Grades v. Cavaliers 03/01

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Bricklayer

Don't Make Me Use The Bat
Staff member
#1
Artest ( A- ) -- a very mild statline and yet quite possibly the most important King on the floor tonight. Got off to the nice start on the first play picking LeBron clean, and was forcing LeBron to beat us with passing rather than shooting. But stuggled for much of the rest of the half, and wasn't looking comfortable on offense, again. Created shots for others once more, but when to shoot, and what to shoot were still eluding him. And a little lost on the evening was actually the job LeBron was doing back the other way on Ron -- he can match Ron's strength and he was making it very hard. But the second half was when Ron really stepped up to shine. And he did it while barely recording a stat. Was right there with LeBron the entire half. Not shutting him down precisely, but making it very difficult and obstructing LeBron's ability to just take over the game. And it was enough. One of those games where you just make the guy uncomfortable enough that everything is a little...off. And that was the way the entire second half was for LeBron. Could he have hit his shots? Sure. Lot of them were decent looks. But they weren't the looks he wanted or was comfortable with, and so Ron holds LeBron James to something like 2 or 3 points for a half, and we escape with a victory on a night when we really didn't play that well. There was one brief alarming moment when for a very short burst we saw a flash of the old bad Artest as he thought he got fouled under the hoop and started wildly gesticulating, punched the basket support, and could easily have gotten a T. But as I muttered *calm* to the TV like I would to an overexcited dog, Ron got control of himself and finished out the game in solid fashion. Not sure if he's gotten a T yet for us -- and that of course is remarkable for a former T master. He's trying. And tonight he kept King James from taking this one back away from us. So in the end one of the weakest statistical A- grades you're ever likely to see me give.
Thomas ( A ) -- scored early on hustle plays and by running the floor, Mike was looking for him a lot, and Kenny was the only guy moving. Came out in the thrid and was again aggressively scoring and really was doing more than any other King on offense to keep us alive. Also committed a good foul in the open court to prevent a layup early in the 3rd to help set a tone. Defensively...eh, let's just say he's lucky the Cavs were incompetent tonight. They missed a ton of shots right at the rim, and as always Kenny was just too small to effectively rotate and bother anybody. I was a little hesitant about the straight A , but damnit it is still Kenny Thomas, and 20-10's are pretty rare for guys of his ilk. And he stepped up in a road game and once again played a very strong roleplayer role doing the things he can do and not forcing the things he cannot. Important game for us, in theory at least. And so a straight A for having a sense of the moment as much as anything.
Miller ( B- ) -- defensively was lazy early, and incredibly passive offensively. By halftime I was very much of the opinion that somebody should just walk over and slap him awake and thinking geesh, what if he came out and laid a turd like this while playing on a team representing our country? But came out in the second half and considerably redeemed himself. Was much more active, played closer to his 7'0" on the glass. Drained another of those no-no-no-yes! threes. And hit the icing on the cake jumper to put us up 7 with about 40 seconds to go. I was mildy surprised that his numbers had crept up as far as they did by the end of the game, but he finished up pretty close to his season averages after just giving us nothing in the first half.
Martin ( C+ ) -- and now you can see the true beauty of the defunct Home/Road system, as this was clearly Road. Not a godawful Road. But Road. Briefly looked promising as he came right out and stroked his first jumper in front of his hometown fans, but then just disappeared again for the rest of the half and started to get worked over by Flip Murray, who the Cavs picked up almost for free and proved a couple of years ago he can really score if needed. Came back out in the second half and again confidently took a shot on what looked to be a called play. And then passivity again. Got one more freebie on the flying alley oop, but just a nonfactor and was losing large chunks of his minutes in front of his home fans to Garcia until Cisco abruptly hurt himself. But to his credit came back and hit a big three late in the 4th off of the setup by Artest. And really, looked confident when he did shoot tonight. He just showed no confidence or activity in TRYING to shoot. And hence "50%+" shooting, but of the fairly punchless variety. Its neck up of course. Am actually hoping the kid starts taking some bad shots here just to show that he is awake and try aggressive.
Bibby ( B- ) -- active start, getting assists as well as being a pest around the ball, but just could not get the shot going (hurt thumb?) and began to struggle through the half missing and looking confused doing so. Was at least racking up assists, particularly to the more limited guys like Thomas and making it easier for them. Came oout int he second half, not exactly a new man or dominant player, but at least an awake man making an offesnive contribution. Also committed a good foul to prevent a layup as he and Kenny both served notice we weren't going to just let guys lay the ball up down the stretch. And while it was far from Mike's best or most consistent game, as we tried to collapse one more time down the stretch, Mike finally stepped up and hit the big clutch backbreaking three to bring to a halt a 3+ minute scoring drought and put us up a commanding 5 with 1:30 or so left to go.
Garcia ( A- ) -- came in and was pretty much the guy who singlehandedly kept us in it during the second quarter as he ran off 11 points, including three threes -- this from a 27% 3pt shooter. In the second half couldn't immediately get it going and then suffered kind of an ultimate Kings injury -- in a freak play managed to randomly sprain his ankle trying to jump up to dislodge a dead ball stuck on the rim (landed on Brad's foot), and ended up getting carried off for x-rays. Finley sucks. :rolleyes:
Reef ( C+ ) -- came in and scored decently, but the interior defense and rebounding was no better than Brad's and as a backup center he had no chance in there against the appropriately named Big Z. Thankfully we went away from that matchup, but he had some more defensive adventures in the second half as he was rotating off of Anderson Varejao and either he wasn't supposed to be, or everybody else was blowing the rotations. Because the kid was getting open layup after open layup. Got into major foul trouble which limited his minutes. Effective scoring effort and overmatched most of the Cavs mismatched platoon of PFs, but the defensive and glasswork adventures pull this one down.

