Kings lose to Bulls 108-98; A play by play of what went wrong last night

Here is the B-Ref boxscore, the Hoopdata Boxscore but I imagine you’re pretty nauseous from all the poor decision making the Kings showed. Rather than just do the typical game comments, I’m going to relay what I noticed from re-watching the game. (This is a laborious process and took me about 3 hours. Please keep that in mind if you choose to comment about the length.) Bullet form commence!

1st Quarter

  • With 11:06 remaining, Cousins makes a nice steal and outlet pass to Thornton. Thornton misses a layup, Salmons gets an offensive rebound and goes to the line where he eventually makes both FT’s. (It will be the only FT’s Salmons will attempt all game.)
  • Tyreke Evans with about 10:20 remaining does one of his many patented ill-fated twisting passes or shot attempts. The ball glances off Cousins who isn’t expecting that kind of stupidity (to be fair I’m not either) and Evans ends up taking a badly off balance 3 pt attempt. Chuck Hayes ends up with a loose ball foul.
  • What will be the first transition points of the night for the Bulls, Rose passes the ball to Deng for a layup during a 3 on 2 break. (That was effective transition defense in comparison to the rest of the night.)
  • By the way, at the 9:20 mark the Kings are up 5-4 on a John Salmons layup. Enjoy this lead because it’s the last one the Kings will have all night.
  • At 8:45 remaining, DeMarcus Cousins has a shot rejected by Joakim Noah.
  • At 8:17 remaining, after a miss on a John Salmons drive, Joakim Noah grabs the rebound. At this point Noah takes off with the ball and neither Evans or Thornton stops the ball. Noah gets an easy layup. Salmons, Cousins and Hayes were all behind Noah (Salmons by about 2 steps) had either Thornton or Evans stops the ball.
  • With 7:27 remaining, Tyreke Evans exhibits another one of his patented behind the back moves that results in a silly transition attempt for the Bulls. By the time the Bulls run a 3 on 1, only John Salmons has crossed halfcourt.
  • One note by Chuck Hayes from Jason Jones Bee story that I think is incredibly pertinent:

“It’s just effort and communication,” said forward Chuck Hayes. “Not a commitment to get back. We’re thinking they’re going to walk it up and they’re not … we act surprised if they try to get the easy points.”

  • With 6:34 remaining, Cousins misses a layup attempt and the Bulls go out running. Only Salmons and Thornton are back by the time Derrick Rose crosses halfcourt. There are 3 guys running with him at this point. Hayes is getting back into the play and Cousins is complaining at the ref because he thinks he should have been fouled. Additionally Tyreke Evans makes a lazy swipe at the ball that effectively takes him out of getting back into the play. Because Hayes is only a few steps behind Rose (and Hayes is not beating Rose in a foot race), all it would take either Evans or Cousins to get back into the play. I’m not pointing fingers here; it’s not just one player. It’s a slew of them at this point. Oh, and this is play where Deng fumbles the pass from Rose and is a turnover on the Bulls. (2nd unforced TO by the Bulls.)
  • With 6:10 remaining DeMarcus Cousins misses a tip in off a Chuck Hayes layup and then an easy half hook. Frankly, it’s hard to imagine other teammates being responsible for Cousins missing layup’s or blaming them for a low assist rate when Cousins has such a difficult time consistently converting point blank attempts at the rim. Luol Deng gets an easy layup at the rim because of poor defense mainly by Cousins and the Kings are down 16-5 at this point.
  • With 5:46 remaining Tyreke Evans attempts a wide open 3 that badly misses and the Bulls run a break again. At this point both Hayes and Salmons are at the 3 point line and get back on the break easily. Thornton is about 3 steps away from Salmons and gets back into the play. Tyreke Evans attempts to steal the ball from Rose (lazy) taking him out of the play. Additionally Cousins never gets into the play after not even running a few steps. Rip Hamilton gets a layup and a foul. Rinse Wash Repeat. Just as importantly was how hard Hamilton ran that play. Kings are down 19-5 now.
  • JJ Hickson comes in with 5:17 remaining. The Lineup is now Evans, Thornton, Salmons, Hickson and Hayes.
  • Carlos Boozer gets an offensive rebound and gets a layin. This really wasn’t a major problem from last night, but Boozer was standing at the Free Throw line and the ball just came to him. That missed rebound was on Tyreke Evans who was closer to grabbing it than Hickson. Also, Hickson was dealing with Noah who also saw the ball fly over his head. I’m more pissed that Tyreke watched it sail over his head than anything. Effort plays yanno?
  • The Lineup is now Jimmer Fredette, Marcus Thornton, John Salmons, JJ Hickson and Jason Thompson
  • With 1:40 or so remaining, JJ Hickson throws a lazy inbounds pass to Ronnie Brewer. The Bulls end up scoring on a Carlos Boozer layin.
  • At 1:13, Jimmer makes the beautiful cross court bounce pass to Marcus Thornton for 3. The score is now 30-15 Bulls.
  • At 53 seconds remaining, Jason Thompson fumbles a pass from Marcus Thornton that would be an easy layup. The Kings get lucky and the ref’s say the ball is off the Bulls. At 44 seconds Jimmer hits his Stop n Pop hoop.
  • The Kings finish the quarter well with Isaiah Thomas pushing the ball and getting the assist on Donte Greene’s layup. The Kings are down 30-24 after the end of the 1st quarter.

