Posted by: Kingsguru21 | December 31, 2011

Kings with pathetic effort against Knicks; Lose 114-92

The title says it all. It was a pathetic effort. Really, I wasn’t happy. The Kings didn’t look happy. Paul Westphal can’t be happy. And, you know what? Good. This team has a lot of work to do. The good news? Perhaps some of these young players (aka Tyreke and DeMarcus) stop fighting the coaching staff and the world while they are at it.

I’ll let DeMarcus Cousins go for now. Tyreke?

Tyreke: You can’t keep shying away from the free throw line because you’re missing FT’s. Whether you want to admit it, you simply have to make your FT’s by using good mechanics to be able to do so. It’s really that simple. Your passing was fine tonight except in transition, and that needs to improve. Well, at least that’s nothing new with you.

I’m going to lay off DeMarcus tonight. It’s the same-o same-o with him.

Jimmer struggled. He’s a rookie and it’s his 4th game. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will Jimmer’s NBA career if it ends up being a quality one. Patience is required.

I liked Chuck Hayes and the way he played, but he’s not capable of making up for poor performances by Tyreke Evans and DeMarcus Cousins. Nobody on this team is.

Jason Thompson had a good performance tonight. Which is something I suppose except for the fact that JT was 3-8 from the FT line.

The FT performances are starting to add up and take it’s toll. Good. I’m not sure what will get this young group’s attention at this point.

The Kings shot 34.9% from the floor and 63% from the FT line. A bright spot was that the Kings only committed 12 turnover’s tonight.

Isaiah Thomas had a nice performance in the sense that he was energetic and effective in a blowout wasteful performance. Thomas was 7-10 from the FT line though.

We saw our first look at Tyler Honeycutt and learned nothing other than what we already knew based on his body of work from UCLA. I expect Honeycutt’s minutes to be very little for most if not all of the season.

In summation, the way this team is performing, blaming each other and trying to do too much is the main source for these struggles. They simply don’t get how to play together yet, and whether time is the answer I don’t know. As much as anything, part of the problem is that the pieces aren’t perfect fits and that Tyreke Evans and DeMarcus Cousins haven’t fully bought into the system that is in place. You can’t win if your 2 best players (and exceptionally immature) don’t buy in. It’s really that simple. Is it Paul Westphal’s fault? Is it Evans/Cousins’ fault? These are all good questions, and really unless players buy into what the coach is selling (which is the coaches job) it’s difficult to understand what change can be made to get this team into the right position.

I expected a rough start and some issue’s, but these are chemistry and player specific issue’s that don’t seem capable of working themselves out anytime soon. It’s clear that Tyreke Evans is not ready to lead a team that desperately needs him to for whatever reason. And that’s the searing indictment of the first 4 games: Tyreke Evans is not ready to be a franchise player. And since Evans isn’t ready to be a franchise player, and it’s clear noone else is even close to that status at all, it’s a bit of a problem where players expect more from Tyreke. DeMarcus Cousins, again, is his own problem, but I’m going to let that one go here.

This isn’t about whether they care or not. This is about whether the players on this team, starting with Tyreke Evans, are willing to do what it takes to win games at the NBA level. So far through 4 games, this group has not shown that willingness. Which, naturally, will lead to pathetic performances such as tonight.

Until tomorrow where another pathetic performance awaits us. I can’t wait.

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Responses

  1. My concern? Tyreke is not ready to lead this club and I am coming to the conclusion that he likely will never be the true leader of this team or any other. That is not to say he can’t be a very valuable addition to this team or any other but his physical skills and the mental part of game don’t align. Depending on how you look at it he has blessed or cursed with god given talent which until this point has been enough.

    He is not driven to achieve great things on the court and he finds the burden of leadership overwhelming and confusing. If the team depends on Tyreke to grow into that leadership role it will end in disaster for the club. The good news is the team still some fine young players and vets and we should have a low pick in a loaded draft that may allow Petrie and Co to find the player they thought they had in Reke.

    • Well yeah John, I think it’s fair to question whether or not Tyreke is capable of leadership and a significant role as the franchise player. The greatest issue is that Tyreke can integrate his strengths on both ends successfully. While he has not been successful consistently doing so, I don’t think 4 games is enough to say he can’t. I just think fans expectations are through the roof right now and everything is magnified at this point. Something is going to break, and right now it looks like Paul Westphal won’t last the season as a result. That said, I think the dysfunction is a problem and, while I know this isn’t what people want to hear, Cousins is such a huge part of that.

      Hopefully tonight a win vs the likely Eric Gordon-less Hornets gets this team towards something better like a 2-3 record.

      Thanks as always for stopping by John.


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