Wowza wowza. Much much defense. Much bad offense. Two OTs. And in the end just ran out of steam and lost. No hanging heads we're the worst team in the league nonsense tonight though. Time to go home and get some of these wins.
Kingsflix highlight vid:
Stats: 20min 4pts (1-5, 0-1, 2-2) 2reb 1ast 1stl 3blk 2TO
Johnson ( D ) -- okay, red flag here is that Johnson has only been getting worse on offense, by this game looking completely lost, scared to shoot since he can't hit anything, and basically disrupting our offense just by his presence on the court. Result = his minutes got slashed so we could play Thornton and get some balance out there. Started the game missing jumpers, then turning them down, then finally hesitating and shuffling his feet for a TO. Now on the flip side of the ball was very active as so many of our guys were, nothcing 3 blocks and a steal in only 20 min of action, but while active I don't think he was that tremendously effective on his own man. With Granger out the Pacers were instead playing big guard sized repalcements in Gerald Green and Lance Stephensen, and Johnson's strength wasn't of great use against guys running around on the perimeter popping open. He lost them several times for open threes. Thing is sthat still getting big defensive hustle plays to help us set the defensive tone we have been maintaining. Length and activity inside. Can't go F with that no matter how bad the offense gets. But also can't go above this D until he figures it out and settles into a comfort zone, because he's not been just not accomplishing anything on offense, he's been mucking up the spacing and timing for everybody else.
Stats: 24min 4pts (2-6, 0-0, 0-0) 2reb 1ast 0stl 3blk 0TO
Thompson ( C- ) -- well, after two solid games to start the trip, upon the first watch of this game I thought Jason was largely ineffective. Second partial watch later and I still thoguht so, but noticed him doing more good things than the first time around. The ineffective would have taken all the major forms, as JT didn't score, didn't rebound (David West, who is a poor rebounder, dominated JT/Chuck to the tune of 18rebs to 8), and didn't slow the PF across from him. So kind of a clean sweep. But upon the rewatch you noticed that like the rest of the team Jason was hustling on defense and came up with several saving blocks on help defense, and that the rest of his game was within the flow of the offense, such as it is. He didn't get much accomplished, but it wasn't like JJ situation where he was actually messing us up. Just had a quiet night and gave way to Hayes for the stretch and OT minutes. Need mroe rebounding out of him though -- JT, Hayes and TRob combined for 70 minutes and 8 combined rebounds. Tyreke had 9 himself.
Stats: 42min 21pts (9-27, 0-0, 3-6) 13reb 1ast 4stl 1blk 1TO
Cousins ( C ) -- well...what to say here. First it should be noted that Demarcus Cousins "only" notched 21pts 13rebs 4stls and a blocked shot while playing 42 minutes and avoiding the foul trouble which has limited him so badly the first two games. He was our only rebounder aside from Reke (this was the game where our top 3 talents really stepped forward as such), only turned the ball over 1 time (albeit he got lucky on that front with some very loose passes ahead on the break), and if you are fortunate enough to be in a fantasy league which does not count shooting percentages he put up a heck of a statline. Back in real life however, it would be hard to call this a good game, at least for as prodigous a talent as Cousins. Faced with the biggest/longest roadblock in the league in Hibbert he shot only 9-27. That was 5-12 at half, so it was a 4-15 second half. And it wasn't wild stuff. Wasn't even often his offensive tip game. Most of it was little pop jumpers and us throwing it into him in the post and saying go to work big guy. I.e. a perfect situation for him to win the game for us -- in fact obviously in a game that went to 2 OTs, all he had to do was hit one more shot in either regulation or the first OT and we win. Just one. 10-27 and we go home happy. But time and time again things bounced off the rim or were blcoked by Hibbert (6 blocks). Flips, half hooks, jumpers, you name it. And at the 1:45 mark of regulation went inside, got fouled...and bricked both FTs. Again, all he had to hit was one. Hugely frustrating with everybody, including Boogie himself, working so hard. Came up with his only credited block of the night on a back to back (with Hayes) block sequence with 15 seconds left and the game tied. Saved us from defeat and sent Reke and Thornton off to the races the other way with a chance to win it before Marcus forced a tough tough layup and we came up empty. Things did not improve for Boogie in the OTs though. Got one dunk off a nice Reke dish late in the first OT to help force the second, and a largely meaningless and even harmful layup late in the 2nd OT when we needed a three. But generally we kept going to him, and he just could not get anything to fall. You don't crap all over 21pts 13rebs 4steals and a block in a long scrappy battling effort with a terrible grade. But neither can Boogie be really happy with this one.
Stats: 44min 14pts (5-15, 0-0, 4-4) 9reb 4ast 3stl 2blk 4TO
Evans ( B ) -- offensively we struggled early in this one, not getting a shot in the arm until we brought in MT midway through the quarter. But defensively it was a war every quarter the starters were the main guys, and Reke was again a huge part of that. In fact his first quarter here was nearly as strong defensively as his first quarter in the home opener, not only one of the best he's played himself, but All Defense level stuff getting his hands on ball after ball, saving several hoops, picking off passes and going the other way etc. Just extremely aggressive and attacking in a way we've only seen flashes of before. That aggression bled over to the offensive side of the ball, where Reke was not gunning nor dominating, but was slashing and banging hard into the paint. Sometimes it was too much as there were turnovers and blocked attempts. But until the ragged stretch and OTs when the attempts got extremely tough, this was a 5-10 shooting night, and he once again was the main creative force amongst the starters, notching 4 of the 9 assists that group got on the night and setting up several nice dunks with his slashing passes. Unable to hit midrange jumeprs in the third and it looked like last year as the attempts were off balance, so responded with a couple of amazing finishesas we went on our big run to mae this into a dogfight the rest of the way. Made a bad error with a bad alley oop pass meant for JT near the end of the third -- George picked it off and the Pacers went her other way to make it a 10pt lead instead of 6. And may have made a poor decison trying to start a break with MT to win the game at the 10 seconds mark -- easy to say that now of course because MT missed the potential game winning layup -- but maybe we should have pulled it out. In any case played the game fast and hard, filled up all corners of the stat sheet in an Iggy like fashion, and what mistakes were made were mostly of the over aggressive variety.
Stats: 23min 5pts (2-6, 1-4, 0-0) 2reb 2ast 1stl 0blk 5TO
Thomas ( D ) -- not effective in his minutes once again, and again gave way to Brooks to run the team down the stretch and through the OTs. Hard to tell what the deal is, but through the first 3 games IT is averaging 24.3 min 1.7ast and 3.3 turnovers. That's not going to get it done as a PG. Tonight was largely a forgotten man as the war was really waged with the big bodies inside, but every once in a while would just pop up wiht an almost random turnvoer. Had them of all types, rarely seeming forced. Dribbling, passing...just was somehow off and never looking comfortable. Both his made shots were set up for him, so he was not necessarily disrupting the team by gunning, but he missed 3 of his 4 threes, and then would jsut randomly throw it to the other team every couple of minutes. Not just not dynamic right now. Looks uncomfortable and ineffective, and did through much of preseason too.