Why hello Mr. Galinari, welcome to ARCO. Would you like a tour? This is our basket, feel free to score on it as much as you please. This is the Free Throw line, you'll be spending a lot of your stay here and I think you'll find it most satisfactory.
This week started off just as miserably as the last one did, dropping two games to teams we probably should've beat in Detroit and New York. Fortunately, we ended on a good note, playing perhaps our best defensive game of the season against the Nets. The competition gets a lot tougher from here on out though, so hopefully we keep up that defensive mindset while improving our offense.
1. Carl Landry
See Player of the Week
2. Offensive Rebounding
This team has been great on the Offensive boards, as expected. The Kings had 17 (once) or 18 (twice) offensive boards in all three games this week. To a man, our bigs are above average on the offensive glass, and its been keeping us in games as well as helping win games like against New Jersey.
3. End of the Jason Thompson at SF Experiment
Jason did see some minutes at the SF in both the Detroit and New York games, even starting the game against New York as an SF. But thankfully with Donté Greene coming back into the rotation, Coach Westphal is seemingly done with that (or at least I hope). Jason is extremely versatile, and can play with any of our other bigs at either the 4 or the 5. Let's keep it that way and stop the role confusion.
4. Donté Greene is Back
Against New York, Donté finally ended his string of DNPs, and after a slow start provided a very nice spark to this team, especially defensively. It would seem he's won back the starting spot now after a good performance against New Jersey. I'm also liking his patience on offense and willingness to take it to the basket as well as keep with a play (he's had five offensive boards in those last two games). Hopefully he keeps it up.
5. Lex Luther
When the Kings signed Head this offseason, I viewed it purely as an offensive move in order to try to add a good shooter to the roster, basically the opposite of the Antoine Wright signing (a good defender that can't shoot). But his defense has been surprisingly good, and his offense remarkably consistent. I wouldn't ever want him handling the ball the majority of the time (he tends to dribble a lot looking to find people, although he takes care of the ball), but I like him paired up with Tyreke. Against New Jersey he effectively shut Devin Harris down, and helped him commit 7 turnovers as well. I don't think he's a part of this team in the long run, but I definitely think he helps us in the here and now.
6. DeMarcus is Getting Comfortable
DeMarcus seemed to play a lot more controlled this week (even though he still averaged 4 turnovers a game. Ouch). He played a little bit harder, actively going for rebounds that he wasn't before, taking it inside more often, and being active on defense. I think he's beginning to realize how much harder he has to work in the NBA than he did in college, and that's a good thing, especially happening this early in the season. I'm seeing more good than bad from DeMarcus as of late, and I think that this is a trend that will continue.
7. Jason Thompson
JT is a player many have mixed feelings about. To me, Jason is a player that all 30 teams want: someone who works hard, does what they're told, and is a good teammate. I love his hustle on both ends of the floor, and in a role off the bench I think he can be a very valuable player for us, both now and in the long run. He's likely never going to be an All-Star, and that's ok with me. That's not what we need him to be.
1. Westphal Hate
Westphal can't seem to do anything right in many of your minds. I'll admit to being frustrated with him myself at times (especially with regards to JT at the three). But I doubt there is one (available) coach out there that could do better. Put Doc Rivers in charge of this team? Our record is probably still 4-7. A coach can only do as much as his players allow him to. Look at the Clippers: that team is oozing with potential. Yet they're 1-12. Make all the Vinny Del Negro jokes you want, but he took the Bulls to the playoffs two years in a row. Experience as a player matters. So lay off Westphal, at least for now.
2. Beno Udrih's Defense is Keeping Him From Playing
If Beno could play defense, he'd be the perfect running mate for Tyreke. But he can't and it shows big time. Against Detroit, he was lit up by both Rodney Stuckey and Rip Hamilton. Toney Douglas and Raymond Felton both abused him as well. It's a shame, because the offense he provides is something this team needs, but the defense has become such an obvious problem that we can't play him as much. Still in small doses off the bench like he was in New Jersey, he can still be effective.
3. Outside Shooting
The Kings shot 10-44 (22.7%) from downtown this week. The biggest culprits were Cisco (1-9), Tyreke (1-8), and Omri (1-6). Cisco I'm not too worried about, he just seems to be going through a slump right now. Tyreke looks pretty off from three right now and I think he needs to tone it down a little from range (which he did against New Jersey, only taking one 3PA). Omri is a little worrisome to me simply because of the volume of 3PA he takes. He's averaging 6.5 3PA per 36 minutes right now. He's shooting 37.5%, which is decent, but also isn't good enough to warrant that many shots.
4. Someone is Gonna be Left Out, and Right Now, its Omri
You asked for a tighter rotation, you got it. Westphal only played 10 players (9 really, Jackson only played 42 seconds) against New Jersey, and Omri was the one that was left out, and for defensive purposes. Omri's defense has been a problem all season, as wings have been scorching us all year. His offense also hasn't been consistent enough to overcome the defensive deficiencies as well. Don't think he's in the doghouse, he's just the odd man out right now and I think depending on the matchup and what is needed, it will alternate between him and Jason Thompson for that last spot in the rotation.
