Posted by: Kingsguru21 | November 11, 2009

Kings beat Thunder 101 to 98

I’m not really sure I can do this recap justice that it should take to write. So, I’ll just write some thoughts and hopefully leave with less than 500 words. Box Score.

Pace Eff eFG FT/FG OREB% TOr
Oklahoma City 97.0 101.0 43.6% 38.5 18.2 15.5
Sacramento 104.1 46.1% 40.8 34.9 21.6



If you look at the 4 Factors, you’ll pretty much see how the game was won. Kings were slightly more efficient, shot a bit better, kicked the shit outta the Thunder on the boards 51-36, including 15 to 8 in offensive rebounds, and turned the ball over a season high 21 times.

I think TZ’s recap of this game did justice to this particular game in that it had something of an emotional belief with a hump being conquered.

Some notes that I think shouldn’t be forgotten in the game’s aftermath.

* Spencer Hawes shot well except from 3. Eventually he’ll start making them as at least 1 of the attempts was almost down and popped out. It’s clear that Paul Westphal wants Hawes taking those. Eventually he’ll hit a few, and get on a streak. The thing about Spencer I liked is that he shot well otherwise from 2 point land as he was 5-8. One of those missed attempts was with the shot clock winding down after a bad possession. The redeeming part about Spencer’s game tonight was that he grabbed 8 rebounds and had 4 blocked shots. Even though Jason Thompson’s stat line looks far better, Spencer’s game is quietly becoming underrated in terms of all around value.

* I love Jason Thompson’s game. His energy, his attitude, his desire are things that cannot be taught. And, the alternative to JT’s style is not necessarily something I would quickly embrace. On the other hand, I just wish he made 75% of his layup’s. His FG% would be far better than 43% coming into the game if it were not for those repeated blown layup’s and tip attempts. That happens on the tip attempts, but when it’s consistently happening it’s not a random occurrence. That being said, very rarely has JT gotten blocked as often as Spencer inside, and JT’s activity is a big component for what he brings to the table. I’m not sure if I believed he’s capable of being an All-Star other than at the early stages of last season, but right now it seems like he’s far closer than I have given him credit for. If it’s not already been said somewhere, I’ll say it again: At 12th overall JT’s become a steal at where he was taken. Even if JT doesn’t improve at all during his career, minus the FG% and somewhat inflated O-Boards, this JT is a terrific fun player to have on our team. Good to be the Kings I guess. (I feel like I’m repetitive with the same JT stuff.)

* Tyreke Evans is an incredible for a 20 year old learning the league. He had 20 points, 8 assists and rebounds. He also managed 5 TOV’s and 5 Fouls too. Hardly the perfect game on Reke’s part. On the other hand, for a guy not playing the “perfect” game he did pretty well. He is so fun to watch play the game as he goes full throttle all the time. (If that sounded as stupid as it looks, I apologize. There isn’t enough superlatives to throw Tyreke Evans way right now. He’s got it all in front of him as they say.)

* I thought part of Beno Udrih’s game rarely got mentioned tonight, but the defense he did on Westbrook was superb. It allowed the Kings to live through a 5 foul night by Evans without having to put Evans on Westbrook. Udrih shot pretty well (5-11), turned the ball over 4 times and did enough things to help the team win. Pretty much the tale of the tape really. Offensively, Beno had it going early on when the Kings jumped out to the 8-2 lead and did a lot less offensively as the game wore on.

* Grant Napear and Jerry Reynolds slobbered all over for the job Andres Nocioni did defensively on Kevin Durant. Thankfully, tonight Noc was worth it. Plus, his aggressiveness helped really set the tone to keep the Thunder from running away with the game early when it was there for the taking. Right now, I don’t think Noc is going to have too much trouble finding a DD.

* Omri Casspi is struggling mentally from the FT line. Although he hit a technical FT tonight, missing those 2 FT’s towards the end of the game will surely bother Casspi. That’s the good part about this kid. Even though he’s making mistakes left & right, and is not effective as some would like, PW trusts Casspi to make good basketball plays consistently.

* Donte Greene had a few moments, both good & bad, but he was a net positive in helping the Kings bench out do the Thunder bench consistently all night.

* Ime Udoka is not the most talented, or youthful, player on the roster. (Udoka is just 15 days younger than Kenny Thomas.) But, the energy and tone that Udoka sets by playing with his natural style has rubbed off on every player on the roster.

* A team win in every sense of the word, this game was not about one thing in particular as it was generally an ugly game that was called tighter on the perimeter (in particular) as the game marched forward. What separated the Kings from the Thunder was that they out-worked the Thunder in every hustle category. Every loose ball was dug out by the Kings (and that’s usually how the Kings created separation for a 6 or 8 point lead at times), and it almost seemed like the Thunder felt like the only way they could win was to ride Durant’s coat-tails to a victory. It almost worked as Durant went for 37 including 18-18 from the line. Still, the extra effort didn’t translate to an easy victory, but it did translate to a “bar fight” game as one StR member put it. And, he’s correct. To win games in this league, sometimes you gotta stick it out when a few things aren’t going your way.

* The Kings are 500 again for the first time since Dec 4 2006. A fact I like even if it has no bearing on the rest of the season. It’s good to be a Kings fan tonight.



  1. Great stuff as always.

    Yeah, Beno did very well on Westie. I’m impressed.

    I love Donté leaking out for 2-3 dunks a night. More please.

    Sefolosha did a great job on Reke, you could tell during that one period when Thabo was on the bench, Reke got like 3-4 layups/fouls in a row. But, just like the D on Durant made it tough for him to get his points, but he did. The D on Tyreke made it tough, but he still put up a nice line.

    He just does not play like the 3rd youngest player in the league. He’s going to be a stud. Hell, he is a stud.

    JT averaging a double-double on the season now.

    It’s good to be the Kings!

    • Yeah it’s better to be the Kings than the Dubs right now Kfan, that’s for sure.

  2. You did it, hope you got all your homework done.

    Awesome, albeit an ugly gritty win. We are playing the way I hoped we would play last season. Oh well, one year late is better than never at all. these kids just don’t quit. the difference between seasons is almost incomprehensible and I’m really not talking about the wins.

    Agree on JT, he really needs to learn to finish. Of course when he does his O boards will go down. It’s not just JT, the whole team is a bit tentative laying it down at the rim. same thing when they are setting pics. The good thing is it’s a technique and as such can be taught.

    After last season, I began to think that JT could be an All -Star, coaches choice. He has improved so many areas of his game, fouls (last night notwithstanding), dimes, confidence in his mid range j to name a few. when he lets the game come to him and doesn’t try to do too much 18 points is not a stretch. He belongs on the Soph team at the All-Star game.

    Every year people throw out 20/10 like it’s nothing and every year there are only about 10 players or less that get there. I think he can get there. He’s the emotional heart of this team, the double-doubles just keep coming.

    • As much as I would hate to be wrong, I can live with it if JT is an All-Star for a long time in this league. He has the tools to be an effective 2 way player, and while I’m not convinced he’ll get there, I am convinced that the Kings will not part with JT under any circumstances.

      You’re definitely right about 18 points not being a stretch. Eventually, every team will defend him very differently, and that will be another adjustment. We’ll see if this team can make it. That’s quite a bit off though.

      As far as the 20/10 distinction, I don’t know if it means much. How valuable is Zach Randolph given that he’s a 20/10 guy?

      BJ you said it best: An ugly gritty win.

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