Ok, for all those who have this taped off, this game had 3 distinct stages:
1) a competive first quarter, where despite spotty perfromances from some, overall we competed and weere in it
2) a complete 37-14 debacle in the second quarter, started by the bench, and lingering after the starters returned. The hangover even lingered into the early 3rd.
3) a gritty final 18 minutes led by Tyreke Evans, but participated in by half a dozen other guys, all of whom seemed like they wanted to compete
That still all adds up to Girls, but at least the tough close, where we saw some effort, toughness, desire, helped wash out some of the real Denver level ick you were feeling by the mid 3rd as it looked like we had compeltely collapsed and turned on ourselves.
So another road game, another large margin loss, another batch of beautiful girls (glad people out there keep making more of them or we'd run out). You know the story. You know who's grading. So let's get to it:
Stats: 21min 6pts (2-6, 2-4, 0-0) 2reb 0ast 0stl 0blk 3TO
Garcia ( D- ) -- Cisco had a rough night. And he started off the night on the right foot by hitting his first shot, a 3pt'er. Unfortunately it started to go south almost immediately. He mishandled a beautiful pass from Cousins right under the basket. At the other end, he got caught in a screen and Bradley hit a jumper. His next trip down he played Bradley pretty well, but Bradley scored with a jumper over his outstreched hand. Trying to make up for it at the other end, he forced up a shot off the dribble and missed. Shooting off the dribble isn't Cisco's strong suit. A bit later he tries to drive the left baseline and loses the handle for a turnover. Then old man Cisco trying to guard old man Pierce, gets beat off the dribble and Pierce lays it in. He finished off his night by getting called for a travel, and then missing a wide open three. --Baja
Alexandra Stan -- per rainmaker. Another Romanian pop princess? You betcha. And that's two more than you knew of a week ago.
Stats: 21min 9pts (4-7, 0-0, 1-2) 3reb 0ast 0stl 0blk 1TO
Thompson ( C ) -- most of JT's minutes in this one came in the first half, and they were fairly decent minutes. He started the game off in indifferent fashion, spliting a pair of jumpers, getting a layup blocked by Garnett before committing one of his incrediby annoying soft little touch fouls inside to give a guy a +1. What I wouldn't give for a thug that would smack people hard enough they had no chance to finish those plays. But as the first quarter wore on adn we fought back, Jason got effective in rolepolayer fashion playong off the ball and just taking passes from Reke and Cousins and finishing them. After the bench's debacle in the early 3rd, was one of the core starters returned to try to stabilize things in the mid 2nd. Did get a follow dunk, but did not disrupt the Celtcis' rhyyhm on defense as the C's hit their first 14 shots of the second quarter before finally blowing a layup. Started the third by immediately throwing a bad pass turnover, and with us still dead int eh water and the lead growing from 21 to 26pts, Smart quickly yanked JT and Cisco without 3 min of the half starting, never to return.--Brick
Mia Zarring -- A Slim special.
Stats: 33min 13pts (4-12, 0-1, 5-8) 6reb 4ast 1stl 1blk 5TO
Cousins ( D+ ) -- The game started unfortunately for Cousins with Garnett hitting three tough shot on him in a row, the third being a ridiculous fadeaway 18-footer as the shot clock expired despite very good D. He continued a pretty nice showing on D, consistently helping and looking to cut off the drive. The Celtics were deliberately trying to get Pierce matched up on a center, but it didn't work when Cousins picked him up, with Cuz knocking the ball away from Pierce on a drive and then forcing him into a travel in the third, and then picking him up on the perimeter on two consecutive possessions in the fourth forcing a perimeter pass on one and sitting in his face for the entire shot clock and forcing a 24-second violation in the next. He also broke up an alley-oop pass to Garnett. In fact, probably his only notably bad defensive play was an attempted steal in the backcourt (yeah, he still does that sometimes) that allowed Garnett to get back in transition and deep in the paint on IT. But outside of defense, boogie didn't really have his game going tonight. He only grabbed six rebounds for another subpar night and 13 points on 4-12 shooting is far less than we've come to expect from him. The good news is that he wasn't sulking out on the perimeter tonight, he actually spent time getting the ball in the post, though for the first and second quarters, it was generally about as high of a post as he'll go into, a bit outside the elbow instead of at it. After a particularly bad stretch for the team that ended in Cousins throwing the ball off of Tyreke's feet on a cut, it looked like he was about to lose it. Strangely, after a timeout he seemed to focus and started to fight for position very deep in the lane, resulting in a layup and two free throws on consecutive possessions, but his new-found lane crashing came to an end when he committed a charge and sat down with his fourth foul. Still, when he came back in during the fourth with the game decided, he kept playing hard. The results were not so good, but the attitude looked like it took a turn for the better despite the big loss. --Capt.