5. Bonehead Sam Dalembert
Now we know the Sam Dalembert that frustrated Philly fans for years: the one that makes big mistakes every now and then. I love everything else about him, but there are definitely plenty of those moments where he just leaves you scratching your head.
6. Put Wright on the Inactive Roster / Make Jeter active
This is something I feel should be done simply because Wright doesn't bring anything to the table, while Jeter can at least be on hand in case we have an injury, or really need to just try something new with our offense. On most nights, Jeter still won't see any playing time. But I'd rather have the option of going to him than the option of going to Wright.
1. Ball Movement
42 assists to 41 turnovers for the team this week. That is not going to get the job done, and this team really needs to share the ball more often. The offense looks really stagnant at times, and we take way too long to set up our plays. Do we need another creator? Probably.
2. The Second Quarter of the New York Game
The New York game started off so promising, with us probably playing our best of the season to get out to a 15 point lead in the first quarter. But all that good effort was wasted by the complete opposite type of effort in that second quarter. The Knicks were able to go on a 24-6 run in less than six minutes, leaving us to play catch up the rest of the game. Keeping the Knicks in check during that quarter would've won us the game, and the big reason was the wing defense of Omri and Cisco during that time, as Wilson Chandler and Danilo Gallinari combined for 26 points on 8 shots during the quarter, with Amar'e on the bench for most of that run. Just unacceptable.
3. Reke's 4th Quarter Execution
Tyreke has had two straight games where he has repeatedly made very, very poor decisions down the stretch. A big problem with him is when he gets caught in the air with nowhere to go and he tries to come up with something on the spot, with little success. I think he might be hurting more than he's been letting on, and I wouldn't mind maybe resting him for a game or two right now, just so we don't risk him doing more damage to himself by playing hurt. That would not be good.
The highest attendance this week was 12,817 against New York, and the Nets game had less that 12K (looked even less at times). What a difference in expectations a week and a 5 game home losing streak will make.
Player of the Week:
18.3 PPG, .579 FG%, 7.7 RPG, 4.3 ORPG
Last week I mentioned how good it was to see Carl going back into the post during the Phoenix game. Thankfully the Kings have continued to feed it to him down there and its paying big dividends in Carl's production. He's shooting way more efficiently, and by being in position down low, its allowed him to return to being a force on the offensive glass. The Kings are going to have a big decision regarding Carl's future with the team. He's good enough that he could probably pull in some good assets for the team, but he's also good enough that I wouldn't mind him being with us for a long time.
Image / GIF of the Week:
Comment of the Week:
On a side note, check out the whole Donté Greene starts thread, there were a lot of good comments in there.
Highlight of the Week:
I might need to start separating this category into "Tyreke impossible Layups of the week" and "Regular Highlights of the Week".
Last Week's Winner: AnotherStupidSN
Tyreke: Yep, you were right. Your breath smells worse than my foot.
Last Week's Runner-Up: Exhibit G
Hold still, Beas, there’s a spider on your head…
This Week's Picture:
(via The Purple Panjandrum)
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 will be the caption contest winner for the "foreseeable future".
Question of the Week:
What to you is the biggest problem with the Kings? Is it far and away the defense as Ziller wrote? Is it the offense as Geoff Petrie mentioned? Is it something else? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.
And Nostradumbass Prediction for Next Week:
v. New Orleans 11/21 L (New Orleans is on a tear right now at 10-1 and I don't see us slowing them down, improved defense or not. Chris Paul is tailor made to rip apart our defense, and even though I think this game could be competitive, I have to give the edge to the Hornets. Something we should focus on is attacking the interior though. Beyond Okafor, the Hornets have absolutely nobody to guard inside. David West is just a taller Carl Landry, and their backup big is Jason Smith.)
@ Utah 11/22 L (Utah is also playing well right now and this is a game I don't think will be as competitive. Deron Williams did seemed bothered by Tyreke Evans last year, but Reke is a bit gimpy right now, and Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson will give us all we can handle inside. I'll be happy if we can keep this game competitive, and absolutely ecstatic if we can pull of a surprise win, like we did last year.)
@ Los Angeles Clippers 11/25 W (The Clippers right now are essentially a college team, with Kaman and Davis both injured. They're still dangerous, and extremely athletic, but the Kings need to take advantage of a team they should beat. Griffin gave the Kings fits both times in the preseason, and I don't see that changing in this game. The key will be keeping everyone else contained, and if we can do that we should pull off the win.)
v. Chicago 11/27 W (I think this can be our first quality win of the year against a good team, especially if we keep with this rotation we have now and things start to click for us. It'll still be an extremely tough game, but I think we can do it. I don't expect any 35 point comebacks though.)
Nostradumbass Record for the Season 4 - 7 (Still on par with the Kings. Damn.)