Don't Make Me Use The Bat
Nope. Not tonight. We just did not have it, and looked every bit the team playing the second of a back to back. Especially the big guy, who got outworked by Jordan Hill on the night, and maybe even the little guy too, who had one of his worst games of the season..
Your Consoritum Graders tonight:
Stats: 32min 4pts (2-5, 0-0, 2-2) 6reb 1ast 2stl 0blk 1TO
Mbah a Moute ( C ) -- This was an uneventful night for Mbah A Moute (and the rest of the SF crew). He was fine, but his overall impact was limited because the Lakers don’t have an established wing scorer (or any singular scorer) that required Mbah A Moute’s attention on defense. Malone used some funky lineups that led to Mbah A Moute playing a handful of minutes at power forward where he competed fairly well on the glass all things considered. He had one really nice baseline drive as his only play of note offensively. He’s been better, but this was just another solid ‘glue’ game from Luc. --Mass
Stats: 22min 4pts (2-4, 0-0, 0-0) 5reb 1ast 1stl 2blk 0TO
Thompson ( C ) -- The effort from Jason was good tonight but there were a couple of times he didn’t hustle and gave up offensive rebounds which lead to easy points. His defense on Gasol was decent but it didn’t seem to matter as Gasol’s high skill level made it easy for him to score. Jason only took 4 shots and made two of them to finish with 4 points for a quiet night on the offensive end. I don’t remember him committing any of his typical boneheaded mistakes out there tonight which is refreshing. --Spud
Stats: 31min 17pts (6-14, 0-0, 5-7) 8reb 7ast 1stl 0blk 3TO
Cousins ( C ) -- Cousins had the effort out there tonight, but he couldn't put everything together at once for most of the game. In the first half he went 4-7 from the floor and scored 10 of his 17 points, including yet another full-court point-center fast break for a layup off a steal, the kind that really seems to get under some folks' skin and which just make me giggle with glee. Even then, his offense wasn't perfect, as he inexplicably missed a dunk and had one post possession where he was about as deep as you get and failed to convert. Defensively, he didn't bring it in the first half. My notes have at least five bad defensive plays by Cuz in the early going, three of those being late/no help D. Additionally, he managed a whole 3 rebounds in the first half. In the third quarter, Cousins came out like a man possessed, starting with a baseline drive for a dunk where he hesitated before driving because he was as shocked as I was that nobody was guarding him. He was cutting, he was drawing fouls (three of the first four team fouls to get the kings into the penalty with more than six minutes left), he was dishing the ball, and he was doing a better job grabbing rebounds. He even went to the floor to gather in a ball that he lost on a drive and called timout while being mercilessly fouled by some coward wearing yellow. He came back in after a rest in the early fourth and was immediately mugged in the post for a no-call and put up a shot that got blocked out of bounds, but he went directly back to it and the second time got the call and the and-1. He drew another three team fouls in his first three minutes on the floor in the fourth, and also drew a charge. The one thing that Cousins was consistent with all night was his passing - I believe 6 of his 7 assists came out of the double team on passes to the perimeter, but he did give McLemore a nice feed on a cut for a dunk. But all-in-all his effort wasn't enough and his line didn't really reflect the game we expect to get out of him. --Capt.
Stats: 26min 15pts (5-14, 3-6, 2-3) 1reb 0ast 0stl 0blk 2TO
McLemore ( C+ ) -- Ben continues to pose grading challenges. First trying to get a handle on what are reasonable expectations, secondly because he's an inconsistent rook even period to period, and third because whenever he does do something there is a damn good chance its something spectacular. On offense tonight he hit 5 shots, all 5 of them of the sort that could get used on highlight reels (two hyperathletic hoop slashes and three quick threes), but he also missed 9 others, scattered between ones perfectly in his comfort zones, and ones he continues to force up likely in a misinterpretation of some "be aggressive" advice. Defensively has fewer misadventures than he has of late while matched up against the Lakers', well, bigger guards (the Lakers don't actually have any SFs, they just have small guards, medium guards, and large guards, all of whom are tasked with running around and chucking up threes Pringles-style). In any case, he got off to a pretty solid start, matched against Wesley Johnson (taken 1 pick ahead of Cuz haha) on defense and hitting one of those quick release threes. Got off to a dynamic start to the third as well, this time with back to back explosions to the rim, the first one for a dunk on the move from Cousins, the second for an explosive layup as the Lakers parted the seas for him. But then as it often is, began to spoil the spell as he missed jumper after jumper to follow up, which are of course supposed to be his bread and butter. Eventually he even airballed one of them as our offense completely stalled out. Got back in for the closing minutes and did a complete 180, draining two threes in a game that was largely out of reach, but now struggling to finish inside as his attempts in the lane were blocked or altered. In the end you get 1 spectacular dunk, one nice slashing layup, three threes at unimportant stages of the game, a whole bunch of misses you have a tendency to forget about because the hits are pretty, less egregious defense against a team full of jumpshooters, no passes and one can't dribble turnover, no help on the boards this time out and just..something. Not a bad grade. Not a breakthrough game. More flashes of offense surrounded by fairly empty air.--Brick
Stats: 33min 20pts (9-18, 2-6, 0-0) 3reb 7ast 0stl 0blk 2TO
Vasquez ( B+ ) -- The King’s starting line-up has consistently failed at keeping the game competitive at the start of games. It looked as if in this on Vasquez was on a mission to make sure the King’s starters would keep pace with their opponent’s starters. To that end Vasquez started out the game deciding to be a scoring PG rather than a facilitating PG while lighting up Blake to the tune of 13 points on 6 for 6 shooting in the first 10 minutes of the game. After the very hot shooting Vasquez cooled down considerably only hitting 3 more shots for 7 points for the remainder of his 23 minutes out on the court. He did manage to find open shooters and get entry passes to Cousins in good position. His defense against Blake was below average as he allowed Blake to get into good spots on the floor where Blake had the opportunity to find teammates for good scoring looks. He isn’t the fleetest of foot and we’re always going to have concerns about his ability to guard his position so it’s going to be incumbent on Malone putting together team defensive schemes to help Vasquez for as long as he is our starting PG. I think that this game would have been far more impressive (20 points on 50% shooting and 7 assists) if the scoring had been spread through-out the game a bit more rather than almost all of it at the opening bell. With that said, this has been one of his best games of the year and the fact that Malone let him stay on the court for full starters minutes is a testimony to that.--Uncia