1. KJ flies to Las Vegas to Re-Open Dialogue
As angry and frustrated we all are, the name calling between both sides needs to stop, and it looks like KJ understands that, as he flew to Las Vegas to have a "cordial" meeting with George Maloof and will talk again next week. Who knows where these talks go, but if there's any chance for the Kings to stay in Sacramento, talking is more productive than insulting. As much as I want the Maloofs to go, I don't see them going without taking the Kings as well. They're too stubborn and they probably have just enough money to squeak by without having to sell.
2. Sticking it to J.J. Hickson
Game winner over the Blazers feels good. J.J. has been doing much better in Portland than he did in Sacramento, and I have a feeling a lot of that is J.J.'s attitude. Yeah, he wasn't as much the focus here, but that's because we had DeMarcus Cousins. You need to complement him. In Portland, Hickson has done best when Aldridge has been out. He relishes being the frontcourt focus, and a supporting role did not seem to suit him. That's just my opinion based off observations of his play on the court here.
3. Marcus Thornton
See Player of the Week
4. DeMarcus Cousins is Scary
He didn't have a monster week or anything this week, and in fact this was kind of a mediocre week for him. That's pretty scary considering he was flirting with 20/10 each night despite not playing up to his potential.
5. Isaiah Thomas
Another flat out excellent week by Mr. Relevant. Two games with 20+ points and 8 assists, and 12 points and 4 assists against the Thunder. He should win April's Western Conference Rookie of the Month as well, and while he won't win Rookie of the Year, he's definitely a close second, especially when you consider he's a much better defender than Kyrie Irving (who is surprisingly terrible on that end, according to mysynergysports.com he gives up over a point per possession).
6. The T-Will/Jimmer connection
It's almost gotten to the point where I don't want these guys playing without each other on the court, particularly Jimmer. He's a completely different player when Terrence is on the court. Terrence does a great job of finding guys when they're open, and Jimmer is our best outside shooter, so that's a good fit. Terrence is definitely an addition that I have loved so far, and the Kings need to retain him.
7. Chuck Hayes' Passing Ability
He's got seriously good court vision for a big man, especially hitting guys cutting to the rim. He hasn't had a good year, but there are flashes where you can see just how useful he can be.
8. Fan Appreciation Night
This was a pretty well done night, all things considered. Most fans I talked to felt it was a solid night, full of giveaways, and the Kings keeping the game relatively competitive despite playing a significantly better team. There was also the tribute to Oscar Robertson, which was neat, especially since the Big O was in the house. Still, a better way to appreciate the fans would have been to commit to the city of Sacramento long term, don't you think?
1. Another Thornton Thigh Injury
Marcus re-injured his thigh that has been bugging him all season, ever since running into Dwight Howard early on, and while he came back into the game where he injured it, he did not play Friday against the Thunder. With just three games left and the Kings fighting for nothing but lottery position, I wouldn't mind if he was shut down for the rest of the year. There's no point in prolonging the healing process, particularly with a player so important to the team.
2. Brace Yourselves: The Tyreke Evans Contract Extension or Trade Talks are Coming
Arn Tellem, Tyreke's agent, came to Sacramento this week to discuss Tyreke's future and role with the team, presumably. Tyreke will be up for an extension this summer, and Team Tyreke probably is a little concerned that Tyreke has fallen down the totem pole this year, particularly with his move to Small Forward. This will get interesting, and I wouldn't be surprised if Tyreke's days in Sacramento are coming to a close, which makes me very sad. I hope the Kings play it patient and see what next year brings before deciding on his future. Don't trade him, don't extend him, not until you see what he does through the first half of next year.
3. Donté Doghouse?
11 minutes in 3 games for Greene this week, including a surprising DNP-CD versus the Thunder when the Kings could have used his defensive skills and unique combination of size, strength and length to defend Durant. Instead the Kings went with a rotation of Travis Outlaw and Francisco Garcia for the whole game. Yeaaah... I'm not the biggest Donté Greene fan, but Travis Outlaw ended up scoring 1 point on 6 shots while Durant still torched us.
4. Worst in the West
Lottery backers won't mind, but the Kings are now tied with the Hornets for the worst record in the West. After all that has happened, how depressing is that?
1. Hassan Whiteside Ankle Injury
Right before the arena deal fell apart, the Kings lost Hassan Whiteside to an ankle injury in New Orleans. It truly was not ok once we did not have Hassan Whiteside.
2. Embarrassing Defense Leads to Home Blowout Loss
The Spurs absolutely demolished the Kings in this game, scoring at least 29 points in each quarter and 69 in the 2nd half alone, the highest total in a half by a Kings opponent this season. The Spurs were also playing without Tim Duncan, and their other stars Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili didn't even play that much (17 minutes for Manu, 25 for Parker). The Kings let Tiago Splitter and Gary Neal combine for 34 points on 17 shots. That's absurd.
3. Maloofery Galore. Also Eric Rose is the worst.
The negatives just kept on coming this week for the Maloofs. Their Anaheim economist had a column in the Bee explaining why the deal would suck for Sacramento using very lazy logic for an economist. I do not understand why the Maloofs would continuously harp on this. Do they think people will believe that they were doing the city a favor by backing out of the deal? The Maloofs also claim they would not make enough revenue in a new building and feel the revenue projections (provided with statistics from their own team and the NBA and the top arena operator in perhaps the world) were too aggressive, while the NBA and AEG felt they were being conservative.