 

2nd Quarter

  • With 11:46 remaining Jimmer takes a 3 and misses. I’m just happy he took a 3 here honestly. It was wide open which is all you can really ask for.
  • At 10:48 remaining a loose ball batted out by JJ Hickson to the perimeter. Jimmer Fredette nearly grabs the ball but CJ Watson does and Omer Asik ends up getting an easy dunk. As much as bad things happen to you, and this was just an unlucky bounce, you have to learn how to pick yourself up and shrug it off. Young teams struggle with that.
  • On the very next possession, Thornton is driving and the ball is slapped away off Thornton’s knee. CJ Watson ends up getting the ball after he grabs it and the ball goes back to the Kings. Tyreke Evans will end up getting 2 FT Attempts after a few fouls by the Bulls.
  • Btw, Jimmer hits a 3 and the game is now 34-29.
  • The lineup is now Tyreke Evans, Jimmer Fredette, Travis Outlaw, JJ Hickson and Jason Thompson
  • At 9:15 remaining, Jimmer shoots a 3 (after Tyreke loses the ball, gets it back after Jason Thompson pokes it away, and then Tyreke kicks it out to Jimmer) and then Carlos Boozer rebounds the ball before tipping it to CJ Watson. This is where the problem starts. Only Tyreke is even across halfcourt before Watson pushes the ball. As Watson pushes the ball, Outlaw starts heading back down the court, and Jimmer and JT are right behing Outlaw. At this point it’s a 3 on 4. Ronnie Brewer ends up getting a bucket because Tyreke does not stop the ball. The Kings are down 36-29 at this point.
  • The very next possession for the Bulls, Evans, Fredette, Hickson, Thompson are all below the freethrow line when Outlaw shoots a 3. Outlaw falls down and BEATS Fredette and Hickson down the court. Evans and Thompson are the only guys even close to Korver who is several steps behind Ronnie Brewer who gets the dunk.
  • The NEXT possession, only Hickson is not across the halfcourt line (he’s jogging into the play) by the time CJ Watson crosses halfcourt. This time the ball is stopped but Korver gets a wide open 3 and drains it. The Kings are down 41-29. The lineup is now Tyreke Evans, Jimmer Fredette, John Salmons, Chuck Hayes and DeMarcus Cousins
  • Another pet peeve are players who spin on the baseline and use their arm to push off while doing it. Cousins picks up an offensive foul doing this at the 7:07 mark. The Kings are also down 46-31. On the next play Cousins blocks a Boozer shot and the next possession John Salmons hits a 3 (after the initial airball miss). Kings down 46-34 now.
  • With 4:48 remaining in the game, Jerry Reynolds uses the telestrator to illustrate the Travis Outlaw 3 attempt where ALL 5 Kings are below the FT line. Jimmer and Hickson are clearly shown jogging back not really attempting to get into the play. But, because Jerry is a team employee and it’s crass to call players out that way on TV, you won’t hear Jerry Reynolds say it aloud on a telecast. Don’t say it’s one player though; it’s a number of them.
  • At 4:32, Joakim Noah shows why he is so talented by tipping a ball in the hoop even though Chuck Hayes has Noah boxed out.
  • At 3:20 or so, Marcus Thornton is back in the game. Otherwise the remaining 4 on the court (Evans, Salmons, Hayes & Cousins) are the same.
  • At 2:25 or so, Tyreke makes a lazy steal on Rose. Noah ends up getting the layup even though the Bulls initially took out the ball from under their own basket. The score is now 59-44 Bulls.
  • At the 1:27 mark Thornton hits a 3 off a simple Tyreke pass. With just about a minute remaining in the 1st half, Hayes gets the ball at the top of the key (after Thornton brings up the ball). The key to Tyreke’s layup (this is the split where 2 defenders are thinking about Thornton and Reke heads backdoor) is that Rose actually miscommunicates and simply isn’t paying attention and Reke immediately heads backdoor where Hayes hits Reke with the pass and Reke gets the layup.
  •  It’s not just the Kings that make mental errors, nor is it Evans who is the only talented player who makes mental mistakes at the wrong moment. The difference is this is one of the few glaring major mistakes the Bulls make all night. Also, even as Rose is getting beat he does attempt to get back into the play and block Reke’s layup. Rose is visibly upset with himself and claps his hands in frustration. The score is now 59-49 Bulls.
  • The next possession Tyreke kicks out a fairly weak pass to Thornton (after the Bulls collapses on Tyreke) who then hits the 3. Bulls up 59-52 with 27 seconds remaining in the 1st half.
  • With about 16 seconds left Tyreke makes another swipe at the ball in Rose’s hands and Cousins ends up picking up a blocking foul after Rose gets into the lane. Rose makes 1 of 2 FT’s and the Bulls are up 60-52.
  • Tyreke ends up getting into the lane while passing to Cousins who gets 2 FT’s. Cousins misses 1 of his 2 FT’s (the only miss Cousins has ironically) and the Kings are down 60-53 at half. (Rose’s 3/4 court heave came very close to going down though.)