Adelman ( B+ ) -- Well, good win for us. Or loss by the Cavs. We didn't exactly go take this one away from them. But to our credit we hung around, and while we tried to give it to them there with another 4th quarter drought, that newfound "defense" thing that we've caught like a disease from the crazy newcomer carried us through until Mike could step up and hit the big shot. The two man bench worked well tonight, although now the injury to Cisco looks to have scuttled that as soon as it got going. If Bonzi could just materialize in Atlanta, we could actually just move him in to start and bring Martin off the bench in Cisco's spot. Otherwise...will have to improvise. Such a short rotation does make the coaching hard to discuss though. Of course one minor ? was an early "experiment" -- Rick made a reasonably quick switch away from Reef having to guard the 7'3" Big Z, but of course you have to wonder how we possibly thought that was going to work in the first place. In any case, we came out strong, and apparently ready to play. But soon thereafter we realized we were on the road and were well on our way to collapse until Cisco bailed us out therre in the second half. And while I am not going to crow too much about this game given our shakiness, it could be an important building block just by getting that monkey off our back. Its like we have to learn how to win on the road all over again.
 
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#5
Kevin Martin Grade = AWAY +

Disappeared for 11 points on a VERY predictable 57% shooting effort on the road. Gets the plus for draining the big 3 in the 4th when the game was still in doubt.
 
#6
If we'd gotten A+ to B- performances against this Cavs team, it would've been a 30 point win. Any road win is progress, but I'm not sure how much progress it is when it comes against a team that plays as poorly in the 4th at home as we do on the road.
 
#7
I'm going to give Rick a B- for the game. I liked his rotation ALOT. BUT, he also recieved SacKings384's Bonehead Move of the Night for putting in 6'9 Shareef Abdur Rahim to guard 7'3 Ilgauskaas while Ilgauskas was on a tear...



BTW, Thomas gets an A from me. He kept us in the game until the fourth quarter. I can't give Ron an A because offensively he wasn't all that great, however it wasn't one of those nights where he forced up shots. But he did hold LeBron to ZERO field goals in the second half, and only 3 points overall... One of them which was an AWFUL call with .2 seconds left in the fourth.
 
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#9
We won on the road, so all grades would get a few bonus points from me.:D

I'm too happy that we won so all my grades would be way off.
 

SLAB

Hall of Famer
#12
Bibby...C+...His shot was just not falling tonight...Fortunatly for him, was able to contribute in other ways. 12 assists shows he looked for teammates, instead of continuing to force shots...Lets just say, his night could have been much worse...Also gets bonus points for hitting a clutch three down the stretch.

Martin...B-...By away standards...Nothing sdpecial, but didnt dissapear complelty...Modest contributions across the board, but hopefully can be a stepping stone to future road success.

Artest...A...Holding LeBron to NOTHING in a half is enough to warrant an A...Again contributed in all aspects of the game, with 7 rebs, 5 assists...Still looks lost on offense, though...Also thought he may lose it when he slugged the padded part of the hoop...Hold your breath type moment.

Thomas...A...
For a night, Kenny Thomas was able to combine his fine offensive skills with his tenacious rebounding ability. The result was an incredablly effecient 22/10 night. Also you cant overlook his counterparts (Gooden/Varejao) were largely inneffective on the night.

