Well...we came, we saw, we gave up 122 points, again, we got selfish, again, we lost, again.
Funny how those patterns can work, and how completely unable to make those connections our team seems to be.
Anyway, Isiah and Cousins were good for a long stretch, and selfish for a long stretch. Reke's numbers are a bit illusory..he was good early, frozen out in the middle, and bad late. Nobody else helped much, and the bench failed again, as did we. Not a girls loss, just a loss against another superior team.
Full Grading Consortium for tonight:
Stats: 28min 8pts (3-8, 2-4, 0-0) 1reb 2ast 0stl 0blk 0TO
Salmons ( C- ) -- I like John Salmons, but of late, he just seems out of sorts. He looks like a fish swimming upstream and trying to find the best route to take. There are times when he just seems to disappear. I realize that its hard to make an impact when there are times when other players are dominating the ball. There was a period when Cuz and IT were playing two man basketball, and no one else was touching the ball. And thats not a criticism, because it was working. John had 8 points on 3 of 8 shooting, and was 2 of 4 from downtown. But three of those eight points came on a three with the game out of sight. To make matters worse, he only had 1 rebound and 2 assists. John is a good player, and he has to find a way to make more of an impact. If you not scoring the ball, then grab some rebounds. There was a period of the game, when he hit a fallaway 15 footer, and then a three off of a great save of a ball going out of bounds by Cousins. As a result they started feeding him the ball. But he followed that by missing his next two shots. All in all, a disappointing night for Salmons. --Baja
Remember: Mark Olberding (w/Kings '85-87)? -- when the Kings arrived in Sacto it was with a platoon at PF. The starter was an old school tough guy schooled in the arts of thuggery named Mark Olberding, who's nose bent about 3 ways and looked like a prize fighter's. He was undersized, aging, had very little talent (when you look at how anemic his numbers were at the time its startling), but he knew how to body you up, hit you with a well timed elbow, and generally do the sorts of things that would make most modern PFs not named Reggie Evans break down in tears and cry for mommy.
Stats: 30min 9pts (3-9, 0-0, 3-4) 10reb 0ast 0stl 2blk 2TO
Thompson ( C ) -- Jason had one of those nights that brought back memories of years past. He missed opportunity after opportunity to score. He did score 9 points, but could have easily had 15 or so. He missed a point blank shot right under the basket in the first quarter. He did score a layup on a nice pass from Salmons right at the basket. But finished off the first quarter by missing a point blank dunk. He spent a good portion of the 2nd quarter riding the bench. He closed out the 1st half by making a good foul on Josh Smith as the Kings had a foul to give, and left the Hawks with only 8/10's of a second left. Smith managed to get a 3 pt shot off that went in, and was originally credited as a basket, but was reversed when the officials ruled that the clock on the basket hadn't started on time. The second half didn't go much better offensively for JT. He grabbed a rebound off of a Cousiins miss, but missed the put back. A little later he did a nice job of posting up Smith in isolation, but then threw up an air ball. He seemed to be rushing things all night. The one thing he did do was rebound, and at times, played decent to good defense on Smith. But towards the end, Smith seemed to wear him down, and he really struggled. Not a terrible game, but far from what we've come to expect from JT. --Baja
Remember: Anthony Bonner (w/Kings '90-93)? -- with the recent resolution of the TRob saga, it seemed a time to revisit a PF from a few years later, A.B., Anthony Bonner (the hip hop nickname standard did not arrive until a few years later, and would have resulted in the unfortunate tag "ABone" or worse yet "ABonner"). Part of the record 4 1st round picks in a single year haul we had in 1990 (not one of whom worked out long term) like TRob he was a college rebounding champ who came to the NBA and found himself suddenly undersized. But A.B. was VERY undersized. Like 6'8" 225lb SF sized undersized, but without any of the skills SFs typically have. He was tough, athletic and aggressive on the offensive boards, he had good quick hands and notched a lot of steals for a semi-big, but when Karl Malone came to town...well, we were real bad during those years. Real real bad.
