Posted by: Kingsguru21 | November 5, 2009

Hawks beat the Kings 113-105

Watching the game tonight made me a bit angry, and made me a bit happy. Box Score is here.

4 Factors is here:

Pace Eff eFG FT/FG OREB% TOr
Atlanta 94.0 120.2 57.6% 17.6 33.3 17.0
Sacramento 111.7 44.3% 20.8 35.2 7.4

As you can see, Atlanta was simply more efficient and shot better. That was the difference. What Atlanta had in more turnovers the Kings nearly doubled in missed shots. Ballgame. (In a game as close as this, it didn’t take much to separate the 2 teams. And, frankly Atlanta is a 50 win team. So, live with the loss folks.)

If you would like an explanation of the 4 factors, go here. (A great thanks goes to Matt Bernhardt of Blog a Bull for this.) The only difference between the 2005 writeup that Kevin Broom used, and the 4 factors that are used now in the calculation is efficiency and pace. To get the actual formula for that, you’ll have to read this (it’s under “poss” in the B-Ref glossary). (It’s lengthy and quite a bit more calculated. For that explanation, Kevin Pelton posted this on the APBR board.)

First the angry. I can see a play developing, and so can anyone else paying half a bit of attention. (Or, maybe not.) It’s not very hard to see which players make the best players for others, and yet, it seems like everyone wants their turn. As we know, not everyone’s play-making is created equal.

For instance, I could argue that the 2nd best ball handler on the Kings is Jason Thompson. Yet, the Kings rarely ask for him to handle the ball in those situations because every team prefer’s a G to do so. I think it’s takes an unusual coach, and unusual talent to make that situation work.

A good example is where the Kings had a 4 on 3. Kevin Martin is leading the break, and while I wish Speed could have run a 4 on 3 to perfection, that is not K-Mart’s strength. It’s just not. Yet, at the same time JT (who has these ball handling abilities) is running on the far left side of the floor because Tyreke Evans is running the middle of the floor. Tyreke can make these plays, but Tyreke does not flash to open spots with the same effectiveness that JT currently does.

A coach can put any player in a position to succeed, but in order for that player to succeed a player must first recognize what is happening. Part of what I think is going on with the Kings is the opposite of what some say about the great players in the NBA: The game simply slows down for those guys. The game is in speeded up mode for this Kings group, and they’re frenetic. When another team (like Memphis) has similar issue’s, it poses far less of a problem. It’s just that the top teams in the NBA (Spurs for instance) don’t have this issue as often. Great players like Chris Paul don’t suffer this infliction. Tonight vs Atlanta Joe Johnson took Tyreke Evans and Kevin Martin out of the game at times. Marvin Williams made an impact. And it’s not like the Hawks brought their full A game to the table. At times they mixed their A, B & C games in. It happens. But the difference is that the Hawks have the greater talent to overcome those lull’s. The Kings don’t. That’s the difference.

At the end of the day, execution ruled. The Hawks didn’t play their best game of the season, and they didn’t have to.

I didn’t see a Kings team that quit; I don’t see a Kings team that doesn’t have a future. What I saw tonight was a young, in-experienced team that has trouble executing quality shots. For every game against Memphis where ball movement happens contagiously, there will be games like tonight where ball movement is attempted but not nearly as successful. (The trick is to figure out what makes this stuff work against those teams. That’s when the Kings get better. Ayup.) Welcome to the NBA Baby Kings. Maybe one day you will become the Royals that so many predict you to be. Until then, Baby Kings you are.



  1. I went to bet at 7 am to watch the game, we lose, but I’m happy of the game I watched.
    The Hawks are a very good team, they’re surely going to the playoffs probably as a top 5 seed in the Eastern conference, while we’re probably going to be among the 5 worst team of the league. They are more talented, more experienced and, overall better, but still we fought them well, losing the game only with a bad 4th quarter when they showed their experience closing the game when they had the opportunity.

    As Eric Clapton would say, Martin was “wonderful tonight”, as always, scoring in almost every way against a good defense, but, mostly, forming with Reke a great defensive backcourt that kept Joe Johnson to very low percentages in the first three quarters. They had some very good steals and hustle plays, and I’m excited to see them continue their improvement.
    JT had a good night with infinite energies and 8 offensive rebounds(!).Noce played quite well, but he’s still forcing too many shots a la Ron Artest.

    Unfortunately I think that one of the main reason we lost is Jamaal Crawford: he was guarded badly at times and he simply had it going other times, shooting with a monstrous percentage that, literally, fucked us.

    Anyway, I saw a team that is constructing his identity and is playing better without giving up any game.

    Go Kings!

    • “I saw a team that is constructing his identity and is playing better without giving up any game.” Great line. I agree with what you say, and while I disagree a bit about Noc & JT, those are only minor quibbles at best.

      JT’s stats are inflated in part because he misses a lot of shots. He then is skilled enough to get the board back and put up another shot. He manages to do that almost every time he has a high rebound total.

      On the other hand, you have Nocioni who is asked to take certain kind of shots. Noc shot 50% from the floor, and I can live with that. I just wish he hadn’t missed 3 FT’s.

      The thing about this team that they do that I like is they don’t turn the ball over. Yes, they take low quality shots, but shot selection can improve. Turning the ball over is something that usually takes players who have the skill of not turning the ball over. So that is something that this group does well that is probably not flying too high on anybody’s radar at the moment.

      Viva Kings amigo!

  2. Pook, you nailed it re JT’s handle. He showed what he’s capable of when he led that fast break last night. Yes, his O boards are always going to be high as he still needs two or three attempts to get the put back in. His 22 points last night were not inflated though. He got most of his points in the flow of the game with put backs and tip ins and without trying to do too much or take too many forced shots. The last play he didn’t finish on (reverse lay up I think) was a killer. that should be a money shot. Later

    • I agree that Jt’s offensive game is not over-rated. What I said was his numbers were inflated as you know. And, what I mean by that is by getting 2 or 3 shots at a bucket before he makes it means he inflates his o-boards.

      Case in point: He had 8 o-boards, and several of those were in the same sequence. JT has much upside, and while I’m not sure if he’s a borderline All-Star or not, he’s an effective player that any team could find to utilize.

      I’m a Jason Thompson fan, and I want that to make clear. But, I think fans see JT’s natural game and attack it more to his abilities than what is actually happening on the court.

      Because Spence is not playing the way some fans perceive a C should, he doesn’t get credit for the little things that greatly help out JT at times. (A good example is the missed shot that Spence that allowed JT to grab the O-board. Atl sent Horford or Pachulia away from Spence, and that allowed JT to grab the board and go back up for the score. All Spence gets for that moment is a missed shot. It’s not just not always that simple though.)

  3. […] Kings are matching up against the athletic Hawks who killed the Kings in Kevin Martin’s last game until his wrist injury became […]

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