Mailbag? Mailbag! From @b_guth:
Any connection between last two Kings wins and Tyreke not playing?
It appears that in the alternate universe in which Tyreke Evans was not injured, the Kings actually beat the Celtics by only 23 and the Timberwolves by 10. So yes, I would definitely say that the Kings are only winning exactly like this because Tyreke has been out for two games.
Look, I understand the thought process. But as section214 pointed out in the recap thread -- and let's give it up for Akis on these recaps, they are just excellent -- the Kings have been better with Tyreke than without over his entire career. Even counting the past two games -- the only Tyreke has missed all season -- the Kings are 10-37 (.213) when he sits and 55-117 (.319) when he plays.
And I know the next retort: "Well, this is a different Kings team. Those other teams, 2009-11, had no one but Tyreke. Now, Sacramento has other scorers and passers." This argument ignores that the Kings have had other brilliant offensive performances with Evans playing recently (including against Dallas and Detroit on this very homestand), and that we're talking about two games. Donte Greene and Chuck Hayes are bench players who have been iffy all season and were excellent on Sunday, two big reasons the Kings won. Is Tyreke's absence the reason those guys played better? That'd be quite a surprise. Marcus Thornton has had crazy hot games with Tyreke in the lineup, too. The same applies to Isaiah Thomas. There is no there there. There is no tyranny of Evans that has been lifted.