The bottom line? The Kings have a group of young players who make incredibly silly and stupid basketball stupid plays. In a league where precision and execution are just enough to often give you a simple SHOT at winning games, the Kings sloppiness and terrible shot taking often kills them when the opponent is not screwed up by their freneticism. Rarely does that freneticism is done on purpose by the Kings, and that’s basically what happened tonight vs the Suns. If you’ve seen most of this season, you’ve seen this Kings team. Here is the boxscore.
* Tyreke Evans is braindead with no real signs he’ll ever grow up. (Or play if a lobtomy hasn’t happened in the recent past.) Maybe this will happen in 2016?
* DeMarcus Cousins is not a star. Tonight is a shining example of why he is not, and shouldn’t be considered such at this point, even considered a future star until he can put, I don’t know, 5 quality games in a row. And by quality games, I mean where DeMarcus makes a real impact on the game in which the Kings have a real shot at winning the game. Or win the game. Cuz that isn’t a point of playing the game or anything.
* Marcus Thornton is geared one way: To score. He plays better when on the move which is why curling off screens and in transition Thornton plays very well. So naturally the other guys don’t set screens for Thornton nor does Thornton really run off a lot of screens when they are set. Thornton isn’t the real problem with this team, but he can be frustrating. Tonight is a great example of that.
* Isaiah Thomas, again, showed why he dropped to 60 on the draft. Do I agree with the drop? No, but I do agree IT was a mid 2nd rounder based on total perspective, and let’s not forget that. That play with a minute plus to go where Isaiah drove into the lane with bigs surrounding him was more out of desperation than anything, and hopefully IT will learn he cannot do that in this league. Desperation simply does not work in the NBA very often and definitely does not work consistently.
* The Travis Outlaw putback dunk off the Marcus Thornton missed layup was Outlaw’s play of the year in the Kings uniform. Hopefully the Kings can trade him by March 15th.
* The Donte Greene insertion in the starting lineup did not really work. During the beginning of the game it was okay up to a point, but Donte drastically faded in effectiveness as the game went on.
* The Kings had 58 points in the paint, the Phoenix Suns had 42 points there. But the Kings hit 2 3’s out of 13 attempts and the Suns hit 5 3’s on 12 attempts. 4 of those makes were in the 4th quarter alone. That was ballgame. Once the Kings realize how tight winning a NBA game is, well, they probably realize it now. It takes putting everything on the line at all times to give yourself just a chance to win. Especially on the road. The problem isn’t realizing how hard it is to win games in the NBA, but actually being committed and determined enough to make those things happen. The Kings aren’t anywhere near that point yet.
* The Kings were outrebounded by the Suns 53-49 in total. That’s not anywhere near good enough if you wish to beat Phoenix on the road.
Last but not least, firing Keith Smart at the end of the season is not necessarily the answer to this team’s issues. Would Stan Van Gundy, Nate McMillan, or even Jerry Sloan make this team better? No, but they might scream at each one of these kids until they figure things out. This group, especially Tyreke Evans, seems to have such a terrible understanding of the game that it kills this team every single night out. Unless Stan Van Gundy can get at Tyreke for better recognition, or kill offensive droughts (there are so many you just have to let them go as Keith Smart did tonight) everytime there is one, what difference does SVG really make? There are so many problems with this team, but Keith Smart isn’t the problem one way or the other. Is he the solution? I don’t know yet. Nobody does. I wouldn’t say that Smart is the real problem with this team when the real culture around this team is so ridiculously dysfunctional headed by 2 malcontent brats like DeMarcus Cousins and Tyreke Evans. Then you have a GM who has made some ridiculously indefensible moves (Travis Outlaw really Geoff?), and ownership that doesn’t seem to understand that talking to media members might indicate what their real intentions are.
Yes, the Kings may end up staying in Sacramento with a potential arena coming, but if this team doesn’t have a reasonably capable product night in night out then it won’t matter whether a new arena has enough seating. There will be plenty of seats available at the “arena” in the interim unless the Kings get their act together soon.
Tomorrow it’s Denver and another ass kicking looms. It’s not like this Kings team plays intelligently enough to hang with the Denver Nuggets reserves let alone their starters. I’m predicting a 20 point loss because it’s Denver A), a back to back and 4 games in 5 nights B) and the Kings are, well, the Kings. Enough players on the Kings make excuses after every juncture and failure often enought that this team won’t go anywhere until someone takes leadership of these reigns. And until that someone is either Tyreke Evans and DeMarcus Cousins (neither are even close to ready right now IMO–althought they love being front and center after wins–noticing a problem there?), this Kings team is screwed. 2 stupid dumbshit asshole entitled kids who don’t know shit about nothing. That’s Tyreke Evans and DeMarcus Cousins in a nutshell, and unfortunately this team goes as they do. Wanna take bets when they emotionally mature? 2013? 2014? 2016? 2025? I don’t think there is any way to tell with these two, and it’s losses like tonight that indicate such a grim future for this team. The Phoenix Suns are a very beatable opponent who played anything but lights out tonight, and the Kings were a ready made disaster that only hazmat suits and veteran basketball teams know how to neutralize. The bad part about that is it’s not even shocking anymore. It’s just yet another day in the life of being a Kings fan these days.
Until the flip side, where more calls for firing Keith Smart because Tyreke Evans and DeMarcus Cousins act like spoiled entitled asshole brats, where Jimmer Fredette plays like crap but really deserves 35 minutes just because, where Jason Thompson looks like a really effective role player or a really effective dud, where shots miss to the point that only a brickmason could appreciate it, and where the whole franchise very much seems like a complete piece of dogshit, happens.
(No, I’m not overreacting. What exactly is there to root for with this team right now beyond the team staying in Sacramento? That’s been the only real positive development of this Kings season so far as far as I can tell.)