Posted by: Kingsguru21 | January 9, 2010

When a loss is supposed to hurt, but it doesn’t; Kings lose to Warriors 108-101

Box Score. 4 Factors:

Pace Eff eFG FT/FG OREB% TOr
Sacramento 97.0 104.1 47.6% 25.0 27.1 15.5
Golden State 111.3 50.0% 36.7 10.5 12.4

You know the song, Comfortably Numb? That’s me. Numbing in quite comforting fashion, thank you. So let’s get a few things out of the way.

First, firing Paul Westphal is not on the agenda. There’s a steep learning curve to beat ANY team on the road, and when Oracle gets loud it’s a still tough place to play. Monta Ellis had it going ALL game (a point I’ll expand on briefly), and played most of the game (minus a stretch in the late 3rd–more on this as well).

Paul Westphal said this after the game: ” Well that’s probably the silver lining & rational way to look at it. But, uh, we don’t feel all that rational after a game like that. We want everything, we want it now, we want our young guys to execute like veterans. Maybe that’s too much to ask, but we still want it.”

Say what you want about that quote (and at one point Jason Jones–or I think it’s him anyway–asked Paul Westphal if he was looking for better execution–confidence too but PW shot that down quickly–and PW said yes; the funny part was that he mentioned getting better defensively), and I’m sure people will have their opinions of it, but the key point here is that this coaching staff is working with a group of young and inexperienced players. Furthermore, whose playing well and who isn’t is often a pick a name of the hat basis on any given night. It’s very difficult to win in the NBA if you can’t hang your hat on 2 or 3 guys every night to get it done and supplement them with the surrounding talent to complement their games.

As good as Ime Udoka was tonight, and he was oh so very good (no complaints about Ime from where I stand–PDX Nigerian Ninja HOOOOOOO!), you can’t expect Ime Udoka to be your 2nd leading scorer and win the game. I like Udoka, and don’t get me wrong I have a great deal of respect for Udoka; this is a guy who played in 3 colleges during his college career, and has played around the world professionally before playing a few years in the NBA. Udoka is a lot of things, but a chump he is not. Simply put, you don’t ask a journeyman role player to carry you offensively when things get tough. Or, you do if you want to lose.

At times, I thought it was interesting that Spence & Brockman weren’t out there. Brockman played a lot of minutes early in the game when the Kings ran out to the big lead in the 2nd qtr, but then didn’t play much in the 2nd half after an early stint. I would have asked Paul Westphal about that at his presser, but I don’t have transporting abilities.

Jason Thompson did not play well tonight, and the Kings must have him play well to get a win consistently on the road. When JT plays well (and if Spence plays well) it provides a level of balance the Kings need to win games. It’s just that simple.

Otherwise, Casspi didn’t play well (he’s earned the right to an off-game), Nocioni shot poorly, and Beno Udrih’s numbers looked good, but didn’t impress. Pretty much all the numbers earned by every player were done in the 1st 3 qtr’s as the Kings failed to execute from the middle 4th qtr on.

Now, having said all that, I don’t know how the Kings can execute their offense better. I really don’t. I’m not a basketball coach, I’m not anything more than a pundit, and frankly I don’t really think it matters. It would be one thing if a player had it going, and Tyreke Evans/Beno Udrih simply ignored him and stopped getting him the ball. But Tyreke Evans IS the PG, and he led the team in scoring. Also, he has no problem getting shots up.

I think there were 3 main problems the Kings were facing.

1) Not having Donte Greene hurt in terms of versatility to match up defensively. Say what you want about Donte, but going big against the Warriors wouldn’t have hurt the Kings as MUCH defensively as some may have thought when the Warriors went small. If for nothing else, it might have created so many matchup problems Don Nelson would have tried to match up with the bigger lineup the Kings could have thrown out there.

2) Yet another game where Kevin Martin’s presence is so desperately needed.

3) The Kings needed another player than Evans & Udoka to step up offensively, and nobody other than Beno Udrih (and Spencer Hawes to an extent) played reasonably well offensively. That never gets it done for a team always needing balance to gain victory.

Defensively, the Kings just stunk. You can’t allow Monta Ellis to drive the lane and get out in transition as he did consistently all night long. Ellis played over 46 mins tonight, but did not look tired to my eye. If anything, I thought he got stronger as the game went along. Monta Ellis is proof of why a guy who is not a superstar on any given night, but can still have those nights where he very much appears to be. This is one of those nights for Monta Ellis as I see it. Corey Maggette was the other strong player the Warriors had (which isn’t saying much IMO), and that’s the reason the Kings were able to nearly come out with a victory.

So, as a wise sage pointed out earlier on StR, the Kings were a young team playing young. Oh well. Tomorrow Night it’s Denver. The gauntlet continues.

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Responses

  1. +1. Good job homez!

  2. […] Nuggets. Fortunately, the Kings get the Nuggets without Carmelo Anthony OR Chauncey Billups. But, if last night teaches the Kings (and us dutiful Baby Royals fans), taking anyone for granted is always a poor […]


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