Its too bad the bulk of our team did not show up to this one to play in a cats will be dogs and dogs will be cats first half dominated by our mini-chuckers. Because after half most of the culprits -- Cuz, Reke, JT and finally even Thornton -- sputtered to life and we struggled around until a final Thornton flurry gave us a chance to sneak away with one. But just not enough, and so much ragged play and so many mistakes right until the end that the final score was the only just outcome: the better team won. Not that they were very good either.
Okay, so, for the remaining 30 games what we'll have is this: I was planning on expanding the Grading Consortium a bit , but have not heard back, so it may just be myself, Capt and Baja through the end. And given the uncertainty about the team's future, I'll be theming it up every night now, but no more random stuff. It will be a long list of reminders of Kings history, players, etc....or on the really bad nights it will be girls. Think there is a real chance the day will be saved one more time and we get a new and improved team next year. But if not, we'll be here until closing time. Hope you will be too.
Full Grading Consortium for tonight:
Stats: 28min 6pts (2-6, 0-2, 2-2) 3reb 2ast 1stl 0blk 3TO
Salmons ( D ) -- It just wasn't John's night. He started out well enough with a pullup 15 footer at the top of the key. He missed a three in the left corner on a nice kickout from Cuz. A bit later he recieved another nice pass from Cuz as he was cutting to the basket. He missed, but was fouled, and hit both freethrows. He followed with a 14 footer from the left elbow. Little did we know, those were his last points of the night. After that, it was all downhill. He drove to the basket and made a nice pass to the Spurs for a turnover. He ended the half by missing a corner three. There's nothing good to say about the second half, except that he played tough defense while on the floor. Mostly the half was marred by turnovers, missed shots, and personal fouls. In 28 minutes, he managed 6 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, and 1 steal. --Baja
Terry Tyler (w/Kings '85-'88) -- when the Kings first arrived in Sacramento it was with this man as the starting SF. Cut from somewhat of the same type of cloth as a James Johnson, sans ballhandling, he was a 3/4 combo defensive specialist with a shaky jumpshot and springs in his legs -- he had an unusual slow motion windup as a leaper where he'd almost do a froglike deep knee bend before exploding up to block shots. But he really got off the ground, and was even in the 1986 Slam Dunk contest (where he finished last -- he could really jump, but had o flair or creativity). He platooned with shooting speciailist Eddie Johnson at SF for our early years.
Stats: 34min 11pts (4-10, 0-0, 3-3) 8reb 2ast 1stl 0blk 1TO
Thompson ( C+ ) -- It was the tale of two halfs for JT. Zippo in the first half, and all 11 points in the second half. To be honest, it looked like JT spent the entire time off drinking coffee and was still on a high. He was going a thousand miles an hour and was mostly out of control in the first half. He started missing a 15 footer on the left baseline, and then by driving into traffic and losing the ball for a turnover. He continuely lost track of Splitter who found himself under the basket being unguarded. He ended the first half by recieving a beautiful pass under the basket, but needlessly put it on the floor, and got it blocked. He didn't start the second half much better, getting his shot blocked by Duncan. Fortunately Cuz grabbed the loose ball and dunked it. He finally got to the foul line on a drive, where it appeared he walked, but no call, and he made both freethrows. That must have gotten him started, because he followed that with a turnaround jumper from 15 feet. He then put in a jumphook in the key, and was fouled. He finished off his scoring with a dunk on a pass from Hayes. Hopefully, he'll start the next game like he finished this one. --Baja
Kevin Gamble (w/Kings '95-97) -- and people will barely even remember either Gamble or that he played for us. Gamble actually carved out a 10yr NBA career, most of spent as an entirely middling swingman for the Celtics in their declining post-Bird years (not bad, just middling). He washed up on these shores for the final two years of his career, and the best two years of the pre-Webber/Adelman Kings in '95-'96 (when we won all of 39gms) and '96-'97. he had once averaged as much as 15.4pts per game with the Celtics, but as a 6'5" swingman on a team with Mitch Richmond and more tweener SF types than you could shake a stick at, he was strictly a deep rotation guy/three point shooting specialist with the Kings.