Alison Brie -- per Padrino.
Stats: 41min 19pts (7-15, 1-2, 4-4) 11reb 2ast 3stl 0blk 4TO
Evans ( B ) -- Tyreke played 41 minutes tonight, and they were very active minutes. I was surprised that the stats only showed him with 2 assists, because my notes had him with 4, so obviously the official scorer and I aren't on the same page. Tyreke played terrific defense tonight, with 3 steals, and made life miserable for whom ever he was guarding. Pierce found out in one sequence when he tried to take Tyreke off the dribble along the left baseline. Tyreke scored his first basket on a post up, which I wish he would do more of. He found his way to the basket time and time again, either scoring, or making great passes. For most of the nignt, Tyreke looked the part of a PG, even if the box score doesn't reflect it. It wasn't a perfect night. He bit on a Terry pumpfake, and let Terry go unabated to the basket. But that was about his only mistake on defense. He couldn't get through the night of course without making the occasional drive to the basket into heavy traffic and throwing up a wild shot that had no prayer. He got his shot blocked on one sequence by Garnett, and took a shot at throwing the ball the full length of the floor after grabbing a rebound. Wasn't a good idea! But all in all, he played very well, and was probably the best player on the floor for the Kings. He pulled down 11 rebounds as well. Unfortunately, he didn't have a lot of help. --Baja
Anne Curts Smith -- per Agent23.
Stats: 24min 8pts (2-10, 1-4, 3-4) 3reb 1ast 3stl 0blk 0TO
Thomas ( D- ) -- somebody's mom once said life is like a box of chocolates, and so are the nightly performances by most of our Kings. In this case it was IT, coming off his best performance in a month...and indeed likely his best performance since we faced Boston last time a month ago. And he comes out and misses his first 7 shots of this game, from points stretching all the way from the 3pt line to right at the rim. Now to be fair he had some help in this one, as if his numbers against Boston a month ago were aided by the matchup with an ailing Rondo, his numbers tonight took a hit as he was smothered by Avery Bradley, who while not being quite the wunderkind Boston fans make him out to be, is a long armed quick and aggressive defender who was right up in IT's grill. IT's offensive response was predictable and dumb as he showed that meanie who he was messing with by racing down and airballing a jumper. But that same competitiveness found better outlet on the defensive side of the ball, where in the early going he was able to provide on and off effective ball pressure of his own against the Celtics big non-PGs. Of minor note he made a nice little unselfih play to close the first given his 0-5 start, as Reke was working hard on defense, knocked a ball away for a steal, scooped it to IT who had the gimme, but the little guy appropriately scooped it right back to Reke to reward the guy who started the whole thing rather than break his own bagel with the gimme. Kept missing after returning in the second, and finished the half 0-7. And as the Celtics were in the midst of their huge run we were treated to the spectacle again and again of little IT being the guy back trying to defend the break against guys a foot taller than he is. He competed, gave it his best flying liliputian iimitation, notched a steal, deflected another one, but also just had to watch helplessly as they played over his head on most of them. Finally hit his first shot, a three, in the early third. And so of course then comes out of a timeout and forced a bricked three off his dribble. The brain of a minichucker must be a funny place. Closed with a pokeaway steal from behind and leakout for the resulting layup. But when your PG notches 1 assist AND can't shoot, has a tendency to lead to unhealthy grades Mostly being given anything at all here just for the effort..--Brick
Haruka Ayase -- per panda.