Milller...B-...Was just kind of out there tonight...Never really hurt the team, but never seemed to do alot to help, minus the big three...In the end it was a decent 15/9 game, but it just felt as if he was a non-factor...Big Z was held roughly in check by him, which is a positive.

SAR...C+...As is the norm...Effecient offense, little rebounding...If he could step up the rebounding just a TAD I would be incredablly happy with him.

Cisco...A...Was having an all-around great game, until disaster struck. Was making all his shots, hitting the boards a bit, running the team...Then he rolls his ankle in a "That only happens to the Kings" type of injury...Get well soon.
 
#14
Yeah, I've seen him do it after getting an and1 too. With us at least twice. BTW, great Pacers win tonight. I saw some of it and the last few minutes.
 

SLAB

Hall of Famer
#15
Unclebuck said:
Didn't see any of the game, as I was watching the pacers beat the Wizards, but Ron often hits the padded stanchion
Yea, I know, but he looked like he was about to lose it.

HE had been frustrated byt lack of calls and really hit it pretty hard...Not in the celebratory And1 style we see sometimes.
 
#16
I think you graded Bibby too low, Slab. Normally, shooting like that, I would agree, but he had too many assists for an average grade. Add in the fact that he hit some BIG shots at the end of the game when we needed them most.

Don't get me wrong, I was very aggravated with his shots tonight, but overall, I would give him a B.
 
#18
brick, not really sure how ron could have been considered a T master...

flagrant foul master....yes....definitely was that a few years ago...

but hes never been one to get many Ts from anything other than flagrants....in fact he rarely reacts very animated to calls....its definitely the exception versus the rule...

i was curious to see u grade on him tonite, after the below average grade u gave him the other nite in a blowout win....

a couple things to note about him....and uve alluded to it a couple times....the difference in the kings since ron has joined them is like nite and day....the intensity level, especially on the defensive end is just remarkably different....never underestimate that impact, or forget it....because its very easy to take it for granted...and that appears to be happening pretty quick like...

secondly, i have a feeling after those few days of practice that the kings are really trying to do more team oriented type things versus isolation...and that will definitely make ron a bit uncomfortable as hes definitely better being isolated and then working it out of that...but...his shot attempts are down and the team is winning....two very good wins...

remember this about rons offense....it is never pretty...some of us told u that at the beginning....he will take what appears to be bad shots....it doesnt look graceful...and he probably will never shoot a high percentage....thats a big switch from sac kings type of basketball....and i realize that...but just realize that hes definitely not a typical kings style of player....i cant help but think most kings fans point of reference is the graceful offensive play of vlade and webber...welll that aint rons game....but in the end its highly effective, as is being seen....its obvious hes trying to limit his shot attempts and get others involved....thats a good thing....but something that will probably always look a bit awkward for him....

in summary, ron and the kings will probably win a lot more games 'ugly'...because thats what ron does...fewer style points and more victories...
 
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Warhawk

The cake is a lie.
Staff member
#19
SLAB said:
Yea, I know, but he looked like he was about to lose it.

HE had been frustrated byt lack of calls and really hit it pretty hard...Not in the celebratory And1 style we see sometimes.
Yeah, he was pissed about the non-calls. Don't blame him.

Hope Garcia is OK....
 
#20
Bricklayer said:
Artest ( A- ) -- ...Was one brief alarming moment when for a very short burst we saw a flash of the old bad Artest as he thought he got fouled under the hoop and started wildly gesticulating, punched the basket support, and could easily have gotten a T. But as I muttered *calmmm* to the TV like I would to an overexcited dog, Ron got control of himself aqnd finished out the game in solid fashion. Not sure if he's gotten a T yet for us -- and that of course is remarkable for eh former T master. He's trying. ...
As I watched this moment, I thought "I haven't seen Ron even look at a ref yet." Not even at the end of the first half with that ticky-tac foul. His restraint has been noticeable--and welcome. Let's hope that he can keep it up for the rest of the year.
 
#21
I wasn't really worried when he did that. He was frustrated about a call, and was just saying a few times he got hit on the arm. Pretty common. I've seen him react similarly a couple other times with us (not quite as much though).

Good points, foretaz.
 