Also, Maloof spokesman Eric Rose continues to make the worst public statements ever, including a basic non-statement with a condescending undertone to the Here We Stay group's open letter that included a request for a signed agreement not to relocate.
The cherry on top though has to be the fact that of all people, Adrienne Maloof is going to represent the Kings at the draft lottery. Isaiah Thomas seemed like the obvious choice, but then again, so did going forward with the arena deal. Who knows, maybe there is some strategy to this, as all our great choices to represent us the last few years have failed, so let's send a terrible choice instead!
On a good note, as mentioned above, at least the City and the Maloofs are back at the bargaining table. This deal has come too far to let bad blood get in the way, especially if there is still something reasonable that could be done to salvage this deal. I'm not optimistic, but hey, at least they're trying something.
Player of the Week:
20 PPG, .529 FG%, .286 3P%, 4.0 RPG, 0.5 APG, 0.5 BLK
Hey if you hit a game winner to break a 7 game losing streak, that says Player of the Week to me. I feel like Marcus is undervalued by a lot of fans. DeMarcus Cousins and Tyreke Evans tend to draw more attention from defenses, and Marcus thrives on that. He's improved a lot this year, particularly with regards to moving off the ball. He can shoot from the outside or take it to the basket. He's easily our most clutch player as well. It says a lot to me that the Kings are 1 - 10 without him this year.
Image / GIF of the Week:
More than one winner this week.
Comment of the Week:
Also more than one.
But I refuse to pay any costs for the bags. Though I want more royalties from bag head pictures if we go viral. And I never said I like the idea. Not sure where you are getting that from. I always had problems with the bag idea. It may be a better idea just to renovate my current face. And to be honest I never really read Big Nerd's post when I was hugging him and talking about the bag idea at center court. It's really a shame Big Nerd had to kill the bag idea. I have always been committed to it, but want Bignerd to be removed from the bag negotiations or to call it a no fault divorce. And I'm totally not trying to start posting on Golden State of Mind. Although, TZ said if Bignerd couldn't make this bag idea work in a year, then I could.
As I mentioned last summer when I gave up my long-standing season tickets, I would not cut off my nose to spite my face as it pertained to going to Kings games. And due to some great friends (some from the StR community), I have been given the opportunity to attend six games this year.
While I am not going to willfully turn my money over to M*loof Sports & Entertainment, I will also not allow their presence to inhibit my ability to follow and enjoy the actual team. Yes, I will certainly curtail my spending at the arena, choosing instead to dine and drink elsewhere. I will continue to park in the arena lots if I go there for events - while I do not relish giving the M*loofs ten more of my dollars, I place enough value on my life that I do not care to traverse the outer roadways on foot (and on top of that, I'm a fat, lazy old fart).
It is important for everyone to follow their own heart on this issue. For some, that means not spending a penny on any M*loof-associated events, and I certainly respect that. For others (like myself), it means more of a minimalist approach, while still tending to our own selfish wants and needs. Others still will continue to own season tickets, and I respect the hell out of that too - the ability to overlook all of this M*loofery and still support the team to that level is amazing, indeed.
I truly feel that there is no right answer here for Kings fans when it comes to how best to support this team while also letting the M*loofs feel our pain. Each person needs to follow their head and their heart (which don't always coincide). Most importantly, we as fans need to respect the decisions that other Kings fans make, even if they do not match our own.
Being a Kings fan has got to be one of the toughest gigs in sports fandom right now. I mean, who has it tougher than us? Raiders fans can sympathize, and Hornets fans have certainly walked a bit in our shoes. Aside from Seattle Sonics fans, I'm hard pressed to think of a fan base that has been through more than us in recent years. I admire all of you that have stuck through this continuing ordeal, and I have great respect for however you choose to follow and support the team moving forward.
FanPost of the Week:
The Maloofs are (Still) F-cking Idiots by rbiegler
Highlight of the Week:
"Technical foul, 15, Sacramento. Chest fouling referee's hand."
Last Week's Runner-Up: Slam_Dunk
Cousins asks the ref what would constitute a flagrant foul against Blake.
Ref: You feel that?
Ref: That's a flagrant foul!
Blake: See, I told you so!
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 a prize* but I reserve my right to change my mind.
* This is non-binding.
Question of the Week:
On a scale of 1-10 how confident are you that the Kings will remain in Sacramento long term, with 1 being least confident and 10 being most confident.
I'm probably at about a 3 or a 4 right now.
And Nostradumbass Prediction for Next Week:
@ Charlotte 4/22 W (The Bobcats are desperate for another win before the season finishes, because if they don't, they'll have set some dubious records, including worst winning percentage in NBA history, lowest win total in NBA history, and longest losing streak to end a season in NBA history. They probably view the Kings as their best chance. Still, this is a team that has only won 7 times for a reason and the Kings should be able to add to their misery.)
@ Oklahoma City 4/24 L (I honestly don't know how we managed to beat them even the once.)
v. Los Angeles Lakers 4/26 L (I really, really want a win here, but I don't see it happening.)
Nostradumbass Record for the Season: 34-28 (I didn't have predictions on my post last week, but I would have guessed all losses.)