3rd Quarter

  • At 11:00 remaining, Cousins gets around Noah (who has 3 fouls at this juncture) and gets a dunk. It’s one of his 4 made baskets (out of 16 attempts). 3 of the 4 come in the upcoming stretch.
  • With about 10:17 remaining, Cousins swipes at the ball against Joakim Noah at the top of the key. Thankfully for the Kings, Boozer fumbles the ball off his leg but the ball goes back to the Bulls. 62-60 Bulls at this juncture.
  • With 9:20 remaining, and a stagnant offense, Marcus Thornton puts up a runner from about 8 feet that misses. The Kings are still down 62-60. Rose comes down the court and accelerates through the hole (that was more Rose than the defense honestly) at warp speed. Bulls 64-60.
  • At 8:51 remaining, Chuck Hayes misses a layup off a Tyreke pass. Rose pushes the ball and passes ahead to Rip Hamilton. (Tyreke and Salmons are both near Hamilton at this point.) Tyreke makes a poor decision to cut Hamilton off, and Hamilton gets off. DeMarcus Cousins hasn’t even crossed half court at this point.
  • The next possession Cousins misses 2 more point blank layup’s. Hamilton gets a 17 footer and swishes it. Both Evans and Cousins are jogging back into the play, and Cousins is complaining at the ref’s because he thinks he got fouled. (Cousins is wrong.) * With 8:01 remaining, Noah picks up his 4th foul.
  • With 7:54 remaining Omer Asik picks up his 4th foul.
  • Derrick Rose picks up his 4th foul with 5:45 remaining. Tyreke misses 1 of 2 FT’s but Cousins gets the O Board and goes to the line for 2 making both. Bulls are up 72-69.
  • At 5 minutes remaining, Thornton puts up a runner that makes the score 72-71 Bulls. The next Kings possession Cousins makes his lone Jumpshot of the night to make the score 74-73 after a CJ Watson runner. This is the closest the Kings come to ever leading again. With 3:55 remaining Thornton puts up an ill advised 3 that misses.
  • The next Bulls possession Marcus Thornton doesn’t pick up CJ Watson who hits a 3. Bulls 77-73.
  • The next Kings possession Tyreke drives but Boozer forces a jump ball. Off the tip, Boozer tips it to Deng who throws a perfect TD pass to Rip Hamilton (who beats Thornton down the court) for a layup. Bulls 79-73. Just for the record, that was a mental lapse Thornton made that he knew was his fault. It wasn’t laziness as Thornton tried to get back into the play. I’m more at issue with laziness than mental lapses here. 
  • Boozer then gets hits for a jumper that makes it 81-73 and another Kings TO. * Jimmer makes a runner with 1:48 remaining to make the score 81-75.
  • Hickson gets tied up by CJ Watson at 1:12 remaining. The Bulls are not able to leak out this time. It doesn’t matter because Boozer hits another one of his shot.
  • To end the 3rd Qtr, Thornton puts up a last ditch 3 that ends up becoming a 24 shot clock violation. However it does not cost the Kings points as Deng misses a shot as the buzzer sounds. Kings down 10 as the Bulls lead 85-75 at the end of 3 quarters. The last point I’ll make before heading into the 4th quarter is that there are clear differences between mental lapses and laziness that stems from poor commitment. There is A CLEAR DIFFERENCE at that.

