Hey there. So as all the old timers know, game threads always used to start out with a good old summary of the last game/awards/match-up previews. Piksi used to take care of them, then ryandty, and then the duty kinda fell on my shoulders. Then I got really really busy and the gamethreads of old just sort of faded into the ether (though the fact that we haven’t really had much to cheer for kinda made not devoting the energy to writing these things that much easier.) Though my schedule is more insane than ever, I finally decided to get my act together and start trying to push these things out again (though I definitely know I won’t be able to get to every single game).
Sooo without further ado, let’s get to it shall we?
Demarcus in the five games since being reinstated: 19.4 ppg, 14 rpg, 5.4 apg, 2.2 spg in 33 minutes per game.
The Kings record over this time period? 4-1.
He obviously needs to be traded. And fast. What’s been amazing about these past five games is that he’s dominated in a variety of different ways at different stages of the game. Not since the days of Chris Webber have we seen such a display from a big man (Okay, so maybe Brad Miller had a stretch but he doesn’t count). Power, agility, court awareness that would make most point guards blush. THIS is why those people who reaaaallllly wanted to trade Demarcus (especially when his value plummeted as teams tried to give us their loose change for him under the guise of acquiring ‘damaged goods’) are wrong. When a once in a generational player falls into your lap, you hold onto him no matter the circumstances.
Speaking of apparent malcontents being shipped off, 12 years ago today, Chris Webber played perhaps the best (or most dominant) game in Sacramento Kings history (sorry Big O, you don’t count), putting up 51 points, 26 boards, 5 assists, 3 steals, and 2 blocks. The crazy part? The Kings still lost. (Curse you, Reggie Miller!). Ask the Washington Bullets how great dumping their headcase on the Kings worked out for them.
And now an assortment of NBA beards
One of the NBA's hottest young stars, Harden is the true facial hair successor to Baron Davis.
That smile in this portrait may legitimately give me nightmares for years to come. While lacking bushiness in comparison to Harden's monstrocity, the (formerly) stanky fish makes up for it with in-game facial expressions that range from bemused to bored.
While technically not a beard, any opportunity not taken to post a picture of the slickest 'stache this side of Ron Jeremy is a wasted opportunity.
Further entries shall appear in later installments. Plan accordingly.
Our awards are given for the previous game in our game threads and, unlike the actual awards given out at the end of the NBA season, actually mean something. Here’s a quick key as to the various abbreviations and rationalizations for our usual rewards-
LW-VC: The Luke Walton Vacuum Cleaner Award, given to the player who our esteemed award committee has determined to be the suckiest on any given night or Luke Walton, depending upon the personnel gracing the hardwood.
SAR: Shareef Abdur-Rahim Award, goes without explaining. An award handed out to the player who creaks the most everytime he takes a step down the court.
TDM: Tony Delk Memorial Award. Once upon a time, there was a back-up point guard on the Sacramento Kings named Tony Delk. One day, the Kings decided to let him go in order to pick-up some nobody named Bobby Jackson. Not so long after that, Tony Delk decided to torch the Kings for 50-something points as a member of the Phoenix Suns, a day that will forever live in infamy. Originally an award given to the former King who most contributed against us, the TDM award now goes to the player on the opposing team who came the furthest out of nowhere to kick our behinds.
JH-ANA: The Jason Hart- Andres Nocioni Award goes to the player on the Kings who inexplicably got more minutes than he probably should have and did absolutely nothing positive in that time (hence being named after the infamous Jason Hart). Considering Keith Smart is our coach, get used to a variety of names showing up here.
WTF Moment of the Game: Self-explanatory.
In addition, I will sometimes come up with a few off-the-cuff awards to fit any given situation. It’s my damn column so I make my own rules, darn it!
So with that out of the way, lets get to the awards for yesterday’s game against the mighty Toronto Raptors.
LW-VC: Aaron Gray. I mean, seriously. Aside from being seven feet tall, I’m really not quite sure he has any of the qualities befitting an NBA player. Even thinking back to his time with the Hornets and Bulls, I’d be hard pressed to think of a time that’s done anything that’s made me want him on an NBA roster. And this is coming from a guy who roots for a team that seems to be allergic to acquiring a big man that isn’t the same size as our wings.
SAR: Cisco. The dude runs like someone ran over his foot with a moped. While he’s certainly never exactly been Lebron out there or anything, Cisco has exhibit the ease of movement of a circus elephant in a train car ever since he’s come back from that one time he mistook a dude’s back for a waterslide. But then again, athleticism has never been his game and, if he continues to provide spot shooting and general roleplayer-itude, I can seem him still being a key player for our team even after Reke and MT come back.
TDM: Alan Anderson. Alliterative name? Yes. Lack of any distinguishing features to separate him from the hundreds of other Alan Andersons walking the Earth today? Yes (For godssake, man, just grow a beard!). Career journeyman who’s in his thirities? Of course. Sounds like the perfect makings of a TDM recipient. Much to my surprise, the dude averages 10 points a game. I just doubt that I’m ever going to hear his name again (at least, not in the NBA).
JHA: Chuck Hayes. Against a team with the frontline deficiencies of Toronto, we had as much use for Chuck tonight as a chicken has need for KFC. Honorary mention: Last year’s Jimmer making a surprise appearance in tonight’s game.
WTF moment: The Raptors were the hottest team in the league??? With that frontcourt?
So here we are, looking to go 3-1 on our road trip (when was the last time we could even say that?!) against a team that just fired future IT to replace him with a guy who famously got choked by Latrell Sprewell and coached the Thunder before they were good. This game isn’t going to be easy. Every since the Avery Johnson firing, the Nets have been playing good ball. However, they are coming off a double overtime buzzer beating victory over the mighty Washington Wizards so there’s that.
Match-ups for tonight’s game:
Deron Williams versus our guards. Though he’s been getting plenty of attention for being responsible for Johnson’s canning, people tend to forget just how good D-Will is. They’ll get a chance to remember as he has the opportunity to toss our array of midget PGs around like ragdolls.
John Salmons versus Gerald Wallace. In the past GW has absolutely destroyed the fish in their match-ups but Salmons has seemingly been reinvigorated this season. To beat the Nets, you can’t afford to let Wallace get hot since you’ve already got to deal with D-Will, Lopez, and ancient Joe Johnson.
Lopez versus Cousins. A few years ago, Brook Lopez was considered by many analysts to be the next great center, a guy who once he emerged would come to dominate the league for the next decade. Since that point, Lopez has gone on to have had an injury marred career and there has been a changing of the guard of sorts in Demarcus’s arrival on the scene. That said, Lopez is still capable of having his big games (though no one’s going to confuse his rebounding abilities with those of Dennis Rodman). If Demarcus avoids getting into foul trouble against Brook and Blatche, it’s a major win for us.
Keith Smart versus himself: In our recent spate of success, Smart has gotten a little better when it comes to his line-ups and rotation, keeping out-of-left-field Outlaw sightings to a minimum and even *gasp* keeping one or two starters in with his reserves. To extend this streak to three in a row, he’ll have to keep it up
Our Reserves versus sucking. Demarcus being awesome has largely covered up the fact that there will be a stretch in every single one of our games where our reserves will simply allow the opposing team to crawl back into the game no matter the situation. To continue our winning ways, this is going to have to change. And fast. I don’t care who or why but we need to shore this up. It might not cost us the game against the Raptors but it may against teams actually going somewhere.
My prediction for the game? I’m riding the hotstreak. 99-94 Kings. All hope lies with the Boogie.
Here we stay. Here we boogie. Here we rise.