#27
And hence "50%+" shooting, but of the fairly punchless variety. Its neck up of course. Am actually hoping the kid starts taking some bad shots here just to show that he is awake and try aggressive
Hmm, going to have to differ on this opinion. I would prefer him to continue to shoot when the shot is a good one, not hoist up ill-advised, bad ones just to show he is there. I will take efficiency over volume. Generally, he passes when he doesn't have the shot, not like that should be a crime. In fact, patience and passing up a not so good shot for someone who has a better shot is generally a GOOD thing in my book, and unfortunately, one we tend to see LESS of on the road for some reason.
I give it an Away+, in fact, I give the whole Kings team an Away+, since we won:D
 

Bricklayer

Don't Make Me Use The Bat
Staff member
#28
Kingsgurl said:
Hmm, going to have to differ on this opinion. I would prefer him to continue to shoot when the shot is a good one, not hoist up ill-advised, bad ones just to show he is there. I will take efficiency over volume. Generally, he passes when he doesn't have the shot, not like that should be a crime. In fact, patience and passing up a not so good shot for someone who has a better shot is generally a GOOD thing in my book, and unfortunately, one we tend to see LESS of on the road for some reason.
I give it an Away+, in fact, I give the whole Kings team an Away+, since we won:D
Kind of pointless.

A lot of guys in the league can hit open shots and convert alley oops. This kid has the talent to do more. 11pts 2rebs 3ast in 35min...that's just not starting numbers. And all he has to do is be more aggressive to change that. And I mean oh, boohoo. His percentages drop. His impact would almost surely go up. You have to attack, not just stand there. And he knows that when he's in Northern California. Then he hits the road and...?
 

SacTownKid

Hall of Famer
#29
Bricklayer said:
Kind of pointless.

A lot of guys in the league can hit open shots and convert alley oops. This kid has the talent to do more. 11pts 2rebs 3ast in 35min...that's just not starting numbers. And all he has to do is be more aggressive to change that. And I mean oh, boohoo. His percentages drop. His impact would almost surely go up. You have to attack, not just stand there. And he knows that when he's in Northern California. Then he hits the road and...?
He's just doing what the coach told him to do. ;)
 
#30
Bricklayer said:
Kind of pointless.

A lot of guys in the league can hit open shots and convert alley oops. This kid has the talent to do more. 11pts 2rebs 3ast in 35min...that's just not starting numbers. And all he has to do is be more aggressive to change that. And I mean oh, boohoo. His percentages drop. His impact would almost surely go up. You have to attack, not just stand there. And he knows that when he's in Northern California. Then he hits the road and...?
Kind of silly.

No, I take that back…it’s just plain silly.

“C’mon, Kevin, start forcing shots more so you can have a greater impact. Sure, your productivity will go way down, sure you’re going to have those 7-for-22 games as a result, but that’s OK. This league about being a prolific scorer rather than a productive scorer. Your being the most productive scorer in the league just doesn’t cut it for a starter. A lot of guys in the league can hit all those ridiculously easy shots you take game in and game out. I mean, wide open 3’s, acrobatic alley-oop dunks…just not good enough. And it doesn’t matter that the offense is usually initiated on the other side of the floor from where you are. It doesn’t matter that you usually get less touches than the other 4 guys on the floor on offense. It doesn’t matter that the majority of touches you get are way out on the wing or in the corner with no big there to set you a screen. Hey, that’s the offense. Bust it and drive all the time. You will have a greater impact.”

But will he???

Or could it be that the WAY that Kevin scores (ie, productive and rarely takes a bad shot) is his strength?

IMPACT ON WINNING FROM INDIVIDUAL PLAYER SCORING












Player
11+ Points
14+ Points
20+ Points
30+ Points





Martin
16-7
15-4
11-1
0-0
Bibby
26-23
25-20
14-11
7-3
Miller
23-20
19-14
8-6
0-1
Thomas
13-8
9-3
3-1
0-0
Artest
7-5
4-5
2-3
0-0
Wells
10-9
7-7
4-3
1-0
Abdur-Rahim
14-17
11-14
3-4
0-1
Garcia
9-5
1-2
0-0
0-0



Quiz: Which King’s measly 11 points or more has the most impact on the team’s win-loss record???

Think that’s an accident? Think that’s statistical anomaly?

Perhaps Kevin’s productivity actually saves possessions and that’s why he can have an impact on how the team does with just a mere 11 points.

It’s certainly agreed that he has the talent to do more, but perhaps RA or Bibby should call his number more often so that he gets more touches within a flow rather than in a stagnant position somewhere far from the basket. Perhaps the Kings should turn the offense over more instead of forcing shots after one or two passes (like the old days, remember?) to get all 5 players on the floor some touches with most possessions (and likely get a better shot in the flow). I don’t know the answer.

All I can say is that I love Kevin’s progress this season, and I’ll certainly take his super-productive scoring (whatever point total that gives him) over the force it, jack-it-up philosophy that many “stars” have grown used to in becoming prolific scorers. Kevin is growing game by game, and as fans, we all have to love that.
 
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