4th Quarter

  • Jimmer hits a shot with 11:25 remaining to make the score 85-77. Jimmah!
  • With 10:34 Thornton hits a runner and gets fouled. Thornton misses the FT and Kings are down 8 at 87-79.
  • At 8:44 remaining Jimmer makes a nice pass to Jason Thompson for the dunk. Bulls are up 94-82.
  • With about 7:28 remaining Tyreke gets a 3 on 1 with Thornton and Jimmer flanking him. Tyreke keeps the ball and misses both FT’s. A dumb play but that’s Tyreke unfortunately at this stage. Passing the ball in those moments is something Tyreke has just not gotten comfortable in doing. That doesn’t mean it’s any less frustrating however.
  • With 7 minutes remaining, Evans passes to Cousins who takes a dribble and blows a wide open layup opportunity. (This is for anyone who says that Cousins doesn’t get enough assisted opportunities at the rim.) For fair measure, Jason Thompson does the same thing earlier in the game. (I hate it when big men do that, but enough young big’s do it so I understand why. Still, grrrrr!)
  • The biggest issue I have with this play is that you can clearly see on replay’s that CJ Watson is playing Tyreke to score. Tyreke is too busy trying to take the ball around the world (that’s around your front to back and back around to your front for those who don’t know–hence around the world) rather than keeping his dribble alive. By doing that, it basically allows Watson to foul Evans rather than allow the easy layup by Fredette.
  • Cousins misses a few more layup’s. But because big Cuz isn’t satisfied with just missing layup’s, and compounding problems is DeMarcus Cousins’ NBA specialty, Cuz fouls Joakim Noah because Cuz strives to be the most irritating big man in the history of all time. (This may or may not be true.) My favorite part of this is where Jerry Reynolds is describing these plays on the telestrator and he says “Just two opportunities by the 2 young, uh, Kings players and got nothing out of it.” The stutter is the part where he wanted to say 2 young stars and with the way they played last night, they played like spoiled brats truth be told.
  • With 5:23 remaining DeMarcus Cousins runs over Omer Asik for an offensive foul, his 5th, and then looks at the ref’s like he’s a targeted man. Got news for you Cuz: Act like an asshole and ref’s will treat you that way. Run over a guy when it’s obvious (a few minutes prior Joakim Noah does the same thing and doesn’t like it, but doesn’t foul out of the game immediately–also Noah was in foul trouble all night–Cuz picked up 3 fouls in the matter of about 2 minutes) and the refs will call it that way. The very next play, Boozer does the same thing to Cousins. So clearly, it goes both ways. Cousins needs to stop acting immaturely about these things or at some point his “potential” will be overlooked and most of us will be forced to call him a mouthy twat. Right or wrong.
  • Marcus Thornton gets his last of his 20 points on a broken play at 4:53 remaining. Afterwards, he looks mighty upset for someone who has played a pretty good game all things considering. Guess why?
  • Speaking of that broken play, it started with Chuck Hayes making a bad pass, stealing it back, and then dishing to Tyreke. Tyreke misses a layup and the ball gets batted out. Thornton happens to be standing there and hits the 3.
  • Don’t tell me luck is why Chicago won the game last night. It was commitment, and the Bulls have a lot more of it than the Kings do.
  • Cousins fouls out with 4:30 to go.
  • Jimmer hits a 3 with 4:02 remaining to make the score 101-92.
  • Marcus Thornton steals the ball with 3:46 remaining and passes the ball to Evans. Except the ball goes out of bounds, and Thornton is seen with his face on the floor with Jimmer there to greet him.
  • That’s why so many people like Jimmer. Frankly, I can’t blame them as Jimmer is a good kid with talented array of offensive skills. What’s not to like?
  • With 3:35 Tyreke makes one of his patented swipes at Derrick Rose. But Boozer misses the J so all is forgiven. (Not really.)
  • Jimmer passes the ball to Hickson who doesn’t catch it cleanly in part because Hickson is surrounded by 2 Bulls. (It was a ridiculously tough pass to catch too to be fair.) A 24 shot clock violation ensues. This is at 3:08 remaining.
  • Hickson catches a pass from Jimmer and throws it off the glass and then catches it. Hickson goes up for a dunk. The Kings are down 103-96 and never get any closer. They end up losing 108-98 if you can’t remember the title at this point. (Who could blame you after this monstrosity?)