Stats: 37min 26pts (11-22, 1-1, 3-6) 13reb 2ast 3stl 0blk 4TO
Cousins ( B+ ) -- big game for Boogie slapping around the sad excuses for centers the Hawks throw out there. Had to force a terrible jumper against the clock to start, but drained an in rhythm jumper a minute later and began to come up with a series of huge, often ill advised, highlight reel plays.. A big power drive just knocking Zaza out of his way and reverse dunk. A ridiculous rumbling spinning, shoulder lowering drive fullcourt for the +1. A ferocious and sloppy offensive rebound sequence ending in a wild layup. And closed the half stupidly dribbling all the way up the court and ignoring the last shot of the half theory to fore up a shot and get fouled, but leave ATL with 20 seconds to score, which they almost did with a buzzer beating three that was later waved off after review. Defensively was a mixed bag. Of the scrub centers the only one to create any problems was mysteriously Ivan Johnson, who seemed to puzzle Cousins in the 2nd quarter with his ability to put the ball on the floor and get to the line. But Cuz was reluctant to challenge Horford on his bread and butter baseline jumpers, and Horford has been on a tear of late. His three steals tonight were not of the great hands/poke the ball away variety so much as they were just reading some very bad Hawks entry passes and stepping into the passing lanes to take the pass himself. Had some more of his wild trying to do the impossible turnovers. Been going on for a month and its head scratching. Just is fairly routinely anymore trying to make plays with his passing that just are not there and giving away 3-4 possessions a game with it. We (and here smart gets the credit) came right out to start the third and reestablished Boogie with a called post move which he scored on, and he was off on a dominant mini run where he ran off 10 points in about 5 minutes, including even knocking down a wide open three. But got frozen out as IT really began dominating the ball in the latter half of the third, and had to resort to some wild offensive board attempts to get any touches for a long spell before the always present foul trouble took him out of the game. Returned in the mid 4th and had another power +1, but by that time our offensive game had devolved into a long series of 1 on 1 plays, and Boogie joined in, not even looking for teammates on those lucky occasions when it was his turn to go 1 on team. Do think thought that Boogie may actually have been the most reluctant culprit in that collapse of teamwork as you saw him with some pointed words for IT on one play where the little guy chose to go 1 on 4 on a fastbreak rather than dump it behind him to several running teammates. The numbers here dragged this grade up inexorably and I had it an A- before backing off. It was obviously a big game with a number of "It" plays, but felt a bit up and down. --Brick
Remember: Othell Wilson (w/Kings '86-87)? -- thought I would go REAL obscure with this one. Back in the days when we had The King of Pop as a backup PG we also had this man to play a similar role. Its been so long, and he was so obscure (he played 2 seasons in the NBA, the last being wiht the Kings, which was a frequent story for us in those days as we employed people nobody else would) that I cannot even tell you much about his game other than that he was a burly little guy from the Mike Bibby school of PGs, except he was all pass no shot.
Stats: 39min 15pts (5-14, 1-3, 3-4) 8reb 6ast 0stl 0blk 2TO
Evans ( D+ ) -- Evans had 15 points tonight, which normally would be a decent, if not outstanding outcome, but in this case 11 of those came in the first quarter, and outside of hitting his first three, Tyreke didn't hit a shot that wasn't a transition layup for the entire game. At the same time he missed four layups/shots in the lane in the fourth quarter alone. After killing the Hawks in transition in the first quarter, Tyreke was pretty much an offensive non-entity for the remainder of the game. He was passing pretty well tonight with six assists including a couple of nice drive-and-kicks, and his 8 rebounds were also nice to see. On defense, Tyreke had some nice individual possessions but overall did not have a great game. In the late third quarter he got assigned to Josh Smith, which you might think would spell disaster, but he shut Smith down in the post to force a turnover and checked him effectively enough to force him to pass the ball another time - Smith got exactly nothing done against him. Early in the fourth, he stayed in front of Devin Harris' best moves on the break and stayed tall and straight up, but somehow Harris flipped the ball off the glass and got it to fall. But Tyreke slumped off of his man at the 3-point line far too often tonight, with his matchups taking 8 threes against him and hitting 4 of them. It's not like he's really helping by cheating into the lane, so I'd like to see him, say, stay in his man's face rather than allow Kyle Korver (46.6%) and DeShaun Stevenson (38.9%) three and four shots apiece. In the end Tyreke allowed 18 points on 12 shots, and that's not getting it done for the guy whose job is to be our best perimeter defender. --Capt.
Remember: Pete Chilcutt (w/Kings '91-94)? -- the Chili Dawg! as my brother always used to mockingly call him. An early example of the stretch 4, and every bit the weenie most players of that ilk are. Did not help that when we drafted him he looked like a 14yr old prep school kid (the photo above is after he grew a scruff to tough guy his image). We picked him up with a late first round pick in 1991 and he went on to be part of the awesome Bonner/Chilcutt young "power" forward platoon we had at the time. Thing was though, that after being very soft his first couple of years, by the end of his Kings tenure he had bulked up in his upper body, and begun to fly around on the boards enough that I was actually sad to see him go as a backup. The stretch 4 concept would keep him employed in the league until 2000 as a spot shooting reserve big in the Matt Bonner mode.