1. STOP stopped
More than any other victory on the court, this one off of it is probably the most important development this season. The STOP petitions were the last major hurdle to a new downtown arena, and with those thrown out so thoroughly by a judge that STOP didn't even bother to appeal, there's no real road block left. By the time next season rolls around, we could already be seeing the framework of the new arena being built live and in person.
2. The Great Rudini
See Player of the Week
3. Isaiah continues to shine
Isaiah has always been a good scorer, but recently it seems he's also been doing a better job of focusing on getting the ball to his teammates, and as such his assist numbers have gone up as well. If the Kings don't re-sign him this summer, then they'll need to get a seriously good replacement, and I'm not sure how many of those guys are available.
4. Jimmer bought out
Last week we discussed how sad it was that the Kings and Jimmer weren't able to find a trade that would allow Jimmer to ply his trade elsewhere and allow the Kings to get an asset in return. But this week the Kings bought him out, an option I frankly hadn't considered but that makes perfect sense. This allows Jimmer to go to a team of his choosing (which ended up being the Bulls) and it allows this new Kings front office to get a reputation as a team that does right by its players. The fact that Jimmer and Rudy share an agent helps things as well. The buyout also lets the Kings use 10-day contracts to test out players like Orlando Johnson and Royce White among other to see if any of them stick. By the way, I highly recommend reading James Ham's exit interview with Jimmer Fredette.
5. Derrick Williams as a starter
Derrick has proven this year that he's actually pretty good given solid minutes, which usually only come as a starter, It also helps that he's playing with a higher quality of teammate during those minutes. As a starter, he's averaging almost double the points, more than double the rebounds and assists. I wish he could play with the same confidence and efficiency off the bench though, and defensively he still has a lot of work to do.
6. Reggie Evans
I've liked what Reggie Evans has brought to this team in his short time here. He's rebounding like crazy, setting great screens, hustling on D and providing some vet leadership for our other bigs. That's all we can ask for from him.
1. McRookies struggling
The Kings have been playing Ben McLemore and Ray McCallum a lot lately and while there have been some flashes of brilliance, it's been mostly outweighed by tough to watch basketball. McLemore especially looks lost on the court, not very confident in his shot and absolutely awful on defense. McCallum has been the better rookie as of late, but that's not saying all that much. Both these guys still have a lot of work to do before they become valuable NBA contributors.
Turnovers continue to be a big problem for the Kings, especially on the fastbreak. I don't know how many times I've seen this year that the Kings have ruined a fastbreak due to an overthrown or bad pass. Those are easy points that the Kings are giving up. Another issue is the lack of off-ball movement from guys. You watch a team like the Timberwolves and they're constantly moving and trying to find the open man. The Kings instead do a lot of standing around and dribbling. When they do pass, the pass is rarely easy. There was an instance in the Minnesota game where Rudy had the ball on the wing, got doubled and tried to throw the ball to Ben McLemore all the way on the opposite sideline, but the pass instead ended up in the first few rows of fans. Keep it simple with the passes guys and move to get open.
1. Boogie explodes, in a bad way
When the NBA announced DeMarcus' one-game suspension, it seemed almost like a culmination of Boogie's regression of the past month. After coming back from his ankle injury, he hasn't been the same dominant player on the court and his attitude has grown worse. Punching Beverly was idiotic, even more so than his ejection (which puts him one technical away from another suspension). But even more worrying in my mind was his explanation to the media in practice the next day about what he can do differently and instead of taking responsibility for his actions, he shunted that on the referees, saying that the techs he get aren't really techs and maybe he should "just not show up to games". Sorry but that's bullshit. If he truly wants to be a leader, he needs to do so by first taking responsibility for his own actions and correcting those.
2. Three ugly losses, each in their own way
The Kings started off the week with a huge blowout loss to the Rockets, a game that was over after the first quarter. The next two games weren't nearly as out of reach, with Sacramento definitely having a chance to win in both, but didn't due to critical mistakes and defensive errors. The Kings allowed the Lakers to make 19 of 27 threes (70+%!), including 8-10 for Jordan Farmar. Against the Wolves, they slowed down for just one quarter, but that was enough.
