Posted by: Kingsguru21 | March 31, 2010

Kings fade away with the snow melt; Wolves 108 Kings 99

There are games you are just destined to lose. This is one of them. 8 guys in uniform. Carl Landry will miss shots (and he did that tonight). Tyreke Evans is not Superman every night, yet. Beno Udrih is not always a super-stud every night. Jason Thompson didn’t stick out. Nights like this happen, and they happen more frequently when you’re a young team on the road amidst a depleted roster. Box Score. 4 Factors:

Pace Eff eFG FT/FG OREB% TOr
Sacramento 93.0 106.5 51.1% 9.0 21.7 9.7
Minnesota 116.1 61.0% 9.8 30.3 20.4

At the end of the day, what it comes down to is the same principle that happened with the Nets. Only the real issue is that this team seemed to lose bodies almost every game on this trip. It was surely one of the few road trips where you can see injuries were the major issue more than anything else. The road exposes you for everything in the NBA. It’s why so few teams are ever 500 or better on the road. (It’s also why those teams win championships.)

Hey? Bad health matters. 50 win teams can persevere because they’re winning and have something to play for. 50 loss teams can’t. That’s the NBA for you.

This team is rebuilding. Nobody ever said it would be automatically pretty for this team. Nobody ever said that having a potential ROTY was going to make the Kings win more than 30 games. Young impact superstar players (which Tyreke Evans almost certainly is) go to bad teams. This team is still a bad team. They have potential and a future provided the other younginz develop. When you’re missing players you’re going to lose.

Onto the bullet points….

* Carl Landry looked worn down. He had no real explosiveness against Al Jefferson, and that was a big reason I think he has continued to settle for mid range J’s. He’s very worn down playing heavy minutes for the first time in his NBA career and I think you’re seeing why he’s such a brilliant bench player. I don’t have an issue with this. I just hope the Kings can find a way to cut maybe 5 mins off Carl’s load and pretty much expect he plays anywhere from 15 ft in at all times. Carl can hit an 18 foot shot, but it’s not the best shot he can take. (Cue TZ for saying: I said that earlier today dammit! Yuh. Sometimes these paragraphs practically write themselves when someone else writes them….)

* Beno had 9 assists tonight, and it makes me wonder how he got them. He was pretty ineffective otherwise tonight. That’s going to help the Kings lose games if he isn’t helping this team win every night.

* Donte Greene remains an enigma and his talent is very tantalizing. He’s shown plenty that suggests he has a future in the NBA if he keeps working and refining his game. But tonight is a perfect example why I scratch my head with Donte. He hits 5 of 6 3 balls, but only grab 3 boards in 30 minutes and is 0-2 from the line.

I have no problem believing that Donte Greene is a high 30’s-low 40’s shooter from 3 ball land. What I have a hard time believing is a guy that can shoot so well from 3 is such a terrible FT shooter. And this is my point if nothing else. Donte Greene simply lacks concentration to do things well consistently. He has All-Star talent and often shows glimpses.

I never expected Donte Greene to show a world-beater All-Star form every night. I’m not even down on him exactly. Young players can be often up & down (as Donte is). What concerns me is that if Donte can’t bring it every night the Kings will have a major hole at the 3 spot that will make addressing it necessary in the next year if consistency isn’t something we don’t see by the 2011 All-Star break.

* What i just said for Donte equally goes for Omri Casspi.

* I’m not sure what to think about Jason Thompson at this point. He’s clearly better with more minutes, but the question does that make the Kings better? I imagine that’s a thing that many in the Kings FO have been asking all season (and it’s the biggest reason–other than the money–that the Kings never pulled the trigger on an Emeka Okafor deal).

* I hope Sean May, Francisco Garcia, and Omri Casspi return shortly. The Kings don’t play again until Saturday against Portland so hopefully each guy will be healthy by then. Hopefully this is true of Spencer Hawes as well.

* Tyreke Evans is incredibly ridiculous. He’s adjusting to a mouthpiece that drastically affects his breathing. He’s come off a concussion that the Kings made sure to give him extra time to adjust from. (He apparently wanted to come back sooner. Love that part.)

I know people hate Grant Napear and everything (don’t blame them), but you have to give him credit: Instead of lamenting how little the Kings have to play for (other than pride–which they still have), he’s talking about Tyreke Evans non-stop. I wish he would do other things, but really there’s a reason for that. Tyreke is just a very special player who may end up being better than John Wall or Derrick Rose. (Stranger things have happened.)

* I don’t have the postgame video reaction from PW or the players yet. As soon as Kingsflix delivers it you can hear them say in no uncertain terms “Shit happens and it’s time to move on. We just gotta play better next game.” Yuh.

Until next time then.

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