You know, it'd be easy to chalk this loss to up to the standard 'Kings lose every game without DeMarcus Cousins' narrative, but even without Cousins, the Kings should be able to compete with a young team like the Minnesota Timberwolves on their home floor. The Wolves defeated the Kings 101-91, and they didn't make it look difficult.
It's worth mentioning that the Wolves were without Ricky Rubio, Nikola Pekovic, and Nemanja Bjelica. Not exactly full strength for the visiting team, either.
You can slice this loss a million different ways. Cousins was out, we've been down that road a million times before, but when Cousins is out, the Kings cannot win when Rudy Gay scores two points on 1-13 shooting in 27 minutes, I don't care who you're playing. The offense tonight was poor, again, somewhat forgivable when they are missing their best player and their second best player doesn't perform. The defense was bad, but that is exactly what it's been all season.
So much of this is broken right now, and I don't know where, when, or if a fix is coming.
Cousins will eventually return, Gay won't be this bad, but defensively speaking, this team has such a long way to go.
Next up, Golden State. That should go well.
Quick Notes -
- I briefly mentioned Gay's poor performance, but I certainly didn't do it justice. Andrew Wiggins picked him apart on both ends of the court.
- Sam Mitchell is such a bummer. He's got one of the most exciting young cores in the NBA and Tayshaun Prince and Andre Miller are playing in crunch time. Karl-Anthony Towns only logs 21 minutes. It worked tonight, but that guy needs to be playing 30+ minutes every game.
- The Kings' bench played well. Omri Casspi might have been the best King tonight, but Marco Belineli and Darren Collison also contributed.
- Speaking of Collison, he got hit pretty hard on a pick late in the fourth quarter. He looked a little wobbly after that. I don't want to concussion speculate, but let's just say I hope he's ok.
- George Karl starting Quincy Acy over Willie Cauley-Stein to start the second half. It didn't work, and this is a trend I do not enjoy.
- In other Karl rotation news, he actually benched Rudy Gay for Omri Casspi in a last ditch effort to pull this one out. Interesting move.
- The Kings are getting some good big man work out of Kosta Koufos in Cousins' absence. He's not Cousins, obviously, but he's giving the Kings decent center play, which is one big reason why this team should be better than they are when Cousins is out of the lineup. They added depth this offseason, and it's not fake depth. These guys can play. They can play without Cousins. They shouldn't be relying on his production as much as they are, and that goes back to the 'something is broken' aspect of the Kings this season.