Stats: 27min 11pts (3-9, 0-0, 5-8) 8reb 4ast 0stl 2blk 3TO
Cousins ( C ) -- and seeing what my fellow graders dide with the grades on either side of this one, let me jsut say it was a tale fo two halves for Demarcus... Well, somewhat. The Spurs of course have a pretty good post defender in Duncan and were paying Cuz a lot of extra attention, and in the first half he was mixing in plays when he did mor eor less the right thing, and passed the ball out to largely incompetent guards/SFs to blow assists for him, or tried to force moves too quickly to beat the doubles, and turnign the ball over in the process. Was really banigng with Duncan in there, but at the end of the half amazingly I don't think Cousins (smothered) Reke (asleep) or JT (got everything blocked) had a single field goal between them. All three of them would sputter to life after half though, when when wisely used a strong called post play for him to start the 3rd and get him going, he knocked down a jumper, and began to get ot the line. Still never looked quite comfortable or in rhythm though, missed a pair of FTs, and picked up his 4th foul late in the third on a Parker drive, and was not happy about it. Returned in the fourth but was an afterthought on offense as it was all guards all the time. Made a couple of nice defensive plays with his hands down the stretch, stripping Parker as he tried to drive the lane. But then got caught out on Parker on the perimeter with 30 seconds to go, and when Parker went around him we had nobody to stop him as the lead went back to 5. Certianly not an in rhythm game at all for Boogie, but will say that hsi amn dd little damage the other way, and to a certain degree he tried to do teh right thing beating the presure with passes. Fluttered between a C- and a C here, going with the higher grade. --Brick
Billy Owens (w/Kings '95-98) -- on that same team with Gamble was the infamous Billy Owens, a player of some talent and a dimestore head. Owens actually had an important role to play for the franchise, but not during his years actually with the franchise. In the '91 draft Owens was the guy that Don Nelson coveted so highly to finally implement his dream of a basketball team without any power players at all (Owens was a pure bred SF/PF tweener) that Nellie was willing to trade Mitch Richmond to the Kings for our #2 pick so that he could draft Owens. Mitch of course went on to carry the Kings franchsie through the 90s. Owens went on to be neither fish nor fowl, a talented do everything sort of 14pt 7reb 4ast shaky shooting no defense no brains combo forward who was usually out of shape and just a support player not the star Nellie envisioned. Years later after failing out of Golden State, the Kings would get their draft pick back, so he could be the same sort of tweener for them -- our facination with undersized PFs who weren't PFs ran way back in time you see. His knucklehead, combined with Officer Olden Polynice's at center, helped rock the Kings franchise into its last implosion/ownership change back in '98-99.
Stats: 31min 20pts (6-15, 1-3, 7-8) 5reb 1ast 3stl 0blk 0TO
Evans ( B- ) -- It was a tale of two halves for Tyreke. In the first half he was completely ineffective on offense (1-4 from the floor, 1-2 from the line, committing a turnover that somehow didn't make it into the box score fumbling a pass in the lane) but did a good job on defense, holding Parker to four points on five shots. In the second half, he was much better on offense (5-11 from the floor, 6-6 from the line), getting most of his best work done by driving the lane. Note that his aggressiveness didn't always serve him well, as he took two ill-advised fast break shot attempts driving into defenders that didn't foul him. On top of that his defensive effectiveness went way downhill in the second half, with 'Reke allowing 14 points on 10 shots. Some of this was a bit questionable, however - seven of those points came on a Parker continuation that was iffy at best, a ticky-tack perimeter foul in the penalty, and some great D on a Parker drive that was nevertheless called a foul. I guess that 7 points on 8 shots would have looked a lot better, but that's not the way that it turned out. On a bright note, Tyreke had three steals in the third quarter, though Evans went 1-1-1 on the resulting fast breaks (the win being an assist to IT, the loss being one of his misses on the questionable drives, and the tie being Tyreke fumbling the return pass and being forced to pull the ball out). I'd like more efficiency both offensively and defensively but all-in-all he played a decent game tonight.--Capt.
Marty Conlon (w/Kings '92-93) -- I just had to use that photo, because it is just so Marty Conlon. Just look at it -- tells you everything you need to know. And yes, that was his free throw stance. Marty was Brian Scalabrine before there was Brian Scalabrine. One of two Kings players from that era that I had an irrational fondness for -- Jim Les being the other -- because they simply in no way shape or form belonged in the NBA, and looked it. he had short legs and arms, the Bogut/Zaza head too big for the body thing, a gut, you name it. Thing is that while Marty was bigger than Scalabrine, and a semi-big man (he was often listed a C because he lacked the athleticism to play PF), like Scalabrine he was saavy and hardworking enough that he carved out a lengthy career with very minimal talent. And for the Kings, people laughed at him and his complete inability to defend anything with two legs, but he was actually kinda effective. He hustled his butt off on the court, and his stange looking little shots went in more than you would think they did. He was like every overweight unathletic sports geek's hero, and his per 36s in his single season with the Kings (his second in the league) were a very respectable 16.9pts 9.5rebs 2.9ast on .474 shooting. Just for comparison Jason's in his second year were 14.3pts 9.7reb 1.9ast on .472 shooting.