[Grades] Grades v. Grizzlies 11/17/2013

What do you think about Malone benching Cousins tonight?

  • Uhoh

    Votes: 14 23.3%
  • Dangeorus

    Votes: 11 18.3%
  • Well deserved message

    Votes: 25 41.7%
  • Trying to win

    Votes: 10 16.7%

  • Total voters
    60
  • Poll closed .

Bricklayer

Don't Make Me Use The Bat
Staff member
#1


uhoh.

Tonight...sucked. So let's get this out of the way right now: we're going to have some more Pretty Girls with these grades. Just because, well, tonight sucked.

We simply cannot score. There's been some Tyreke chatter of late: well at this point either Tyreke is the best offensive player in history, Keith Smart is the best offensive coach in history, or we are doing something badly wrong. Because the gang's all back except for Reke, we have one of those mythical pure PG types, a rookie who is supposed to be a major shootist, and suddenly we are 10 points worse every night on offense and can't shoot a lick.

And of course the big issue here. Midway through the third Coach Malone pulled his entire starting unit and put in reserves. And behind Travis Outlaw of all people, the reserves stormed back into it. But then they stalled out. And Malone stayed with reserves. And subbed in other reserves. And a certain very large very prominent member of that starting unit was over on the sidelines with his chin in his hand not at all amused. Uhoh. Such a risk to take if you are Malone, and we lost anyway. Let's just hope that he and Cuz are so much on the same page off the court that appearing to publicly blame the big guy for our struggles will wash down.

Tonight the Consortium:
Bricklayer
Capt. Factorial
Spudfan
MassacheusettsKingsFan
Bajaden


Boxscore

Stats: 26min 4pts (1-6, 0-1, 2-4) 3reb 2ast 0stl 0blk 1TO
Mbah a Moute ( C ) -- sigh. Ok, so I avoided having to watch the Stinky Fish start...and instead the guy who took his place put up a very stinky fish line of 4pts 3rebs on 1-6 shooting, and Salmons still got his 30+min. But the Prince's outing wasn't really as bad as all that. Somewhat like Salmons himself he did a lot of little things right. He showed he knows how to play. He moved the ball when he should, was at least defensively aware etc. (although seemed to be late on several perimeter closeouts for whatever reason). But if that sounds like faint praise, it is. In the early going, when we were very competitive before JT and Cuz both went down with fouls, Luc largely stayed out of the way, and in the end he spent as much time at PF as SF as we ran out of big people, then benched the ones we did have available. Luc tried a couple of forays toward the hoop, but found no joy on the finishes. We tried to go 1 on 1 with him once or twice, but no way against the Grizz. Finally finally got a jumper to fall in the final minute of the first half for his only bucket of the game. He ended up getting benched along with the rest of the starters in the early third, but unlike the others he was brought back in late in the game in place of Travis Outlaw, who was basically our main man out there (let the tanking whispers begin!). Was supposed to check Zach Randolph and at least wrestled with him better than Travis, who just got overpowered after returning for the final minutes. I'm going to call this a C, but its just like all our SF options. Yeah, maybe they know how to play a little, but knowing how to play without actual production is dubious. --Brick

Leigh Lezark

Stats: 10min 3pts (1-2, 0-0, 1-2) 0reb 1ast 0stl 0blk 0TO
Thompson ( D ) --This could have easily been an ‘incomplete’ for Thompson, but that feels a little cheap considering he is a starter and was a part of that units terrible night. Got into early foul trouble, and in a game where the Kings were without Patrick Patterson and Chuck Hayes (left the game briefly after an elbow to the head from Gasol) JT let the team down. They could have used his size and rebounding. We didn’t see JT again until the start of the second half. It didn’t take long for Malone to yank the entire starting unit because of their poor play, including Thompson. He never returned. It wasn’t an aggressively bad night for JT, but he wasn’t good and the unit he was a part of turned this game into the blowout that is was early in the 3rd quarter. --Mass

