Posted by: Kingsguru21 | January 11, 2010

Kings beat Nuggets on last second Easy Reke Shot

Okay, we all know what happened. This happened:

Here is the Box Score. 4 Factors:

Pace Eff eFG FT/FG OREB% TOr
Denver 91.0 109.9 49.4% 21.7 34.1 15.4
Sacramento 112.1 53.8% 23.1 30.6 17.6

Okay, I’m not going to tell you that I know more than say, Jeremy at RMC (one of the best bloggers out there), or TZ. I don’t.

What I know is this essentially. Tyreke Evans went toe to toe with a 32 year old multiple time All-Star (for those of us who watched Chauncey Billups early in his career you find this more surprising than, say, a 15 year old who only remembers Chauncey’s Detroit years) in Billups who just went nuts in his own right. The story of this game isn’t just that Tyreke Evans won the game with his incredible dosey doe turn around with .4 seconds left. That’s only PART of the story.

The real story is that shot over-shadowed an incredible performance by Billups, and how crucial it was for the Nuggets to win. Really, Nuggs fans are angry the Nuggs lost (no doubt they should be–losing to Sac twice in 11 days is not really a good thing; even more so when you consider the Kings have gone 2-8 since winning at Chicago).

I’m not going to compare the performance to a higher power of hooper like Michael Jordan or LeBron James. I just know I saw a 20 year old kid go toe to toe with one of the smarter, tougher PG’s this decade, and Tyreke Evans came out on top. Knowing what I knew about Tyreke yesterday, I wouldn’t have predicted that outcome.

As far as everything else, like TZ I’m upset that Hawes doesn’t rebound more, but I live with it when he plays as he did last night. Simply brilliant in many ways that offensively very few bigs in the NBA can be. There is something even if Hawes is more of a 3rd big in the rotation (amazing 3rd big I’d say).

Thompson did not play his best (teams, and more importantly the players, have adjusted to JT) last night. That will continue to be the case unless JT’s skills drastically improve in the interim.

Jon Brockman started, and did what Jon Brockman does. No need to say more than that.

Omri Casspi’s 3 was beyond huge. That was the first point I really believed the Kings could actually win the game.

I’d like to give Paul Westphal some props for a couple things. People have complained that his rotations are a bit off, or he doesn’t always ride the hot hand. Last night he did just that. He left Hawes & Brockman when they were working well together, and took JT out who did not do as much as JT can. In the past, PW has usually rode JT more than any of the other bigs. I understand that, too, but winning games is the first priority. (Especially when JT’s performance is not up to his standard.)

The other point I’d like to make is that the Nuggets consistently chose to make that switching decision all night. Maybe that was done to save fouls, or other reasons. Still, I don’t think the Nuggets match up well with the Kings, and that’s not something you can usually say about a Western Conference Finals team.

2 more thoughts on the final play. First, Paul Westphal essentially told Tyreke Evans to do the same thing vs Cleveland and LA that Reke did vs Denver. The difference? Kenyon Martin is not Kobe Bryant or LeBron James. Shocking. As Jerry Reynolds noted in the post game, the other players also gave Easy Reke enough space to operate.

The other point that I think may be lost in the Evans shot is the inbounds play. Whatever decision that prompted Reke to run the backcourt, it was clearly the right one. Omri Casspi may be remembered for that 3, but that pass into the backcourt was equally brilliant given that Omri did not find a player to inbound the ball quickly.

Young team will frustrate you consistently, and occasionally exhilarate. I’m hoping last night was not one of the rare exhilaration’s we will experience this season.


On a personal note, I apologize for this late as hell recap. I was, literally, cleaning my room top to bottom, and put in a massive book shelf (which consolidated a bunch of my cooking stuff), vacuumed a lot of the rug that hadn’t been vacuumed since I moved in here back in August of ’08, and re-organizing my clutter so that I can start eliminating it. Also, my clothes need folding still (key word: still), and the clutter is still there (mostly paper–and it’s nothing compared to when I moved out of Sac in Summer ’07–just ask my mother).

So, while school starts back up tomorrow, I won’t have to do this re-organizing my entire room thing again. (Or at least I hope not.) Oh well, such is life.


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