Ok, this team just keeps on giving doesn't it? Its really started to feel like another of our annual coach has lost the team debacles. But as I have mentioend elsewhere, we just guaranteed that coach another year of millions, and he can no doubt bedazzle the Brothers Dim with a formidable stream of B.S., so the fire the coach option may not be available. not sure it would matter anyway with our standards for hiring replacements.
I said I wouldn't throw up another group of girls to the wolves here, but damn if this doesn't desrve it. Not sure how many people are going to be reading no matter what I put up the way this is going. Anyway, onto the mess:
Edit: I have decided what this forum really needs is happy songs!
Stats: 17min 2pts (1-7, 0-1, 0-0) 0reb 1ast 2stl 0blk 1TO
Johnson ( F ) -- don't know what to say here. Just looks lost and has lost his game. If Smart's little you got a green light/do whatever you want to pep talk was supposed to help him, methinks it backfired. This time out maybe looked a little better on offense early. As in for the first 3-4min. Very briefly seemed just a little more in control on his drives, and made a nice pass. And then that was it. Started to struggle again, could not space the floor, wasn't even that terribly effective on defense against Smith, as I think the offensive struggles have begun to become such a distraction its bleeding over. Still isn't rebounding yet either, and per minute this was one of the better rebounding SFs in the game last year. Started the third a mess, missing an open corner three, then got scored over in the post by Smth, forced up a bad shot, and went over to take a seat next to Smart for the rest of the game. Would nto be surprised if he's still sitting in it at the start of next game, as I suspecct he's played himself out of the starting role now.
Stats: 33min 19pts (8-12, 0-0, 3-5) 10reb 0ast 0stl 0blk 2TO
Thompson ( B+ ) -- here's where we're at -- Jason Thompson. Remember wild Jason Thompson? Followed by wildly erratic Jason Thompson? Yeah, well now you can him "the rock" Jason Thompson. He's basically our most consistent guy. And in this one there was a lot of work for a consistent guy to do. Hit an early jumper and got off to a good start. Was basically outplaying Al Horford for most of the night, and most of Horford's production came against other Kings. Got upended and took a hard spill on his gluteus maximus late in the first, but showed no ill effects. All game long was being productive as a secondary passer, a finisher of plays our flashier guys were leaving around the rim, and being the steady outlet guy when they drew lots of attention. Everything else may be a mess, but JT at least is showing how you are supposed to play "the other big". Still nothing exceptional enough here to warrant an A type grade, especially given the overall game results.
Stats: 36min 9pts (4-15, 0-0, 0-1) 16reb 7ast 2stl 0blk 2TO
Cousins ( D+ ) -- what to do with this one? No single grade can really encompass it. Came back looking like he'd been out two months, not two games. Sloppy, out of rhythm, you would have thought there was rust dripping off him. And was basically near sulk mode from the beginning, looking out of sorts, getting another technical etc.. All the stuff you could not have him be upon returning, he was. Bad decisions on offense were leading to wild forced shots and turnovers. Embarrassingly got a gimme dunk from Thornton at the end of the first and did not get any lift and got stuffed by the front of the rim. Committed a third foul chasing a terrible drive and shot. It was just fugly. Was piling up rebounds at a steady rate, but it wasn't until the stretch when he realy began to dominate in there, and my early notes in fact were about all the ones he should have got but did not. Normally he wins the scrums, not tonight until the 4th. Nonetheless, when a guy grabs 16 its not his fault you lose the rebounding battle -- Cuz and JT got theirs, the problem was nobody else is helping out at all now. Defensively seemed a step slow and out of position all night, but what pepped this grade up, along with the rebounding totals, was the sudden return of Cousins as passer, as he had his biggest passing game since the end of his rookie season when he looked to be auditioning as a new CWebb. I have no idea whetehr that was his idea, Smart's, whether we'll see it next game or not, but our center notched 7 assists as we as a team notched 25 -- and proved that notching a lot of assists alone doesn't = pretty ball. Was dominating the glass late, but continued to hurt us with some sincerely terrible what was he thinking shots, and then when it was obvious it wasn't happening for us, kinda quit on defense. Your center notches 16rebs and 7assists and mildly threatens a triple double, there has to be some grade. But for a guy who has to be "the" guy, and who you are counting on to magically pull us out of another death spiral, this was bad. No leadership at all, and in fact his highly erratic play probably helped demoralize everybody else.
Stats: 27min 14pts (5-11, 1-2, 3-4) 0reb 1ast 1stl 0blk 2TO
Evans ( C- ) -- well, first the good news: lost in all the bad vibes of the last week, Reke's jumepr has been coming around a bit. He hit several last game, and looked online with the rest. And tonight again he knocked down several long ones, including a long three (I thought it was two threes, but one must have been foot on the line) with hsi feet set, which is actually exactly the shot you need him to have to space the floor when off the ball. Now for the bad news: most everything else. The jumpers are looking a little better, but if anything he's getting less involved and having less impact per game. We seemed to swing the offensive initiating back more toward IT this time, and that led to a brief burst of effective generalship by IT in the first before Teague ran began punishing him, but it left Reke kind of out of the loop. We have been seeing mroe of him at PG in recent games, a few minutes here, a few there, but tonight his lack of assists wasn't because fo the normal I kick you brik it phenomenon, but because his passing seemed a little wild and high risk, barely getting through, and rarely cleanly. When he tried to drive he found terrible spacing, and various Kings bigs often standing directly in the driving lane for no reason at all. I've got a wacky idea, how about we actually have the bigs come out high when we want to drive, and the guards move out to the three point line when the bigs want to go inside. I know, another wacky plan. A missing factor tonight was the defense. He gave us spurts, helping to get Teague under control after he was lighting up IT like a pinball machine. In the trird for a stretch actually getting active smothering Korver. But in general started off the game leaving Korver open at the three point line repeatedly while he went down inside trying to help on the glass. And hey, we needed the help, not that Reke ever got any. But we also needed not to leave one of the league's best shooters wide open to bomb threes. In fact seemed kind of disinterested in sticking in Korver's chest, and constantly wanted to wander off to help others, go for rebounds, etc. Like it was too easy or too limiting just to stand around out at the three point line with an off the ball guy. Reke didn't lose this for us, and the shooting is looking better, but he also made very little positive impact and walked off the court shaking his head while boos rained down on the court from the 17 remaining members of the audience.
Stats: 19min 3pts (1-6, 1-4, 0-0) 1reb 5ast 1stl 0blk 0TO
Thomas ( D- ) -- every once in a while you see just a flash or two of last year's IT. In this game it came early, when he started the game off creating a couple of nice looks, and splashing in a catch and shoot three. But I think as much as anything he got jolted out of his comfort zone in this one when Jeff Teague just started destroying him the other way, possession after possession. Made him look physically helpless to stop it and was scoring and scoring and scoring until finally we had no choice but to pull IT. IT's response before getting yanked was to lose that early compsure and start chucking up off balance shots. Came back to start the third, but was largely ineffective. Could not hit his threes to provide spacing, but at least Teague had cooled down. At least notched some assists this time, but another obvious candidate to be shifted to the bench to refind himself.