Posted by: Kingsguru21 | March 27, 2010

Kings lose to Celtics 94-86

Here is the Box Score. 4 Factors:

Pace Eff eFG FT/FG OREB% TOr
Sacramento 94.0 91.5 43.2% 31.5 22.0 18.1
Boston 100.0 41.7% 21.1 23.6 8.5

At halftime, I had written this team off after they had gotten the crap kicked out of them in the 1st half. I started watching the Ohio State-Tennessee matchup in the Sweet 16. (OSU busted my bracket almost completely now, but it was interesting to see Evan Turner play. He’s really a talented player.) I also turned my attention some to the Nets who managed to finagle their 9th win tonight. (I say finagle because the last month the Pistons trapped the Nets some and they turned the ball a bit too much in that situation. But, a win is a win.)

A funny thing happened. I looked up, and suddenly the Kings had started to seriously eat into Boston’s lead. It was slow, sort of similar to the Chicago comeback that way, but it eventually started to be serious.

Even then, a few minutes into the 3rd qtr, it was 61-37 Boston. (Almost identical to the Chicago game that way.) Then with 9:45 to go in the 3rd Beno hits a long top of the key jumper. Between the rings if you will.

Boston scored 17 pts in the 3rd tonight. 4 of them came in the 1st 2 minutes. It got ugly, and it didn’t improve much from there. Boston only scored 20 pts in the 4th qtr. Needless to say, if it was another team Boston may have lost. (Certainly a playoff team would have competed better.) They did not look good in the 2nd half after a very good 1st half. But it doesn’t matter to the C’s. They just needed a win. Pretty or ugly, they got the win. They weren’t going to win a playoff series by beating the Kings by 40 tonight. That’s the way it is.

At this point of the game, Spencer Hawes came out of the game with a strained lower back. Sigh.

Basically, if you look at the Play by Play of the game, what did it for Boston was the fact that they left their bench against the Kings starters for extended time. With 2 1/2 mins to go in the 3rd, the Kings had 48 points. By the end of the 3rd they had 61. Rajon Rondo and Ray Allen were in for some of that time, but to me that’s not the point.

When Boston had Kevin Garnett in the game the Kings couldn’t put points on the board. When they took him out of the game, the Kings could put points on the board.

The basic point here is that the Kings needed a lot of effort from Carl Landry (30 points 8 boards) to even sniff a little close. The real back breaker came when Jason Thompson fouled out with 3:24 remaining in the game. (I watched most of the 4th.)

It’s much of the same ole nonsense with the key players not named Tyreke Evans. Either they hit their J’s or they don’t. When they don’t they don’t score. When they don’t score they go down by a lot of points.

Simple and easy.

And that was the difference in the game. Boston’s starters make the Kings take contested J’s and Boston’s bench didn’t. In fact, the Kings scored a lot inside after Boston’s starters were taken out.

Surprising isn’t it?

So, let me ask this again: How does John Wall or Evan Turner make a team better that’s lacking physical presence inside? But rather than argue the simple point, let me just make my point in a different way. A clearly on his downside past his prime Kevin Garnett was the best player on the court. (In terms of effectiveness. Rondo obviously was the guy with the gaudy stats.) Even without Tyreke Evans, and knowing how brilliant KG was in his prime before his knee surgery last season, that still shouldn’t be all she wrote.

When Donte Greene is the only major top shelf athlete on your team, and unless you have one hellaciously skilled roster, you’re going to lose games. Other than Tyreke who is an incredible athlete for many reasons really, there are few players that really illustrate a physical presence. Carl Landry is athletic in terms of jumping ability (he gets off the floor easily and quickly–he’s the one big you see always dunking the ball) but isn’t incredibly strong or helps the Kings in their weakest area’s (interior D/Def rebounding).

Just as important as this team lacks physical presence, it also sometimes lacks will. Any team can get on a roll in the NBA. That happens often enough really. Rarely does a team do that when they miss their best player. Especially when that best player is young, and drives the team to be better even if the attempt is not always the best attempt. It’s not just Tyreke Evans ability to take the ball to the cup, draw a double team, or change the way defenses defend him. It’s his will and the way he plays the game. It’s his attitude and effort. It’s the fact that the other team has to account for him on the court. It’s that his game fits in well with the other players on this team and makes their jobs a lot easier when he’s out there playing. I know he isn’t the best passer in the whole wide world, and sometimes he pounds the ball a bit too much. He has weaknesses and makes poor decisions. His Jump Shot needs work. I know this. But for a 20 year old kid to be so completely integral to the Kings winning every night? Rarely do players like that come along.

I’m happy the Kings have a franchise player even if he didn’t play because of a concussion tonight. Come back Tyreke: My sanity needs you.

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