Anna Kendrick

Stats: 18min 9pts (4-11, 0-0, 1-1) 5reb 1ast 1stl 0blk 3TO
Cousins ( C/INC? ) -- Cousins had a strong start to the game with nice blow by moves on Gasol. It looked like he was in for another big night as he seemed to get wherever he wanted. He played a total of 14 minutes in the first half and finished with 9 points on 4/9 shooting, 5 rebounds, 1 steal, and 2 turnovers (offensive fouls). His play time was limited due to a combination of the 2 offensive fouls + Hayes getting a Gasol elbow + JT also having 2 fouls. It seemed as if Malone was trying to save him from picking up a third so he could play big minutes in the second half. The second half started with the Kings down 13 before falling even further behind during a 14-7 run which lead to a 20 point deficit. Cousins missed both his shot attempts during this time frame, but both shots were good looks. He was responsible for 4 of the 14 points allowed with the first two coming from Randolph after he was able to get good position and convert a point blank shot and the others due to a turnover he committed. The turnover was after getting the ball in a corner with 5 seconds left on the shot clock and a double team on top of him so it was a nice team effort ;) Vasquez then played some terrible defense which lead to 5 easy Memphis points and Malone deciding to bench most of the starting lineup for the rest of the game. Cousins defense wasn’t amazing and his offense wasn’t great but by no means was he having a bad game. Which makes the benching that much more puzzling. We have seen him struggle at the start of games only to finish with monster numbers. I am at a loss for an explanation as to why he was benched when Malone said he was “just trying to win the game” in the post-game interview. If that were true he would have certainly been put Cousins back in. Something else must have been going on there. If he is going to continue to be benched when the guys he is playing with are playing terrible we better… well we better hope not. --Spud

Megan Markle

Stats: 19min 5pts (2-6, 1-3, 0-0) 5reb 2ast 0stl 0blk 2TO
McLemore ( D ) -- Ben missed all four of his shots in the first half, one of them a blown layup after cutting to an open lane and getting a nice pass and another an alley-oop attempt that didn't quite connect. His movement on offense was good, but he just couldn't knock anything down. On defense, it was a different story. He was throwing some very tentative help D into the paint which wasn't doing anything except allowing guys to get open on the perimeter. Ben was having particular difficulties whenever matchups were getting scrambled in transition - instead of finding the guy that nobody was guarding he went to the free-throw area and guarded nobody, which allowed both a Tony Allen layup and a wide-open Tayshaun jumper. On the bright side, McLemore's activity did result in 5 rebounds (though he did fail to box out Allen once, conceding an offensive rebound and a putback). After his poor first half, in the second half, McLemore got the proverbial short end of the stick. Coach Malone yanked the entire starting unit after four and a half minutes despite Ben just starting to get something going - he was cutting on offense, went 2 for 2 including a nice drive to the hoop, and I didn't see any defensive miscues. But because the other guys stank it up, Ben got to ride the pine for the rest of the game and lost his chance to get himself a considerably better grade. --Capt.

Katrina Bowden

Stats: 19min 8pts (4-7, 0-0, 0-0) 1reb 3ast 1stl 0blk 1TO
Vasquez ( C ) -- Well that was fun! Where do I begin? This debacle actually started out rather well. Vasquez stole the ball and took it all the way for a basket. He then made a nice pass to JT off a pick and roll, but JT missed a chippy. He missed a 16 footer off a screen that was half way down and popped out. Followed that with a nice pass to JT who was right at the basket, but was immediately fouled. So, I thought Vasquez was playing well, but not getting any results off of his passes. I Counted 5 passes, that should have been easy baskets that were missed. Its hard to fault him for poor offense, especially when he went 4 of 7 from the floor for 8 pts, and he was setting up others that couldn't for the life of them make a basket. For a while, I thought maybe there was an invisible shield on the rim. He went to the bench at 2:50 of the 1st quarter, and returned at 5:55 of the 2nd quarter. And it was more of the same. He immediately drove and hit a floater. Later a nice pass to Mbah a Moute in the corner for an open three that he missed. Defensively, it was a very mixed bag in the first half. He got beat off the dribble several times, but Connelly didn't attempt to score but instead passed the ball. The second half was a different story. It started with Connelly stealing the ball. Then he beat Vasquez off the dribble and laid it in. He followed that by going under a screen and Connelly hit a three. And then, he was on the bench for the rest of the night along with the rest of the starters. All in all, he didn't play that badly as an individual, but other than Cousins, he didn't have much help.--Baja

