially if it's game-changing momentum - you might want to call a timeout. Because, you know, they aren't worth anything if you don't use them.
If Artest is the head coach, here's what we'll see:
- Possibly the most hilarious season of post-game interviews and press conferences in the history of civilization.
- An epic November three-way battle of philosophies between Mark Cuban, Phil Jackson and Coach Artest. Cities will be destroyed before a victor is decided.
- At least three blowups between Coach Artest and the media. Before Christmas.
- Two Geoff Petrie angioplasties, and possibly a major stroke. Before Christmas.
- At least 1,206 combined fist pumps and handclaps from the Super Maloof Bros. (And possibly numerous rehab stints.)
- The first-ever trade demand from an NBA head coach, which would happen when the Kings give up 120 points each in back-to-back losses to Phoenix and Dallas.
- The first-ever denial from an NBA head coach he ever made a trade demand, which would come roughly four minutes after Whitey Gleason yelped about said trade demand on the radio.
- A Sacramento Kings forfeit after Coach Artest sends eight players in to hurt Ben Wallace when the Pistons visit ARCO. (Bonzi gets in the best shot, for what it's worth. Martin's isn't so good.) Before forfeiting due to lack of players, of course, Coach Ron-Ron will punch Flip Saunders and Ben Wallace in the mouth. This catastrophe, dubbed by Mike Tirico as "The Attack in Sac," will of course lead to...
- ... the first-ever season-long suspension for an NBA head coach. Which leads to...
- ... assistant coach (and Queensbridge native) Mobb Deep ascending to interim head coach, marking the first time someone absolutely slaughtered by Jay-Z in a diss track acted as an NBA head coach. (Sorry, Lawrence Frank. He'll get you next time.)
- And finally, the above events will of course lead to a 11-61 season. And the first pick in the lottery. Which means Greg Oden will wear purple.