Posted by: Kingsguru21 | October 26, 2009

Some final musings before the regular season starts

I’ve been thinking about what to write, and what I almost did write was this big long exhausting piece about Amick’s analysis of past season’s and the build-up into this current season, and I think I’ve some idea’s instead. I can combine some of what I was going to talk about with Sam Amick’s piece (rather than talk about geometry, baseball, and other Malcolm Gladwell type shit–I’m not Malcolm Gladwell), along with some statistical observations from the pre-season.

First Amick’s piece.

I don’t really have a problem with Amick’s piece in terms of what he wrote because I understand why he wrote the things he did. The problem I have with the piece is that it’s filled with a lot of holes that anybody with a reasonable knowledge (especially someone like Sam Amick) could argue reasonably.

First bit:

The signings from the past few years, however, have hardly paid off for Petrie.

In July 2008, less than two months after saying the Kings were looking to the future, Petrie signed Beno Udrih to a five-year, $32 million deal. Two months later, he inked Francisco García to a five-year, $29.6 million contract (fifth-year team option).

The motives were clear. The Kings had no proven point guard at the time. They chose Udrih to fill the role instead of looking for a cheaper option with a shorter contract. García’s versatility and leadership skills inspired Petrie to reward him.

But the price of those signings will keep the team from seriously competing in the 2010 free-agent derby. Next offseason, superstars like LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Steve Nash could become free agents.

I have a big problem with the last part, and I’ll get to that in a minute, but first the Beno Udrih point. Yes, it was a mistake. The NBA is littered with those mistakes, and the owners (foolishly) want to eliminate those type of mistakes.

That being said, the Beno Udrih was completely a 50-50 deal that has not worked in the Kings favor. But, at some point it may. If Beno underwhelms you, than keep in mind that at least the Kings never considered not taking a G in this past draft because they were worried about Beno’s feelings.

As far as Francisco Garcia’s contract, that’s a neither here or there. It’s not the team’s fault that he got hurt doing an exercise they’d seen him do many times before. It’s easy to say that Garcia shouldn’t have been lifting weights on the Physioball, but that’s complete hindsight. Hindsight will never score a ton of points in my book.

Now, onto the main point.

But the price of those signings will keep the team from seriously competing in the 2010 free-agent derby. Next offseason, superstars like LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Steve Nash could become free agents.

You mean the Kings took themselves out of a derby to get players like LeBron James and Dwyane Wade that they couldn’t get in the first place? I’m sorry, but if James and Wade don’t end up re-signing in Cleveland and Miami respectively, than they will likely end up in Chicago, NY or LA. Shocking I know. The Bulls will have cap space, so will the Knicks, the Nets now have considerable cap space after trading Vince Carter, and the Clippers might have cap space as well. These are not new developments. I’m curious as to how the Kings were going to compete for marquee Free Agents with a sub-standard team and not as much cap space to draw enough OTHER desirable players.

Here’s my real problem with the piece. Whether Amick believes what he wrote (and he may or may not–I won’t judge him on that point–he’s an employee of a paper that see’s it’s major sports story struggling and thus may be encouraged to fudge these type of points that the casual fan doesn’t care about anyway), I know that it’s not written for the hardcore/intelligent fan. Because the intelligent/hardcore fan already knows this stuff as well as Amick.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not mad at Sam Amick for writing this. I’m not really mad at The Bee for making him write something that is pretty pointless on the face of things.

It’s almost at the point that I’m just kind of sad that so few people don’t really see the irony here. Which is okay, but not necessarily wise.

Like anything, it’s all about salesmanship. Geoff Petrie was trying to sell the team in his goofy mysterious manner that he employs. The Bee is, after all, also a business partner with the franchise, and that means something. What, I do not know. But, it means “something”. (My guess is that “something” would include throwing the franchise a bone every now & again.)

The Kings have been beaten up publicly in Sacramento for a long time. For the Chris Webber trade. For the Eric Musselman/Reggie Theus’ hires. The lack of positive traction to get a new arena in 2003, 2006 and since.

