While most Sacramento Kings fans were following the off-court Twitter fireworks, there was a basketball game nominally played by some guys in purple jerseys against the Utah Jazz. The stakes couldn't be much lower, but yet still the guys in purple fell short of meeting expectations just by playing out the same stale storyline we've watched for about a month now. There was one NBA team on the court tonight, it wasn't the dudes in purple, and it did indeed emerge victorious by a score of 102-90.
The Kings again came out with an atrocious effort offensively. The team shot 39% overall from the field, including a spectacular 3/13 from three point range. DeMarcus Cousins led the "charge" with a decent (by his standards) effort, scoring 27 points on 24 shots and adding 10 rebounds. Ben McLemore was aggressive looking for his shot all night, not letting himself be discouraged by a tough start to score 15 points on 15 shots, including 3/7 from three point range. Ramon Sessions started in place of Darren Collison and did a good job setting up teammates who could not hit a shot all night, scoring 11 points and dishing 5 assists.
Thats about it though. The rest of the team scored a total 37 points. The game was essentially decided by a first quarter where the Kings only scored 15 points and already faced a double-digit deficit. The lead would hover between 10 and 20 points the rest of the way, again, which now makes it 7 of the last 8 games where the Kings have faced a 20 point hole. The offensive dumpster fire was alarmingly led by a listless looking Rudy Gay, who never checked into the game mentally. The Kings are a top-heavy team, and having one of their top two players just peace out mentally is pretty much a death knell. Gay was not only atrocious offensively, he also showed zero effort defensively, letting Gordon Hayward get to his spots with zero resistance. Hayward scored 30 points on 23 shots, most of them with Gay checking him.
If Gay has really quit on the team, I'm not sure what this means for the rest of the season. With all of the smoke behind a Pete D'Alessandro meeting with George Karl, lets hope all Rudy needs is a new coach to become refocused. The locker room might just be bursting at the seams, and judging by all of the fecal rumors floating around the poopvine, this thing might just erupt. Lots of uncertainty in Kings land right now and its hard to see a light at the end of the tunnel.
For the opponent's perspective, visit SLC Dunk