[Grades] Grades v. Clippers 3/18/2015

Kings starting shooting guard on opening day next year?

  • Ben

    Votes: 9 25.7%
  • Nik

    Votes: 6 17.1%
  • other

    Votes: 19 54.3%

  • Total voters
  • Poll closed .


Don't Make Me Use The Bat
Staff member

Its handy in a way losing every single night without Cuz (now 2-24 without him in the Vivek era) -- it'll make the final season tank when we shut done Cuz that much more predictable. We should be able to exactly pick our target number of losses and hit it guaranteed.

Of course in this case this was likely a loss anyway, and really, despite giving up another obscene point total our rudderless ship sort of found a collective rudder, with numerous people making minor contributions behind a pretty good Rudy game. I didn't believe we'd win, because frankly I almost never do anymore, but we hd the lead in the 4th, and if Chris Paul hadn't have been just toying with us like a bored cat...

Well, anyway. Still stuck at 22 wins, 4-11 now under Karl, .267, just a smidge ahead of Corbin's .250 pace. But hey, if Cuz and Rudy can both go on Friday, the next one's winnable. Hope springs eternal.


Stats: 37min 23pts (6-19, 0-5, 11-11) 6reb 4ast 3stl 0blk 2TO
Gay ( B- ) -- ok, so it was Rudy in, Cuz out, JT in, Landry to the end of the bench. Got all that? Rudy was back just in time to pick up main scorer duties (the thought if what would happen wihtout Cuz, Collison OR Rudy is... *shudder*) and he performed his duties...decently. In the early going ti was his teammates carrying him, as maybe he came back rusty, who knows. He missed the game's opening three, and did not have his first hoop until 4min were left in the quarter. Meanwhile Ryan Hollins was our goto guy. He was still sitting on only 4pts midway through the 2nd quarter, and not an efficient 4pts, when things finally started to click into gear for him. he still wasn't hitting his threes -- and insisted on taking them (is that Karl?) -- but the swoops and layups and fouls drawn picked up, and he was up to 11pts and carrying the offense in the back half of the quarter. After half he kept up the scoring pace and specifically got to the line, and for a while in the late 2nd and early 3rd it looked like he was going to go toe to toe dueling with CP3 as he cranked it up against our hopeless PGs. But Rudy never did get efficient, and Hedo Turkoglu, who I am pretty sure announced his retirement 5 years ago, ha a bizarre bounceback game in front of Vlade and was bothering Rudy on defense with his length. We went the better part of a quarter between Rudy's 19th and 20th points, and in the 4th he contributed only 4 FTs. On the other end Rudy was only responsible for the first 2 of Hedo's ridiculous 5 three pointers in the game, but was committing the same mistake everyone else was, again and again overhelping inside and thus ending up late closing on three point shooters. In the end it was...ok. Not efficient, not terrible. He filled a role we needed filling -- guy who can actually put up big scoring numbers. But us making a game of it was more because of multiple other guys stepping up in little ways.

Stats: 34min 12pts (5-10, 0-0, 2-4) 8reb 0ast 1stl 0blk 1TO
Thompson ( B ) -- Without Cuz you figure we needed a good game out of JT against this frontline to have any chance, and to a large degree we got it. In the early going in fact I thought he largely outplayed a very soft Blake, and did not appear at all intimidated by Jordan. As the game wore on things began to swing a bit. Blake began to get his game going, our idiots always running down ot help on him helped free those 3pt shooters. Jordan began to finally have an imact in the middle, and JT was no factor at all after the mid 3rd. Still, 12 and 8 is kind of the standard for solid work amongst a non-star big. It was done efficiently, it was combined with generally good defense looming over Griffin, who appears to be shrinking, and it was about all you could expect against a frontcourt that on paper looks as good as any in the league.

