This is the type of stat line that Sacramento Kings head coach George Karl does not understand: 9 points, 0 rebounds and 0 assists in 26 minutes.
That was from Kings forward Derrick Williams on Sunday in a frustrating loss to the Utah Jazz at home. Karl took exception by indirectly calling out the fourth-year-man.
"You shouldn't be playing 20 minutes a game and not get a rebound. I mean, the Coke machine can get a rebound some nights," Karl told reporters - Williams being the only player with such a stat line in the game. "Sometimes we have guys play 20, 25 minutes and don't get a rebound, and I don't understand that."
Well, OK then.
On Tuesday, Williams, who has played well under Karl but is still far too inconsistent, pulled down eight rebounds - his second highest rebound total of the season (he had 10 rebounds on Jan. 13 against the Dallas Mavericks) - to go along with 18 points.
So was this his response to the coach? It sure sounded that way.
"I don't think me having zero rebounds last game is the reason why we lost. We had too many turnovers. But yeah, I wanted to make a point. I actually wanted to get 12, but it is what it is - I got 8," Williams told Sactown Royalty.
I doubt a Coke machine would get that saucy. To be fair, Sunday's game was the first time this season Williams has played more than 20 minutes and tallied zero rebounds. He has had six games this season with more than 20 minutes and only one rebound, however, and five of those games have come with Karl as the head coach. And the Kings did have 20 turnovers against the Jazz - Williams only had one. You also must factor in that Tuesday's eight rebounds came against the team he always plays his best against: the Minnesota Timberwolves, the team that drafted him.
But this discussion brings up a larger question: if the Kings are relying on DeMarcus Cousins too much for rebounding. Williams seems to believe that is the case on occasion.
"Sometimes. Big fella is going to get rebounds. We want him to get rebounds, we want him to get as many as possible, but at the same time we've all got to rebound," Williams said. "Sometimes we get caught in the style of play that we want to do, which is get out in transition and run."
The Kings are currently seventh in the NBA in rebounding at 44 per game. Cousins, who sat out of Tuesday's game with a sore right foot, is averaging 12.7 rebounds per game this season and 15.4 over the last 10 games. Karl has advocated for group rebounding. As Williams said, the Kings want to get out and run, which utilizes guys like him sprinting up the floor and scoring off a rebound - usually from the hands of Cousins.
Karl was asked about Williams' rebounding after Tuesday's game.
"He just has to stay focused. When he plays four, he's got to have a bigger presence as a rebounder and also as a defender of the paint. Cuz [DeMarcus Cousins] - we're so reliant upon his defense and his rebounding," Karl said.
Williams knows regardless of whether the team relies on Cousins to rebound, he needs to push himself to grab more boards.
"I know I'm a good rebounder. Sometimes the ball doesn't fall your way man. Cuz, sometimes he has 20, 25 rebounds some nights. JT [Jason Thompson] has nights where he has 10, 15. At the same time, I've got to take that upon myself. I don't want to walk away from any game and have no rebounds ... at the same time, sometimes the ball doesn't bounce your way," Williams said.
I wonder what the Pepsi machine has to say about all of this.