Don't Make Me Use The Bat
remaining 3 quarters:
I don't mind the idea of losing to the Rockets -- all along I was just hoping for 2-1 over the last three home games. But it's the how of it that irks as we gave it away early by coming out dead flat and not ready to play, and Rudy needs to be slapped, hard. With aftershave after his face is nicked up.
Then Temple very obviously came in in the 2nd and began to singlehandedly wake us up with hustle and D up top. Omri got to play, struggled for a bit, but eventually fed off Temple's energy and joined the hustle party. From that point onward we outplayed the Rockets, but the hole had reached a ridiculous 29pts so just no way to get all the way back.
Link to Boxscore
Gay ( D- ) -- so very close to an F for this. Simply Did. Not. Come. Out. To. Play. Which is unacceptable. Slugged around, and refused to challenge Ariza in the first quarter as we got bombed. Was an energy sap most of the game, but finally after half made a few defensive plays inside to keep this out of F territory. But Rudy very much let us down with flat lack of energy in this one.
Barnes ( C+ ) -- really did not come out with his normal pep, although hit a few little midrange jumpers to show that he was more awake than the real slugs. Never did hit his threes however, and really did not start to show the fire until after Temple had lit the flame. Was part of our second half charge, but felt more like a follower this time than a hustle leader we needed from the getgo.
Cousins ( C+ ) -- Unfortunately for me I missed the first 8 mins of the 1st quarter. Was able to tune in in time to watch Cousins miss two free throws already down by 14 points. Seemed to have a lot of trouble from Superstar Clint Capella all game long. In the second quarter ran over Capella for his 11th point, only to be blocked by him a few short moments later. Knocked down a 3 pointer around the 3 minute mark. Missed a defensive cover on Montrel Harell that led to two missed free throws. Later in the second bricked a three and followed that up with an offensive foul on Harell. Started the third quarter out with a nice block on Capellla, missed a 15 footer, then picked up his 3rd foul on a reach in. Had a nice stop in the paint against Anderson which lead to a badly missed Rudy 3. Got blocked by Capella while in good position for a dunk as he continued to give him fits when he did take it into the paint. Picked up his 4th foul on a dumb play against Beverly. Did manage an easy lay in off an Afflalo assist. In the fourth, after sitting out almost 10 mins of the game, dove for a loose ball to no avail. Dumped the ball in to Gay to cut the lead to 11. After another easy 2 in the paint over Capella picked up his 5th foul. Late game heroics including making his third fourth and fifth 3's were all for naught. Topped off his 32 points, 9 rebounds and 5 blocks...with a double technical as he and Beverly exchanged pleasantries. --Suicide
Collison ( D+ ) -- a player who's value is in giving us spark and speed did precious little of it in this game. Came out flat in the dual-mini backcourt, had a minor role to pay as we steadied, got out on the break a few times. But it led nowhere and he was no kind of factor at anytime as Beverley flat outplayed him.
Lawson ( C+ ) -- got thrown out there for no reason as a starter vs. Harden, and we got curbstomped. But eventually with Collison doing little started earning his keep at PG with aggressive hustle play and turned a disaster into a respectable night.
Afflalo ( C ) -- I thought he gave us a real effort when he first came in, but it was ineffective effort. Again showing signs of turning into a roleplayer though as we went conventional after half, and Afflalo did not score for us, but helped with D and smart veteran passing as we made our push.
Koufos ( C+ ) -- ineffective fish out of water first half stint had this in the Ds somewhere, but after Cuz picked up his 4th in the 2nd half, Kosta came in and gave us a long extended run of effective reserve work as we whittled the Rockets lead down. Hit his little hooks and follows and bought us time. Would have been a B of some sort without the first half misery.
McLemore ( INC ) -- we've seen this before this season. Ben was brought in early in the midst of our opening debacle, came into the game unready to play, and after a 4 minute tryout where he wandered around and notched a -10 +/-, Joerger yanked him and he never returned. Coach is trying to teach guys lessons about being ready to play, but are they getting it?
Temple ( A- ) -- deserves a heck of a lot more credit than the boxscore alone will give him. Really was the Kings player of the game as the first King on the perimeter to put up a fight, to start hustling and fighting over screens and up onto guys. To make some hustle plays and get on the floor. And eventually it inspired his teammates to pick it up too. Made some mistakes, a few costly turnovers, but harassed Harden and left it on the floor, and that was the key to this game.
Casspi ( C+ ) -- Omri got his shot, and the old coach's motto be ready to play applied. I wanted to try to bump this up to a B-, but just could not do it. Came in with us looking for energy, and was all kind of wobbly bouncing around from one near disaster to the next. But with Temple hustling and grinding, it was Omri who first picked up the thread and joined him in playing some inspired defense. never got anything going offensively, but an important guy just for hustle/effort.