Gia Allemand -- Ryan Anderson's gf who committed suicide this summer. RIP.
 
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Bricklayer

Don't Make Me Use The Bat
Staff member
#2
Bench
Stats: 32min 15pts (5-17, 3-6, 2-2) 2reb 4ast 2stl 0blk 1TO
Thomas ( C- ) -- To be honest, when you play 32 minutes, go 5 for 17 from the floor, have 4 assists, and your a PG, I'm not sure you've earned a C anything. Now to be fair, IT suffered the same fate in the first half that Vasquez did. He made a lot of passes that should have been assists that were missed shots. 5 in the first half alone. Two more in the second half at which point I stopped counting. For the most part, it was the tale of two halves for IT, because he couldn't throw a pea into the ocean in the first half. While it appeared that IT was a huge part of the comeback, in fact, there was a 4 shot sequence where he hit 3 out of the four, two being three's that really made up almost all of his scoring in the second half. Everything else was a miss, and several were three's, one an off balance three from the corner. However, his teammates were doing a good job of sharing the ball and in particular, feeding Outlaw, who for a while, I thought would never miss. If anyone on the team deserved an A, it was Outlaw, who I thought also played good defense, and rebounded well. But back to Thomas. Defensively, I thought he did a good job for the most part. There were a couple of times when he completely lost Connelly, who hit two open threes of course. But his on ball defense was pretty good. So for hustle, energy, and good effort on defense, I give him a C-. But I was damm close to giving him a D+. --Baja

Claire Julien

Stats: 34min 10pts (4-12, 0-0, 2-2) 3reb 5ast 1stl 0blk 0TO
Salmons ( C ) -- sigh. I thought I would escape grading a John Salmons game, and then first, Mbah a Moute puts up a John Salmons line, then second, John himself comes back and leads the team in minutes again. Because there's nothing a Sacto coach can't get enough of of like John Salmons. But John had to take a larger role as injuries and fouls ruined our frontline, and aside from *brick!* having completely lost the ability to shoot a *clang!* basketball, he actually did a few nice things. Was doing a decent job of creating on drive and kicks, was more active offensively which *clunk!* is a dubious advantage, but at least gave me something more to grade and watch, and spent a lot of time on defense sort of lightly dissuading an easily dissuaded ghost-of-Mike Miller from even looking at the hoop. Ironically took a bad tough shot in the early 4th on a contested pullup, but got it to go when so many open *clang! ow! watch it!* jumpers *clunk!* were banging off everything in sight and *brick!* endangering the people in the first *bang!* 5 rows. --Brick

Eva LaRue

Stats: 25min 2pts (1-2, 0-0, 0-1) 6reb 1ast 0stl 1blk 0TO
Ndiaye ( B ) -- It’s always fun when end of the bench guys get some play. Hamady played more minutes tonight than he had all season with the Kings for a total of 25. His hustle was there and you could tell he was trying hard. Unfortunately a great deal of the points scored on us tonight when the Grizzlies went on a 12-3 run which ballooned the lead from 35-27 to 47-30 were on his watch. Seven of those 12 points were by Gasol when being covered Hamady. He didn’t play a single minute in the third, which is where a great deal of our comeback took place. He soon returned to play the entire fourth quarter however. The highlight of which had to be a nice dunk on a pass from IT to get a 3 point play opportunity. His sole block of the game came during this quarter and was accompanied by some good defense on Gasol. In fact Gasol, who played the final 8:23 of the game didn’t score a single point while Hamady was guarding him which is quite the achievement. Gasol did have four assists in the fourth, but I think it’s a positive sign that Gasol chose to pass rather than go at Hamady. --Spud