Stats: 14min 9pts (4-4, 0-0, 1-2) 3reb 1ast 0stl 0blk 0TO
Hollins ( B ) -- 6 minutes into this game Ryan Hollins was dominating the guy he backed up last year just with hustle, off the ball movement, and mobility. In the early going it was his 7pts 3rebs that really were responsible for us coming out and making a competition of this. And then, for some mysterious reason, we benched him. And hey, its Ryan Hollins, he probably has a custom chair over there on the bench and knows the nachos guy by his first name. But during this game? With as well as he was doing? All I could figure is that it was some preplanned rotation they had going on, but...duh. Hollins never regained his mojo after that. Had one more off the ball hoop, but played little and went back to producing like Ryan Hollins. Oh well, at least one strong stint.

Stats: 19min 0pts (0-5, 0-1, 0-0) 1reb 2ast 1stl 0blk 0TO
McLemore ( F ) -- appears to all be going south now for Ben, and I'll again make the point that PDA's wonderful Malone gambit may have had wider reaching effects than merely Cuz. It appears to have killed Landry's Kings career. And Ben is in flat free fall. Today he was down to 0pts altogether, and if the late reports he may have a sore wrist might excuse some of that, it still wouldn't explain why he keeps going under screens and losing guys far less less athletic than he is on the perimeter as they bomb threes on us. The end result was JJ Reddick with 17 first half points, and Nik Stauskas playing more minutes than Ben. Then after half Ben made a few half hearted attempts to drive, and ended up getting his shots thrown back in his face by Jordan. And that was that. So just...this is your audition for the new coach Ben. Of course with his up and downness, he could score 20 next game as easily as 2, so I guess we'll see. But with no Cuz there were shots to be had, although maybe without Cuz not as much space to get them off or as much passing to set Ben up. Ben's game felt almost too irrelevant to saddle him with an F, but if you aren't going to hit your starting SG with an F for getting outscored 27-0 and playing fewer, and less effective, minutes than his backup, when are you going to hand out that F?

Stats: 23min 8pts (4-8, 0-1, 0-0) 2reb 2ast 1stl 0blk 1TO
McCallum ( C ) -- early on in this game Ray was playing impressively. He was energetic and aggressive, and CP3 was in lurk mode. Ray wasn't leading the team in stats, but he was one of many thorns we were showing. His late second quarter work was less impressive, as he quit either making shots or running much of an offense. But the real disaster came after half, as CPE disengaged that stealth mode and just easily, and I do mean easily, smoothed his way into star mode. He was just walking down, running Ray off a simple pick, and boom, easy little jumper. Then another. And another. And another. It wasn't that CP3 was hitting tough shots -- it was that he didn't even have to take them. Just little practice jumper after little practice jumper. Given that Ray's offensive production had dried up, getting treated like a chew toy on defense was enough to cost him his spot again to the old man, who of course also could not guard Paul, but who could at least fight back the other way.
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Don't Make Me Use The Bat
Staff member

Stats: 23min 8pts (2-5, 0-0, 4-6) 11reb 0ast 1stl 0blk 0TO
Evans ( B ) -- I half expected Reggie to get the start in this one to try to keep DeAndre from dominating the glass, but while that honor went to Hollins, Reggie still had a chance to become one of several bench guys who made a real contribution for us. And in fact Reggie badly outplayed both Hawes and Big Baby off the Clips bench (and he had to basically play both of them since we spent time out there with a miniature Reggie at C/DWill at PF lineup), and even when in there against Blake wasn't suffering as much on defense as you might think. Meanwhile he provided a little offense to go with his boards, getting to the line repeatedly, and even hitting over half of the resulting FTs. I can't think of any one stretch of dominant play, anything to really make this grade better than a B, but he was definitely one of those contributing pieces as we dominated their bench and hung in there.

Stats: 23min 13pts (4-6, 1-3, 4-4) 3reb 1ast 0stl 0blk 2TO
Stauskas ( A- ) -- you know, given that this coach is going to be around a while (presumably, who knows with this franchise), we might (or we legitimately might not btw) be seeing a changing of the (shooting) guard going on here. ben's apparent idea of auditioning for Karl has been to shoot .373 in the 15 games since Karl took over, and disappear half the nights. Nik on the other hand has shot .469 over that span, .421 from 3ptland, and has been having increasing spurts of effective, even confident play. And tonight might have been the biggest step forward yet, as down the stretch of the game, in the final minutes of this game it wasn't Rudy taking over, nor the wily old vet Miller, nor certainly Ben was was subbed out in the mid 4th and did not return, it was a confident and crafty Nik who snapped off shots given the slightest opening, who set up teammates, and who drove and got to the line. In the process he scored 6 of our final 10 points in the last 2:30 (the other 4 were Miller's as our backup guard badly outplayed our starting guards), and assisted on one of Miller's two late hits as well. And abruptly the kid who had a solid argument as THE single worst player in the NBA for the first 3-4 months of the season is showing some signs.