Player of the Week:
27.0 PPG, .558 FG%, .500 3P%, 5.3 REB, 4.0 AST, 2.0 STL, 1.0 BLK
The Kings may have lost all three games this week, but it certainly wasn't because of anything Rudy Gay did. For everything that's happened this year on the court, the most important development has been the acquisition of Gay; After years of needing a Small Forward, the Kings now have an exceptional one. Disregarding salary, how many SFs would you rather have than Gay, assuming he continues to play like he has been? My list is LeBron, Durant, Melo, George, and maybe Iguodala. I'll be very interested to see what happens this summer with regards to Gay, because I think with a full training camp, continued development of our other players, and a high draft pick this could be a very good team. We're now 14-15 with Thomas/Gay/Cousins and that's considering our poor depth, bad defense and little production from the shooting guard position.
Images / GIFs of the Week:
The visual of all of JT's teammates:
I hope i didnt miss anyone...this took my work hours to make lol
This pretty much sums up the season for me
LOL, my crude creation
Comments of the Week:
In response to Greg's post on Jason Thompson's teammates:
Greg also forgot about Cash Considerations
On Orlando Johnson's signing:
Yes, but can he play Cash Considerations?
This gets me to thinking (and that's never good) about the psychology of fans as it relates to the jerseys they wear (yeah, this is really not good)
FanPost of the Week:
Consistency among Kings Part 1 by MikeGfromSD
Highlight of the Week:
Last Week's Winner: gwiss
Last Week's Runner-Up: LaBradford
I'm Small Forward now!"
Last Week's Runner-up, actual caption division: SacramentoKing
Rudy: "This is my ball. There are many others like it, but this one is mine."
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.
Nostradumbass Prediction for Next Week:
3/3 v. New Orleans W (The Kings won't be at home again for a while, so they'll need to take advantage of the opportunity they do get, especially against a depleted Pelicans squad)
3/5 @ Milwaukee W (The Bucks are the worst team in basketball right now and by far the best chance for the Kings to get a win on the big road trip.)
3/7 @ Toronto L (The Raptors are a good team, and Rudy is going to be in Canada again, and something in the air there makes him play bad)
3/9 @ Brooklyn L (The Kings obliterated the Nets early on in the season in one of Marcus Thornton's best games of the year. Now though, the Nets have turned their season around and Marcus Thornton is one of them. Sacramento has a size advantage, but the Nets have plenty of depth and experience.)
Nostradumbass Record for the Year: 27-32
Random Observations from around the league:
- The SLOAN analytics conference has been going on in Boston, and some interesting tidbits came of it, including the first acknowledgement of tanking by a former front office member: Bryan Colangelo. Colangelo said: "I didn't come out and say, ‘Coach, you have to lose games.' I never said that. I wanted to establish a winning tradition and a culture and all of that, but I wanted him to do it in the framework of playing and developing the young players. With that comes losing. There's just no way to avoid that." Is that tanking, or just being pragmatic? It's essentially what the Kings are doing right now, with the focus on developing McLemore, McCallum and the 10-day signings.
- We know Jimmer's gone to Chicago, but there's a couple other buyout signings that will make more of an impact come playoff time: Caron Butler to Oklahoma City and Danny Granger and Glen "Big Baby" Davis to Los Angeles. Butler, while far past his prime, can still do well spelling Durant for a few minutes here and there, and even playing with him at times. The signings for the Clippers are even bigger deals in my mind though because I think they give them some real depth. Granger is the flashier name, but Davis gives the Clippers a solid big man off the bench with a coach that knows how to use him.
- The Hawks drafted Mike Muscala in the second round this year but didn't sign him until this week, in large part due to injuries to almost all of their big men. Muscala has spent this year playing in the Spanish ACB and leading that league in rebounding, a league that is largely considered second best to only the NBA. I was really high on Muscala in the draft and had hoped the Kings would take him with their second round pick so I will be very interested to see how he does in the NBA.