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Kings Fall to Nets 106-100

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(I haven't been able to watch the game due to unforeseen events, so I'll defer to James Ham's recap for the full game action.)

The Kings fell in New Jersey 106-100 to move to 1-1 on the season. The Kings won the rebound battle (with 10 offensive rebounds in 48 opportunities versus 5 in 26 for the Nets) and dominated in the turnover count (only 12 versus New Jersey's 26), but got smoked from the field (NJ shot .525 from the floor and .545 from long-range) and gave up way, way too many free throws (45).

Who drew all those fouls? By my count from the play-by-play, Brook Lopez drew 13 fouls, including five on DeMarcus Cousins, who fouled out with 3-1/2 minutes left in the game after just 21 minutes of play. Lopez also drew two fouls on Carl Landry, and one each on Beno Udrih, Jason Thompson, Francisco Garcia, Tyreke Evans, Darnell Jackson and Luther Head. Clearly, the Kings could not guard Lopez without fouling him, and he made them pay, with 13 made free throws and by getting the Nets into the bonus. (And when the Kings didn't foul? Lopez shot 8-16 from the floor.)

After the game, Paul Westphal talked about playing big men who don't foul so much being a solution to what happened in Newark. Well, he isn't going to play Cousins less -- Samuel Dalembert, who only played 6-1/2 minutes, is behind on learning the offense, and Thompson is as much a foul problem as Cousins. The same applies to Landry, who had five in the box score but only four, really -- one came in the final 30-seconds as the Kings intentionally fouled to try to catch up. Who do you replace him with? Thompson, who had five legit fouls. There's no easy fix until Hassan Whiteside and/or Dalembert are ready to enter major play.

The bigger problems, I think, revolve around the team's inability to defend shots effectively. If not for all those extra Nets turnovers (only seven of which were Kings steals), New Jersey might have hung 120 on Sacramento, a game after Minnesota (Minnesota!) hung 116. Not a great start on defense.

Donte Greene barely played for some reason. Westphal explained the switch as being due to Head scoring well off the bench and Garcia returning to the reserve crew; as such, the team didn't need Casspi as a spark off the bench. Garcia ended up playing a good portion of the small forward minutes, and did have a nice game (18 points on 7-12 shooting).