Posted by: Kingsguru21 | March 24, 2010

Kings lose ultimate stinker (or is it?) to Nets 93-79

Despite the title, and the warnings of this being a “trap” game, apparently the Kings didn’t get the warning. Really, though, it had little to do with things. Brook Lopez, when he plays like he did tonight, would have had a lot more impact on games than he really has this season. 26 points, 12 boards, and 4 blocks will get it done on a lot of nights. That’s All-Star right there. Devin Harris had it going as well with 24 points and 9 assists (4 TO’s of the Nets 7 though), and that was pretty much what it came down to.

The Nets had 2 players play really well or better, and the Kings had nobody who did. I didn’t think either team lacked effort (although the Nets managed to get every loose ball to bounce their way; sometimes that happens) tonight in terms of how the play was given. Devin Harris found his way to the cup on many occasions, and the Nets hit enough jump shots. When Harris wasn’t penetrating and breaking down the Kings, Brook Lopez was doing this thing inside and out. He really is a very dangerous team on a real coaching staff and more talent (like a franchise player aka John Wall). Health, truth be told, would be a good thing too. The Nets have just had an unfortunate share of their injuries at the wrong times. It’s really been the perfect storm of things for them to lose 63 games up until tonight.

As far as the Kings, I didn’t think they played really well. Had they played really well, they would have hit shots and would have won the game easily. But, they didn’t. I thought the play of the game that perfectly illustrate the game was where Donte Greene had a fast break and pushed the ball up the floor. He passes to Omri Casspi and Casspi takes it up and Lopez swats it away and the Nets go back up the floor and score instead. Too many of those 4 point swings. It was a perfect example of how this game really went in the 2nd half. The Nets hit too many shots for the Kings to keep up, and sometimes that’s all it takes.

I’m not going to waste my time calling out individual players or the coaching staff. Any game without Tyreke Evans makes the Kings significantly worse. And it’s really the problem here. You take out your franchise player and suddenly you aren’t as good. See? There you go: Wah-lah! Magic!

I’m not going to waste your time and say it’s the worst loss of the season. (The loss at Minnesota or the opening night loss to OKC would do those honors if I’m asked.) I expected a loss, and I think all the things lined up for the Nets to do so. I have said, and expect, that the Nets will end up with 10-12 wins for a variety of reasons. One is that games like tonight happen toward the end of the season in the NBA. Two, is that the Nets play Detroit Friday, New Orleans and Washington on a b2b, in a week or so, and they play Charlotte (whom they’ve beat twice already this season) and Miami to close the season. There is plenty of opportunities to win games because teams relax when they play the Nets. It’s automatic if nothing else. There is also a b2b against Chicago and Indiana as well. The Nets have plenty of opportunities, even if they’ve lost so many games already, to at least end up with 10 or 11 wins. So the Kings were win #8. It won’t be a big deal, as much as people think, if the Kings end up with 28 or 29 wins at the end of the season. As unfair as this is, I’d much rather the Kings beat Boston than the Nets. Beating the Nets is simply about not losing to them because you don’t want to be the team that helps them. On the other hand, beating the Celtics in Boston is something that these young players will remember for a long time. It could be among the best victories of the year for a young rebuilding team. This team isn’t quitting or didn’t give up tonight. The Nets were just better when it counted and where it counted. Even a team that has 63 losses has nights where things go right for them. This was one of the nights. I always feel it’s best just to tip the cap on this one.

Here is the Box Score. And the 4 Factors (I think this illustrates how the Nets won–they were just a bit better when it mattered and how it mattered):

Pace Eff eFG FT/FG OREB% TOr
Sacramento 88.0 89.8 38.9% 19.8 26.0 17.0
New Jersey 105.7 42.7% 28.0 26.5 8.0
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Responses

  1. My dad likes to say that any team…even a good team…can be beat by a bad team that wants it more.In this case, the Nets.

    After all, didn’t the Nets also beat the Celtics this season?I’m sure they were rather proud of that one. But I’m sure the Celtics just moved right on & called it “Just another game” in their minds.

    & I agree with you; beating the Celtics would(will?) make a much better impression on our young team than beating the Nets(yawn). This win for the Nets is much more important:they’re gunning for avoiding the worst-season-ever as motivation.What player wants to be on the team that manages that dubious distinction?

    • Your dad knows his stuff Rhondda.

  2. […] Any time you can interrupt a good team’s drive to move up the standings, you do it. You play spoiler. It’s not like the Kings need to hold anything back. There is 3 games to go. You play Monday and Tuesday and your season is over. Tonight is a great night to win a game against a top opponent (something the Kings haven’t done much of this year). There can be a carry over effect for this young team. It has happened before. This team has lost games (more than any of us wished) over the last 3 weeks. Tonight is a chance to maybe cure that ill of losing to the Nets and Wolves. (The Nets now have 12 wins btw. Told you.) […]


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