The Game Thread Dude
KingsFans.com Official Game ThreadBy Stephen Tetsu, Lead Card Dealer at the Palms
Sacramento Kings at Dallas Mavericks
Sacramento Kings at Dallas Mavericks
DPOY Candidate Ish Smith
Every team wins and every team loses. The main thing is that the good teams win more games than they lose. In the growing process, it's important to learn how to win but just as important to learn how to lose. So yes, the Kings lost the game, just as every other team in the NBA is apt to do every once in a while. The key is to not make losing into a trend.
On the game front, the Kings came out of the gate flatter than a Pepsi left out and open in the sun for a few weeks, with Rudy Gay and Ben McLemore being the only starters who apparently remembered that there was a game scheduled for Sunday. If you have told me before the season that I'd be calling Ben McLemore the best overall player for the Kings in any given game, I'd have asked you if the rest of the Kings roster had perished in a fiery plane crash several hours before tip-off. And yet, two weeks into the season, Ben has not only completely dominated the shooting guard competition on the roster but he's suddenly shown-up as one of the team's best individual defenders and (at times against OKC) the only perimeter shooter as well.
Now, I'm not going to come out and say that Ben's been fixed and is now ready to be the next Ray Allen or something but I'm just hoping that these recent stirrings mean that Ben is finally ready to emerge as, well, something for the Sacramento Kings. And considering how flaccid Nik Stauskas has been to start off his NBA career, any development by Ben will probably be welcomed by the entire Kings kingdom.
Meanwhile, the Thunder were the first team who actually realized that the Sacramento Kings have the three point shooting capabilities of the 7th grade basketball team from a middle school for the blind, pretty much devoting most of their resources to manhandling the interior, giving Demarcus little room to breathe (which is still not an excuse to ignore the big man down low like the Kings did for most of the game). They also played zone, something that cause our offensive scheme to melt like butter because apparently no one on the roster has ever encountered one of the most common defensive schemes in all of basketball before.
All around, an ugly loss against an ugly team (seriously, have you seen Kendrick Perkins' fake beard?). Now all that we can do is forget the crappy game and come out strong against a better team.
Post of the Game
We're All Gonna DIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!! Pessimism of the Game
Tony Delk Memorial Award- Nick "Raef LaFrentz" Collison, who probably hit more three pointers against the Kings in one night than he did in the rest of his entire basketball career.
Jason Hart Memorial Award- Ramon Sessions. You know why.
Thomas Robinson of the Game- Sebastian Telfair, who is still in the league despite doing things like losing the ball trying to showboat on the break, his behind the back dribble turning into a handoff to a trailing defender. This is probably the stuff that's been keeping Sebastian from sticking in the NBA.
Luke Walton Vacuum Cleaner Award- Nik Stauskas. Having looked at least adequate in Summer League and preseason play, Nik's game seems to have plummeted off the side of Half Dome since the start of the season. Unable to defend just about anyone on the other team's roster, Stauskas is now also having trouble hitting (or even taking) shots. In other words, he's contributing nothing but wasted minutes. Not a good look for a guy drafted immediately before budding defender Elfrid Payton and twenty-something picks before burgeoning talent KJ McDaniels.
The View from the Other Side
Only happens after victories.
The Mavericks, the Rolling Stones of the NBA. These dudes were starting to get good back in the midst of our glory days, the dynamic trio of Dirk, Steve Nash, and Michael Finley making Don Nelson seem like a basketball genius. And here, over a decade later, the Mavs still stand, older than ever and yet still churning along with an eye on the playoffs.
Dirk, now approaching 60-something years old, is still an effective scorer (he was never really a great defender even in his prime), the prototypical stretch big man, and thus partly responsible for the scourge of three-pointer chucking "bigs" of the modern NBA. While JT's become a better defender, this will be another challenge for him as the German forward works to draw him away from the paint to the perimeter.
The big offseason move was to trade for a portion of the NBA Finals winning roster several years ago. Unfortunately for the Dallas front office, Tyson Chandler isn't quite the Tyson Chandler of several years ago, a couple steps slower, sometimes fatter, sometimes weaker than he was before. While he's a great team defender, Tyson isn't really built to take on bruisers down low as much as he was before. That's your cue, Boogie.
The second big scorer for the Mavericks is of course heroballer extraordinaire Monta Ellis, who can of course score with the best of them but can also suffer from Kobe syndrome on occasion. Of course, since moving to Dallas, Monta has toned things down a bit, mainly because Dirk's probably stolen his scooter and is holding it for ransom in exchange for good team basketball.
The Mavericks have definitely done their best to accumulate half the point guards in the league with Jameer "Dwight Howard's Former-sidekick" Nelson as their starter, Devin Harris as their sixth man, JJ Barea as their designated short guy, and Raymond Felton as their fat, injured, waste of space. Lots of point guards, all good but none spectacular.
The other big signing for the Mavs was Chandler Parsons, a combination of the name of that dude from Friends and that dude who plays that nerdy guy on CBS. He's a great scorer but Kevin Martin-like on defense.
Stephen v. Sleep - It's 1 AM, I only got four hours of sleep last night. If this thread sucks or makes no sense, I blame that.
Demarcus v. Tyson and anyone else- Boogie needs to come out strong. Set the tone Boogie. Crush the corpses of your foes.
Dirk v. Whoever- How many turn-around jumper will Dirk hit today?
Final Thoughts and Predictions
Make no mistakes, this will be a tough game. The Mavericks are experienced, good, and at home. Coming off a tough loss against an "okay?" team, the Kings storm (hopefully) into American Airlines Center looking to right the ship and build a new streak.
And I think they will. Kings somehow win. 102- 97.