Even if it means spewing a few white lies that probably don’t mean anything here or there, I don’t really care. There was a time when newspapers stirred up stories (like the Hearst machine) just to make money and create excitement. One could argue that Franklin D Roosevelt knew about Pearl Harbor in advance, and let it happen to shock the American public into agreeing that WW2 should be fought. As I say, this isn’t new. And when it comes to NBA basketball, I dare say, the stakes are not as high as finding a devious, and deadly, way to get a disagreeing public to come to your side. Basketball is not War.

Right now, I really wonder why the newspaper industry continues to operate this way. It’s very sad, but as long as they continue to lack invigoration, it will continue to lose the fight for supremacy, and not even supremacy but a maintenance of credibility at this point, in news sharing when so many other places already do similar type things. I love the spirit of newspapers; I hate the way they’re currently being run. I’ll leave it at that.

******

Now, the other day at StR, I calculated some Usage rates for Tyreke Evans and Omri Casspi. I also calculated the TS% and eFG% as well. (The TS% and eFG% were far easier.)

While I thought those numbers were interesting, and another member of StR, DustyG found these different stats (Offensive Rating/Defensive Rating) among other things, that tell another part of the story. (They are also not complete as I found out looking through them.)

So, before I bust out some jaw dropping ish on the unsuspecting public, let me entice you with the stats I did find pretty interesting.

Tyreke’s usage rate was high. As Kffce, who wrote the post I linked to (where I talked about the USG & TS) mentioned in response to my finding the numbers on those stats, I found it quite compelling that Reke had as high a USG rating as anybody since Mitch Richmond. That could be both good, and bad. Stay tuned on that one.

Now, onto the earth shattering stats perspective that may shed light on why Desmond Mason starts over Omri Casspi Wednesday Night: He’s better at rebounding.

In 20.6 pre-season minutes per game, Mason averaged 4.2 boards. In 21 pre-season minutes per game, Casspi averaged 2.7 boards. Plus, when you factor in the starting lineup needs less scoring (assuming that the Kings start Hawes and Thompson up front), and that Tyreke Evans and Kevin Martin will take the bulk of shots, you don’t necessarily need a guy who can hit 3’s to solely space the floor. Would it be ideal? Naturally, yes.

The reality? This team will lose a lot of games, and this is one of the reason’s. When a coach has to pick his poison in terms of starting lineup’s, that usually means a team will lose a lot of games.

That doesn’t mean, however, that the Kings are doomed for the long run. It just means that they will lose a lot of games this season.

******

2 more things. The first about Spencer Hawes. For all the talk about what he didn’t do this pre-season, he did average 6.7 boards in the games HE PLAYED. According to NBA.com, that was 21st. (Jason Thompson was t-5th, with Andris Biedrins, at 9 a game.)

The other is for people who were complaining why Kevin Martin didn’t play the last 2 pre-season games. What was the point? Look what happened to Blake Griffin. (UPDATE 2: Blake Griffin has a broken kneecap.) Yeah, that’s exactly what you want for a guy like Kevin Martin, who has missed too many games over his career as is, to have a bad start to ANOTHER season.

Last but not least, Cowbell Kingdom had it’s season preview up. Worth the read if you have not done so. (I’m hoping you have.)

UPDATE 1: Andrew Nicholson has a written piece up at Full Court Press, and there is also youtube of this up as well.

Kevin Martin also talked after practice today.

Sean May had something to say too.

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Responses

  1. It would have been definitively fine with me if KMart would have played no games at all.
    We’re not going to compete for playoffs and we’re not going to win 40+ games for sure, but if Kevin could stay healthy all the season we could definitively put a decent team on the floor to compete every night and bring back some excitement for the Kings’ future.

    The Griffin thing makes you think that there’s really something wrong with the Clips.

    • Yeah it’s not pretty with regards to Griffin. Hopefully he comes out okay, and there isn’t any long term issue’s.

      • And, of course, Griffin’s kneecap is broken. Go figure.


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