*****

I’ve been commenting in the Sactown Royalty thread and I’ve blamed Jimmer and Hickson for some of the transition defense issue’s. In Jimmer’s defense, this is third week being a NBA player. He did try most of the time to get back in defense. In Hickson’s defense, this team won’t go as he goes. It’s just a daunting point that when Outlaw gets back and Hickson doesn’t, it’s hard to claim that Hickson is more valuable than Outlaw is at this point. (You know I don’t like Outlaw right?)

By my count, only Salmons, Outlaw, Thompson and Hayes made no egregious or outrageous play in transition. (Thornton made one really stupid mental error on the Hamilton layup in the 3rd qtr. He might not have stopped the ball on the Noah play too. That was more Tyreke though, which I’ll get to in a minute. The one play where Outlaw beats both Fredette and Hickson was the worst play in transition, but it’s not like it was the only awful transition moment.

Which, when speaking of both Tyreke Evans and DeMarcus Cousins, and speaking of commitment to boot, Evans and Cousins have not fully bought in for different reasons. I’m not sure if you told Tyreke that the moon was white he would believe you. Cousins is incredibly willful, and loud so it gets more notice, but shields himself from criticism and advice in similar ways as Evans does.

As long as your 2 young best players who think they are the stars (and they do–hell so do fans), and as long as they aren’t as committed as everyone else on the roster to playing transition defense which is entirely effort and nothing else, than these things will be repeatedly happening throughout the season.

Want a better Kings team? Let’s start getting a better commitment from those two, but namely Evans as he has no reason to play transition defense so poorly. He also has no reason to continue to swipe at balls the way he does so often. If Tyreke Evans doesn’t pull his head out of his ass, this will continue. He can’t talk about winning, defense or accountability with shameful performances that was exhibited last night. Where Portland was just a bad game, Evans typical problems showed up in force for the Bulls game last night.

Cousins? He isn’t far behind Evans’ in this department, and he was always more noticeably immature (because he is so loud mostly). But like Evans, Cousins will get a pass for this year mainly because I like to give young players 2 years before really holding their feet to their fire.

As far as what Paul Westphal could do, what can he do exactly? Does benching either of these young men make your franchise better? Does firing Westphal really solve immaturity of 2 young players? Would firing a head coach perpetuate it?

Needless to say, the free throws were one issue that I’ll leave to others to discuss. I think shooting FT’s is a more complicatd issue and I don’t want to bog this down anymore than I have to.

What does Geoff Petrie and the Maloofs do here? Be patient. It’s 3 games in. Fans can be afford to be impatient, but franchises can’t. As Jerry Reynolds has repeatedly mentioned, THIS IS A PROCESS. If you can remember that and remember the Kings have the youngest average age for a roster in the NBA, in a shortened season with a very compressed timetable and a short training camp, it’s reasonable that some of these issue’s are part of the deal in a season where this group has only had 3 weeks together.

But, at some point, time together as a roster has nothing to do with commitment, and that’s the long term problem that is visibly glaring only 3 games in.