Kings vs Orlando Magic; Game 9

Today is another day. And like another day, there is more speculation about who the coach should be. Such is life eh? Plus, can Keith Smart repair the Paul Westphal damage with DeMarcus Cousins? Marc Spears of Yahoo Sports wishes to tell us…(I think I linked to this already but if not here you go.)

Today it’s Dwight Howard and the ever revolving “where will Dwight end up tomorrow” chatter. And, well, lately Golden State is the latest and brightest star wishing to orbit on the Howard planet. Groovy eh?

As far as ORtg & DRtg goes, Orlando has an ORtg of 106.0 (9th of 30) and a DRtg of 100.8 (11th of 30). The current pace is 88.8 (25th of 30). Our beloved dipshits (and hey have they ever been more dipshitty than recently?), aka the Kings (for those unaware of the moniker), have an ORtg of 99.4 (21st of 30) and DRtg of 108.7 (27th of 30). The current pace is 94.0 (5th of 30).

Here’s a haughty prediction for you: Whoever scores more wins the game. Yes, that’s why you’re reading EC. To get wonderful insightful analysis such as that. On a real tip, however, whoever wins the battle of the boards will most likely win the game. The Kings are currently last in the NBA with 67.3 DRB% despite Cousins heroics (or mainly because he isn’t always as good boarding defensively as he is offensively) and Orlando is 12th at 74.4%. Win this matchup? You got a shot at beating Orlando.

Orlando has the 8th highest eFG% at 50.6% where the Kings have a 43% eFG% for 28th in the NBA. Keys to beating Orlando at home? Hitting the boards, and getting quality shots. Funny, we’ve heard that somewhere before. I just don’t know where. Oh, every NBA coach says that. My bad.

 

Required Reading

The Magic Word, from Eddy Rivera and Magic Basketball.net, is always a must read. Philip Rossman-Reich of Orlando Magic Daily has a series of “What does Dwight want”. Here is part 5. Here is Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4. Evan Dunlap’s recent game recap of the Magic’s loss to Chicago. Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel writes the obligatory piece about Ryan Anderson returning home. Stan Van Gundy expects no lineup changes writes Robbins. There is also no shoot-around due to the early start time in Sacramento (3pm). Otis Smith does an interview with Josh Robbins. Brian Schmitz with a Dwight Howard trade column, and the most interesting tidbits I’ve ever seen regarding injuries:

But that’s not even in the Magic’s top 3 of odd-ball ailments over the years, not with infected hair follicles (Drew Gooden), a bad pedicure (Corey Maggette) and a non-healing skin lesion (Keith Tower)…

Stathead Final Thoughts

The Kings are currently 28th in eFG% attempted, 14th in TOV%, 1st in ORB%, and 9th in FT/FGA ( percentage of Free Throws taken to Field Goal attempts). Defensively, the Kings are 27th in eFG% allowed, 10th in TOV% forced (this is reasonable), 30th in DRB% (has to pick up), and 4th in FT/FGA (that means you are better than 26 teams at the proportion of Free Throws attempted by your opponents compared to Field Goals attempted). The problem here? You can be excellent at not fouling to keep teams off the Free Throw line (which the Kings are doing), but if you’re so bad at giving up shots in the first place (namely due to ridiculously god awful transition defense) it doesn’t matter how little you actually foul. Since the Kings are currently 28th in eFG% (the combined %’s of 2 pt and 3 pt FG’s), I thought it would be interested to see how the Kings fared in TS% as individual players since they aren’t getting back in transition defense. Right now, Honeycutt excluded due to only 2 FT’s attempted, and only 4 actual live minutes on a NBA court, only 2 Kings players have a TS% over 50%. Marcus Thornton is one at 55.3%. Donte Greene is the other at 54.5%. Donte has only played 18 minutes all season, and Thornton leads the teams in minutes. While Thornton’s %’s aren’t great, they will pick up if Smart can get him to take a few less shots a game here and there. The main way Thornton’s %’s go up is if A) Tyreke Evans continues to have better games like he did vs Milwaukee, where B) Jimmer Fredette gets something near his college TS% for his senior year (60%) for, say, in the high 50′s somewhere. (I’d accept anything anywhere from 56-58 for TS%.) During the last lockout season, here were the 5 guys that led the NBA in TS%: 1. Chris Mullin-IND .616 2. Terry Porter-MIA .603 3. Mario Elie-SAS .593 4. George McCloud-PHO .591 5. Reggie Miller-IND .590 In the 1999 season, there were 61 rookies who played. The 5 with the most minutes had pretty low TS% (and average at best for Michael Dickerson), and in Jason Williams/Mike Bibby’s case both had a high TOV%. Even though Jason Williams had a high TOV% throughout his career, Mike Bibby had a much lower career TOV% than that lockout season. My point? Don’t fret about Jimmer’s numbers quite yet. They look bad today: 20.3 USG%, 96 ORtg 114 DRtg, 45.7 TS%, and a 14.6 TOV%. I suspect we’ll see these numbers get significantly better as the year wears on. So, at 3pm, the Kings will or won’t beat the Orlando Magic at the Power Balance Pavilion. Dwight Howard probably won’t get traded, but may be distracted with the strong pull of the almighty Los Angeles Lakers tugging at him. (Although Orlando doesn’t play in LA at all this season.) You can probably bet that the team that scores more points than the others wins although tonight could be the start of a new trend. The game will be on an outlet you may or may not be able to peruse at the time of your choosing. Go Kings?!?!?