Don't Make Me Use The Bat
Ho hum. We outscore a team 70-32 in the 2nd and 3rd quarters, have them down 44, our largest margin of the season, score the most points on them in a quarter in their franchise history...and it gets a 4 page Game Thread. Does remind though of why I once considered having Girls to celebrate the blowout wins rather than soften the blowout losses. Well, it was fun for those who actually got to see it. Even had a Cole Aldrich sighting, during which he looked and acted very much like Cole Aldrich.
Full Grading Consortium for tonight:
Stats: 30min 22pts (6-13, 5-10, 5-5) 3reb 2ast 2stl 0blk 1TO
Salmons ( A- ) -- I debated on this one. Should it be a B+ or an A-. And I decided, what the hell, lets celebrate a little. We probably won't have many like this one to enjoy. Once again, it was the tale of two halves with John. He started out the 1st half on a good note with a nice pass to JT who scored with a little floater. Later a pass was deflected to him and he missed an open three. He went to the bench with 3:38 left in the 1st quarter, and was back with 11:44 left in the 2nd quarter after Tyreke got his second foul. The rest of the half was a series of missed opportunities. He pulled up and missed a 14 footer. Then he missed an 18 footer. He then missed a wide open three. Finally, with 56 seconds left in the 1st half, John hit a three. The second half started the way the 1st half started. He missed a pass from IT right under the basket. He missed a three off a pass from Hayes, and then he got stuck with the ball with one second on the clock, and missed another three. But then the world turned upside down, and John couldn't miss anything. He started by hitting a highly contested three. He hit another three off a pass from Tyreke. I don't believe he missed another shot before he went to the bench for the night. John was a huge part of the blow out in the 3rd quarter. His 6 of 13 overall isn't bad, but his 5 of 10 from the three is outstanding. It was a good night for Salmons, who seems to be in a little grove right now. Lets hope it continues. --Baja
Stats: 28min 18pts (6-8, 0-0, 6-6) 14reb 0ast 2stl 0blk 2TO
Thompson ( A ) -- Tonight JT went back to being the opportunistic player. He simply took what came his way and didn't force anything. As luck would have it, a lot of opportunities came his way. He had a lot of putbacks, and his teammates found him in the right place at the right time. Salmons passed it to JT in the lane and he hit a little floater. A bit later, IT found him right under the basket and he laid it in. In another sequence JT grabbed a tough rebound in a crowd off a Salmons miss, kicked it out, and Tyreke kicked right back to JT for a dunk. When he wasn't scoring through baskets, he was scoring at the freethrow line, where he went 6 for 6 tonight. And most of that was in the first half. In the second half, once again the opportunities were abundant. IT tried a bounce pass to Cousins which hit around his ankles, bounced through a couple of defenders and ended up in JT's hands. He promptly drove to the basket and was fouled. Where he made both freethrows. A bit later he tipped in the ball off of a Tyreke miss. He also added 14 rebounds and 2 steals to his stat sheet. A lot of positives, and very few negatives.
Stats: 23min 14pts (6-14, 0-2, 2-4) 9reb 1ast 0stl 1blk 3TO
Cousins ( C ) -- started the game overpowering Biyombo in the early going, but played a sloppy out of sorts first quarter again on both ends of the court -- the funny thing in this game is that there was at one point a FIFTY (50!) point turnaround on the scoreboard as Boogie started us off with a quick burst of inside power, but then he and we started playing some just awful passionless ball for the remainder of the quarter. Always chicken and egg there with Boogie, but I think he was frustrated with Isaiah playing selfishly and out of control again (it was extremely distinct in this game that when IT quit forcing and started passing our fortunes turned), couldn't get his touches where he wanted them, the body language got bad, and he started making all kinds of unfocused plays. Even got out of rhythm enough to chuck up a corner three for no reason, and cost Reke a made FT with a lane violation. Finally had another power move through Biyombo late in the half (for all his rep as a defensive focused big, Biyombo is just too small an had no hope against Big Cuz), and a highlight reel play with a big athletic follow dunk in the final minute. Took a fugly force in the early third as he looked for a foul and picked up his 4th foul just as the party was getting started and it certainly looked like the big guy was going to be limited to 18 minutes on the night. But was mysteriously back to start the 4th in what was already a 40pt blowout. He didn't really play those minutes going 100% so much as he just tried to help out our poor scrubbies. Unfortunately the scrubbies would have none of it, and Boogie got visibly upset at Jimmer on multiple plays as Cuz very consciously looked for and set him for wide open jumeprs, and Jimmer just refused to take them. Had to be content to grab a few boards before finally leaving. Guess Smart just didn't want Boogie to feel his night had ended too early/badly with the fouls. --Brick
Stats: 24min 13pts (3-6, 2-3, 5-7) 7reb 4ast 1stl 1blk 1TO
Evans ( B ) -- Like the rest of the team, Tyreke started out the first quarter on a defensive low note. He allowed all 7 points he was to allow in the first quarter, on a jumper where he left MKG open, and then two transition possessions. one where MKG pounded it down his throat and one where he overprotected the lane leaving Walker open for a corner three. Still, he had four rebounds and one fast break declined to overchallenge and pulled up for an easy jumper. Tyreke didn't get much floor time in the second, but he managed one steal and hit a big three at the buzzer to cement momentum for the Kings at halftime. As the kings were breaking it open in the third Tyreke did hit an open 3, but had some flawed play, missing two layups (one so wild it had no chance), getting a block on Sessions on a drive but immediately turned it back over trying to go behind his back on a coast-to-coast drive, and playing some very lazy defense on Gerald Henderson that nonetheless resulted in a missed 3. Still, for the game Tyreke only allowed 7 points on 8 shots and while he didn't score a ton, he got the line consistently - an imperfect night but good enough to beat the Bobcats. --Capt.
Stats: 27min 10pts (4-10, 2-5, 0-0) 2reb 7ast 0stl 0blk 2TO
Thomas ( B- ) -- IT didn't really have the best of first quarters, going 1-5 from the floor and committing a bad turnover simply losing the ball on a baseline drive. He did find JT under the basket and Cuz cutting down the lane for two assists, but made the questionable decision to kick out to Cousins for a badly-missed three. Defensively, the first quarter was the one time that the Bobcats attacked IT, and to pretty good effect. As usual he had trouble getting through screens and staying in front of Kemba Walker, resulting in 7 points on 6 shots (not terrible numbers, but the three shots Walker missed were wide open). However, he did once again show that he's pretty good on post defense, this time frustrating Kidd-Gilchrist and forcing him to kick it out. Things got better for Thomas in the second quarter, where he picked up three assists in limited minutes (two for three-pointers) and the Bobcats offense stopped focusing on beating him - he even made a nice recognition play and stepped up to stop Kidd-Gilchrist on help defense. IT had a pretty good offensive quarter in the third, scoring 8 (hitting two threes to seal the rout) and dishing a couple of assists to Salmons when he was on fire. It wasn't all good - he made three bad passes, two of which weren't turnovers only because the Kings got the loose ball. It's probably obvious that when IT (and the team) was playing poorly the Bobcats were in the game, and when he (and the team) started playing well, the blowout was on. But he was a decent part of the blowout despite an imperfect game, so I can't hit him too hard. --Capt.
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