Posted by: Kingsguru21 | November 21, 2009

Kings lose to Rockets 113-106

Really, I didn’t bother to recap the Mavericks game, but these past 2 games are so very similar in many respects.

Sloppy 1st half play, getting back into the game just before half, coming out in the 2nd half and playing much more effectively (on both ends), and then sort of fading away down the stretch. Rinse, wash, repeat.

It should be stated no matter how many times people want to say the Kings play better without Kevin Martin: They don’t. It’s just that simple. The Kings don’t get enough quality shots without Martin, and they do not simply get enough high quality possessions.

Where Spencer Hawes should be the 3rd or 4th option in the offense with Tyreke Evans and Kevin Martin in the game, or Jason Thompson really, both JT & Shawes now had to be the 2nd or 3rd option everytime down the floor.

That wears the Kings down when they play better, or smarter, teams. Houston is both smart, and more talented, than the Kings. It’s easy to complain that the Kings don’t have their horses, but the Rockets won’t have Yao Ming all season long. Nobody in Houston cares about injury excuses. (Obviously.)

So, here is the 4 Factors box score:

Pace Eff eFG FT/FG OREB% TOr
Sacramento 95.0 111.6 54.7% 15.3 23.1 14.7
Houston 118.9 49.4% 26.7 29.3 8.4


From here, it’s pretty much a simple point: The Rockets out-hustled the Kings, and were more effective at getting to the loose balls even when the Kings were getting after the ball. The Rockets, like the Kings, are a scrappy team, and they know it. It’s their identity, and it’s their “We” attitude that has kept them in, or won, games. But, it also should be noted that the Rockets have plenty of experience in their rotation that makes them a formidable group. I don’t care what outsider’s think of the Rockets without Yao Ming or Tracy McGrady; the Rockets still have plenty of talent on that team. Trevor Ariza looks like a poor man’s All-Star right now, and that’s not high praise. It’s simple analysis based on a few possessions of Ariza’s that I’ve seen. Luis Scola had 22 & 12, and it’s just hard to win when the Rockets have their main gun’s going.

Onto the Bullet points:

* The Kings missed Tyreke Evans presence tonight. Simple.

* Spencer Hawes needs to be more aggressive against more opponents. When he does that, he gets better results. It’s not about how physical he is versus opponents; that’s not his game. It’s the focus and intensity that he plays with. I think he’s generally intense, and plays with a good deal of aggression. It’s just simply focusing and harnessing it. He’s getting there though. He’s only 21 after all. I’ll take 24 points (10-16 shooting) and 9 boards (7 defensive) any night from Hawes though.

* Jason Thompson didn’t play the way he can. There was no way the Kings were going to win without a monster effort from JT.  15 and 5 boards (with 4 assists) does not count as a monster effort.

* WaBeno again showed up tonight: 18 points (8-18 shooting; 2-4 from 3) and 8 assists. The problem was that it just wasn’t enough when the Kings didn’t have all their horses tonight.

* Andres Nocioni had an uneven game on both ends, but his final tallies of 12 pts, 9 boards (8 defensive) and 4 assists are hardly the worst thing I’ve ever seen.

* Donte Greene had 13 points (5-5 floor including 1 3 ball and 2-2 line), but also had 4 turnover’s as well. Donte only had 1 rebound, and that was a spectacular board in traffic at that. Donte needed to help his fellow teammates on the boards tonight, and he just didn’t do that enough. In fairness, Donte did start at the 2 guard and guarded Trevor Ariza most of the time he was in the game. That did limit some Rebounding opportunities. All in all, I would say it was a high quality performance by Donte given the circumstances and what he was asked to do. Again, it’s just learning how to do all the little things that is hurting Donte at this point. Given the youth on this team, it’s pretty much a consistent point that can be made.

* Omri Casspi had 17 & 8 (6 defensive boards), and played a nice high energy game over 36 mins. I thought he, like the rest of his teammates, was a bit gassed by the end. When he played well, though, the Kings played well. That is a good correlation, not to mention value, that can be placed on Omri as he continues to move forward throughout his rookie season.

* Overall, I thought the Kings didn’t have the energy, or experience really, to compete when it mattered with the Rockets. Carl Landry, Kyle Lowery, Luis Scola were the players of the game for the Rockets, and it showed. The balance, and poise, of the Rockets won out vs the Kings youthful exuberance.

Tonight I’m not disappointed that the Kings lost the way they did. They didn’t have Tyreke Evans, the Rockets were at home (always a boost regardless of whether it’s a b2b) after a disappointing loss to Atlanta last night (who lost to New Orleans tonight themselves), and when you factor all the circumstances in perhaps you wont be that disappointed.

I’ll repeat: The Rockets are not a bad team. Any win you can you get over them is a good win. With, or without, Yao Ming.

Any time you get out-rebounded (42-38 in this case) when you’re a good rebounding team, that needs to keep your opponents off the boards to secure victories, you’re going to lose. You turn it over more than the other team (especially when you only turn it over 14 times yourselves), you’re probably going to lose. Houston is the older, more experienced team. Tonight the Rockets showed it.

And, you know what? That’s okay. There is time with this team. Injuries and unexpected circumstances happen. The Kings didn’t quit, and right now that’s all I can ask for. Basic: Yes. Realistic: Yes. And in the final analysis, sometimes it is just that simple.

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