Kaya Scodelario

Stats: 29min 12pts (5-13, 1-7, 1-1) 1reb 1ast 2stl 0blk 0TO
Thornton ( C- ) -- Thornton played a pretty invisible game today. He spent a lot of time on offense just standing out on the wings and missed 6 of his 7 three-pointers that resulted from his camping out behind the line. It's too bad, because on one of his rare cuts he got a layup and-1. His defense was not spectacular tonight, but as a result of spending most of the night on Quincy Pondexter it didn't badly hurt us. You'll see that the boxscore says he had two steals, but both of them were such terrible passes that they were essentially early Christmas presents. I wasn't impressed with his effort level, but he was a member of the "comeback" squad so he got to stay on the floor. --Capt.

Elena Satine

Stats: 11min 0pts (0-2, 0-0, 0-0) 3reb 0ast 1stl 0blk 1TO
Hayes ( D ) -- Patterson’s absence forced Hayes to play some backup power forward tonight with Hamady N’Diaye getting some minutes at center. This went about as well as it sounds. He missed a few short shots inside early in the second quarter before receiving an elbow to the eyebrow courtesy of Marc Gasol. He sat out the rest of the first half while the trainers stitched him up and tested him for a concussion. He would surprisingly return for a few minutes in the second half, and was fortunate enough to play with the unit who was trying to get us back in the game, but didn’t actually contribute anything to that unit’s success. --Mass

Sharlene Rochard

Stats: 17min 18pts (6-9, 2-2, 4-4) 6reb 1ast 0stl 0blk 0TO
Outlaw ( A ) -- The lone bright spot for the Kings tonight. Outlaw came into the game during the mass substitutions early in the 3rd quarter and immediately caught fire. 18 points and 6 rebounds in 16 minutes will earn you an A. He was scoring in all sorts of different ways. Had a few nice drives, went 2-2 on 3-point attempts, and even battled the much bigger Memphis Grizzlies inside. Outlaw put this team on his back and carried them back into the game. He was kind of unstoppable. Weird. That crew would eventually run out of gas making way for the Grizzlies to close it out. With the Kings struggling this entire season offensively, I wouldn’t be surprised if Travis earned himself a shot at becoming the teams starting small forward after this performance. --Mass

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K

KingMilz

Guest
#3
Since I'm sick of ranting about shoot selection and giving effort I'm just going to focus on the positive 2night

#Coach Malone A++ sends a clear message if you don't play basketball in a way which is benefical to team success and give your all you will not play regardless of skill/talent.
#Luke Rich and Outlaw: Luke did so many little things to help us I thought regardless of stat line he was great, Outlaw carried us back into the game and gave his all I can't ask for me great job fellas.
#Thomas even if he shot poorly his passing was very nice and again he gave it his all
#The back up C (can't spell his name) man nice rolls to the rim, defending with everything he had and made nice rotations on defense I think we might have found a 10-15mpg player to back up Cuz
#Mclemore after a awful start he calmed down and showed a little I could not careless is he shoots 0-100 he needs time and that's what we need to give him

The rest of the team other than Vasquez and Hayes pathetic pretty much
 
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#8
Since I'm sick of ranting about shoot selection and giving effort I'm just going to focus on the positive 2night

#Coach Malone A++ sends a clear message if you don't play basketball in a way which is benefical to team success and give your all you will not play regardless of skill/talent.
#Luke Rich and Outlaw: Luke did so many little things to help us I thought regardless of stat line he was great, Outlaw carried us back into the game and gave his all I can't ask for me great job fellas.
#Thomas even if he shot poorly his passing was very nice and again he gave it his all
#The back up C (can't spell his name) man nice rolls to the rim, defending with everything he had and made nice rotations on defense I think we might have found a 10-15mpg player to back up Cuz
#Mclemore after a awful start he calmed down and showed a little I could not careless is he shoots 0-100 he needs time and that's what we need to give him

The rest of the time other than Vasquez and Hayes pathetic pretty much
I agree with a lot of what you've said, I enjoyed and was encouraged by the positives tonight. They sure have a long way to go but they might be finding some new paths.
 