Stats: 18min 5pts (2-5, 1-3, 0-0) 6reb 3ast 0stl 0blk 0TO
Casspi ( B- ) -- this was a tale of two games, almost three, for Omri. After missing a three in the late first, he started the second with bang bang back to back hoops, one of those awkward looking cross body flip ins he does and a three, set up by Miller. They would be his only points of the game. For the remainder of the 2nd he hustled and helped on the defensive glass, but offensively nothing happened despite a healthy size advantage over the Clippers small backups. When he returned in the third, he didn't give us points, wasn't helping much on the glass, but from the late 3rd into the early 4th delivered a series of nice setups to teammates for assists that helped us stay close. It was all he was contributing by that point though, he was responsible for drifting off on one of those Hedo threes, and after a few more minutes of empty play, he was done for the night.

Stats: 25min 16pts (8-11, 0-1, 0-0) 3reb 4ast 0stl 0blk 2TO
Miller ( B+ ) -- Dre's inability to guard a lamppost is a constant drag on his grades, but on this night that factor was mitigated by the fact McCallum was being helplessly batted around by CP3 too so Dre's arrival didn't exactly trigger a defensive collapse that was not already going on by hi inability to stay close to CP3 (or once, Hedo). And on the other end Dre continued his hot streak from the other night, notching fewer assists than is his norm, but instead finding it as easy to score against the Clips as the Clips found it easy to score against us. He didn't waste time testing the three pointers, which really aren't his shot despite him hitting a few for us thus far. He didn't lope around hoping for an alley oop like DWill. instead it was just old man meat and potatoes. Layups, little pullup set shots, using his size on a turnaround jumper, and everything was falling so he just kept on. The Clippers never did get a handle on it, and Dre was right there along with Stauskas scoring all of our points down the stretch. So that's too good ones in a row for the old man at the park.

Stats: 24min 11pts (3-6, 1-3, 4-5) 1reb 1ast 0stl 0blk 2TO
Williams ( B- ) -- after the aberrant night last time out where DWill grabbed some tough boards, but did not hit his shots and found out in Kingsland thta means you lose your minutes, tonight he was back to his normal Karl era self, which means the league's most one dimensional scorer. He was actually off to a slow start, and in the first half it was almost funny watching him jog up and down the court waiting for an opportunity to finally...finally...I got a dunk! I got to dunk!!! Did you see me dunk!! Woohoo I dunked!! I'm a dunker!! Woooot!!! Hey, its his thing I guess. Probably says it on his business card. Not Derrick Williams, NBA Player, but Derick Williams, Dunker. The second half was more reasonable, he came back in aggressive, and after immediately turning the ball over, got fouled on a 3pt shot and hit all the FTs. He started the 4th actually hitting a three and would chip in another FT and jumper before the well ran dry in the mid quarter. Unfortunately by that time we'd fallen back in love with him, and so he stayed out on the court, doing nothing, right through the end of the game, while we shockingly got crushed on the boards.
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Chris Paul only missed 1 out of 10 2-pt shots.
He was able to get an open shot anytime he wanted, and they were all swishes, IIRC. He wasn't even trying hard.
36-year old Hedo was 5-10 3 PTRS. J.J. Riddick was 7-12.

Don't even look at the Kings' players stats and try and conclude anything - the Clippers toyed with the Kings so easily, the stats are useless.



Hall of Famer
Ben really needs to learn how to draw contact and get to the line. If he hits his first few shots, has a decent night, if he doesn't, it snowballs into contributing next to nothing. As an athletic SG he has got to learn how attack the paint, draw fouls and get himself going.

