Kings beat Hornets 96-80

Since I was a bit busy earlier talking about the Big Twat, how about a game recap and some thoughts. I don’t think there are some things that should be overlooked. But, this will be short. Here is the boxscore from B-Ref. From Hoopdata.  

Four Factors
Pace eFG% TOV% ORB% FT/FGA ORtg
NOH 90.2 .404 16.5 43.1 .090 88.6
SAC 90.2 .459 9.6 24.0 .212 106.4

Right now the Kings are 23rd in eFG% and 10th in TOV% for offense. (This is good for TOV%.)

Defensively the Kings are 15th in eFG% (league average) and 23rd in TOV% (turnovers forced). Just as important, the Kings are last in the NBA in DRB% in large part due to last night. The Kings are also 10th in FG/FTA which means the amount of field goals to free throw attempts is relatively high for the FG side of the equation. This means less fouls are being committed.

Okay onto individual game thoughts…..

  • The Kings were out-rebounded 60-41 last night against the Hornets. Some of that was not having DeMarcus Cousins. But the Hornets also missed a lot of shots which didn’t help.
  • Marcus Thornton had it going for some stretches of last night, but he also was cold for stretches last night. He went off for 25 points. (It speaks to the weak nature of the Hornets backcourt as much as anything IMO.)
  • JJ Hickson could have been better last night, but he could have been worse. I’ll give JJ 20 games before I really judge him.
  • Jason Thompson again has not committed a turnover for a game which keeps his season total at 0. True story. Jason Thompson has yet to turn the ball over yet this season. The biggest negative at this point is Jason’s rebounding.
  • Chuck Hayes is Chuck Hayes no doubt. But, his lack of finishing ability inside makes me wonder how he ends up with so many possessions so often. Part of it is this young team, and part of it is the breaks of the game. I just hope to see Chuck with better shot opportunities in the future. Going against 3 guys to score is not a good thing for Chuck to continue to attempt, and, unlike some on the Kings right now, Chuck certainly knows it. Here’s to hoping we don’t see a repeat of Chuck Hayes getting stuffed repeatedly this season.
  • Francisco Garcia played a little over 9 minutes last night, and hit two 3′s while on the court. It was nice to see Cisco on the court, but it was also nice to see he helped contribute in the 4th qtr when Tyreke Evans was resting.
  • John Salmons attempted six 3′s last night, made 2, and I thought at least had 4 quality attempts of those 6. Both of Salmons attempted 3′s came in the 3rd quarter when Tyreke Evans made his huge run. Through 5 games, John Salmons USG% is 16.6%. That’s not bad for a 4th option in the offense if Salmons TS% can be in the high 50′s or even low 60′s. (This is assuming that Cousins gets his head out of his ass.) 
  • Jimmah Fredette had 5 assists, 2 steals(!!), and missed 5 shots out of 8. Jimmer had some good moments and some bad one’s last night. And that’s okay. Last night was his 5th NBA game. It’s clear that Jimmer can see the floor in a way that Tyreke Evans or Marcus Thornton never will and that type of scoring ability combined with vision is something people have been crying for. Once Jimmer can figure it out, it might be necessary to bring Marcus Thornton off the bench so Jimmer’s facilitation and shooting next to Tyreke Evans. The flip side of this is that Tyler Honeycutt is certainly seen as a potential facilitator and the type of shooter who can stretch defenses. Also, since Honeycutt is athletic, rangy and long, he is an excellent defender. (A Tayshaun Prince type.)
  • Either way, it’s nice to know that this team has options with both Jimmer and hopefully Honeycutt down the road. It will certainly make all the criticism of how the pieces fit a bit easier to stomach if those guys can figure out ways to get players the ball in ways they can be successful.
  • Speaking of Tyler Honeycutt, and I suppose Hassan Whiteside, Honeycutt/Whiteside have been assigned to Reno. I think this is a great idea for Honeycutt (I’m ambivalent about Whiteside) to help Honeycutt get some rhythm and flow. If nothing else, it might help Honeycutt get ready for some minutes down the road this season where little practice time can be had. Additionally with all the drama around Cousins, it might help Whiteside focus on basketball than taking sides in that whole sordid affair. For those who are not aware and wish to see Honeycutt and/or Whiteside, you can watch NBDL games online for free. Go to the NBDL.com link and hit futurecast to watch the games.
  • Last, but certainly not least, Tyreke Evans. Tyreke started off missing 7 of 10 shots. He proceeded to make 6 of his next 8 shots including his 2 made 3′s in the 2nd half (the 3rd quarter specifically). It was nice to see Tyreke get back on the horse a bit after getting a little gunshy about taking shots (there were times in the 2nd half where I thought he knew his shooting %’s were good and he didn’t take a shot where he could have) in the past few games. However, in that 3rd quarter some of the vintage Tyreke Evans we came to know and love rose again for at least a few minutes. Not having Eric Gordon last night (or tonight) didn’t help the Hornets, but there was no way the Hornets with or without Gordon would have kept Tyreke Evans out of the lane.
  • That 3 Tyreke made with the shot clock running down was ridiculous. Last night, I tweeted that it seemed like the Kings night (at least on the court anyway). Due to the dour mood surrounding everything that happened with Cousins, it sort of got lost in the shuffle. From shooting poorly to shooting a reasonably good percentage in the field and at the free throw line, Tyreke came away from the game with a quality outing in most respects. This is an obvious need if the Kings are to reverse the course and play anything near .500 ball (and hopefully contend for a playoff spot).
  • What I liked to see is that Tyreke found a way to get back up on the horse and be aggressive for that moment of time. Sure, beating the Hornets doesn’t mean anything long term unless more victories come sooner than later. But, not beating the Hornets wouldn’t have been welcome no matter how unhappy people were last night. Realistically, it doesn’t matter if you can beat anybody on any given night if you can lose to anybody on any given night too. Beating the bad teams consistently is the first step to respectability in the NBA.

Until later. (Or another dramatic rendition of the “Cousins and Restless” comes to light.)