#9
Only watched parts of the game (maybe 60%) but it seemed like a playground game - a bad chucking playground game. Meanwhile, on other boob tube station Niners lost on last second FG - so I'm doubly depressed.
 

VF21

#KingsFansForever
Staff member
Contributor
#14
...And of course the big issue here. Midway through the third Coach Malone pulled his entire starting unit and put in reserves. And behind Travis Outlaw of all people, the reserves stormed back into it. But then they stalled out. And Malone stayed with reserves. And subbed in other reserves. And a certain very large very prominent member of that starting unit was over on the sidelines with his chin in his hand not at all amused. Uhoh. Such a risk to take if you are Malone, and we lost anyway. Let's just hope that he and Cuz are so much on the same page off the court that appearing to publicly blame the big guy for our struggles will wash down.
Based on KG4's observations, I don't think there's a problem.
 
#16
Only watched parts of the game (maybe 60%) but it seemed like a playground game - a bad chucking playground game. Meanwhile, on other boob tube station Niners lost on last second FG - so I'm doubly depressed.
I don't think ANY of my teams will be making the playoffs at all...Kings, Canucks, Twins, 49ers. But hey, Rome wasn't built in a day...
 
#21
I would like to take this opportunity to point out that Marc Gasol had:

1. As many assists as our entire starting lineup combined
2. More assists than our two PGs combined (and that's with IT having 4 assists from the box score I'm reading, as opposed to the 2 assists listed here)

And don't tell me it's just about our shooters not knocking down shots, because the Grizzlies were 4-13 from 3. I don't know where to get those fancy shot chart information stuffiez for the game, but from what I watched they were for the most part missing a whole ton of outside shots. Aside from Gasol and Randolph (who again did most of their damage inside), they got wide open layups time after time on good cuts and good passing from Gasol and Conley. Our guards lost sight of their man multiple times leading to these open layups.

And shoutout to VF21 - let's start #hereweOMGJERRYSTOPTALKINGABOUTTHEBAYOUBOMBERANDHUSTLINHUSKIE

It's an apt nickname for MT alright. That guy sure is bombing.
 

Tetsujin

The Game Thread Dude
#25
At this point we are not on pace to improve over last year given our schedule and record thus far... This is good for draft position, but bad for the morale of the franchise
Not really. Losing more games but losing them in the right way (developing a system and team ethic) is better than winning a few more games because we're simply running and gunning like Keith Smart 2.0. The OKC Thunder lost a bajillion games in Scotty Brook's first (part-)season as their coach but the team was developing, growing, establishing a team mindset that ultimately proved better for their franchise than the moral victory of a few more victories because you sped up the tempo and scored 130 points. Not saying that's gonna happen here but it's not like the morale of the franchise is going to somehow be worse than it was under the Maloofs.
 
#26
Not really. Losing more games but losing them in the right way (developing a system and team ethic) is better than winning a few more games because we're simply running and gunning like Keith Smart 2.0. The OKC Thunder lost a bajillion games in Scotty Brook's first (part-)season as their coach but the team was developing, growing, establishing a team mindset that ultimately proved better for their franchise than the moral victory of a few more victories because you sped up the tempo and scored 130 points. Not saying that's gonna happen here but it's not like the morale of the franchise is going to somehow be worse than it was under the Maloofs.
Agreed. Which is why games like tonight are always tough ones to swallow without know what was going on. You hope to see more out of the guys who are going to be a larger part of the future.