And no, he doesn't have the handle to start attacking off the dribble regularly but he gets opportunities at the rim where he mostly avoids contact and since he's not a good finisher...

I want to see some f'ing attitude from Ben, where he actually looks angry he's not doing well and forces himself to get going. Get after it defensively, get some steals, get out on the break in transition, hit the glass, kick a chair, get a tech, just do something to force yourself into the game and show some passion. It's not just the 0-5 which is the issue, it's the 1 reb and 1 FTA, far too common for him.

Ben's his own worst enemy.
Ben really needs to learn how to draw contact and get to the line. If he hits his first few shots, has a decent night, if he doesn't, it snowballs into contributing next to nothing. As an athletic SG he has got to learn how attack the paint, draw fouls and get himself going.

And no, he doesn't have the handle to start attacking off the dribble regularly but he gets opportunities at the rim where he mostly avoids contact and since he's not a good finisher...

I want to see some f'ing attitude from Ben, where he actually looks angry he's not doing well and forces himself to get going. Get after it defensively, get some steals, get out on the break in transition, hit the glass, kick a chair, get a tech, just do something to force yourself into the game and show some passion. It's not just the 0-5 which is the issue, it's the 1 reb and 1 FTA, far too common for him.

Ben's his own worst enemy.
He really does need that killer instict to make it to the next level.
We may not win another game this season. Thank goodness the season is almost over. This year has hurt a lot.
indeed. i've never wanted a season to end quite so badly. '13-'14 was a tough slog to get through, but at least there was some hope that things would start to turn around this season. unfortunately, that's not even close to what has happened...

instead, it's just been one ****storm after another, complete with a head coaching carousel, a massive defensive collapse, a lack of sustained improvement from either of the kings' last two first rounders, conflicting media leaks aplenty, reports of front office tension, an owner who has "agitated" his way to the basement of the western conference once again, misgivings between that owner and his closest advisers, extremely poor golden state impersonations, and one frustrated superstar who hasn't been nearly as vocal about this clusterf*ck of a franchise as i would have expected him to be...

honestly, i'm amazed that demarcus cousins has managed to be even half as composed as he's been; 10 techs seems a bit low given the state of things. i mean, the kings stand at 22-45. they have fifteen games left and it's a fairly soft schedule, but they still might not even crest 30 wins considering how poor their defense has been since george karl took over. they'll be lucky just to match the previous two seasons' mark of 28-54. talk about utter and complete stasis...

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Hall of Famer
Yea i wish Karl would make it a point to put the ball in his hands and make him sort of a main focus of the offense for the rest of the season. See what he can do
Maybe down the road he might be able to do that, but right now, Ben doesn't have the handles. Yes, he definitely improved his ability to handle the ball from last season, but he still has a long way to go. For the most part he still needs to have his shot created for him. How often do you see him free himself up for a jumpshot when he's being well guarded? Stauskas is a way better ballhandler than Ben is. Ballhandling, and lack of BBIQ are the two main things holding Ben back. He's still learning how to play the game. I'm not saying that to be critical of him, or to suggest we get rid of him. I'm just stating facts. He is what he is right now, and to expect more is only going to frustrate you.


Don't Make Me Use The Bat
Staff member
I'm not entirely sure Karl's offense isn't helping hold Ben back (not that I have ever particularly had confidence in Ben).

here's the thing, Karl comes in, and now he's spouting varieties of the same read and react no plays nonsense that Paul Westphal had, with the additional requirements now that everybody drive and run whenever possible. Now Ben can do the running part -- but so can a lot of scrubs. And the rest of it...thee's some irony here because I remember old quotes that sounded like Karl was anti-Reke, but hell, Reke would be the SG. I guess except for no corner three. Ben though is a guy without a great handle, without great fluid instincts. Ben is a guy who absolutely NEEDED an organized offense with play calls, specific cuts and responsibilities. He needed to know when and where his shots were going to come from, when and to whom he should be passing etc. Throwing out an offense predicated on people all having great basketball instincts and talent might work fine for Cuz, or a little PG like Lawson. But Ben looks lost again.