Grades v. Suns 03/29

Kings player of the game?

  • Spencer Hawes

    Votes: 19 33.3%
  • Jason Thompson

    Votes: 21 36.8%
  • Andres Nocioni

    Votes: 8 14.0%
  • Francisco Garcia

    Votes: 1 1.8%
  • Beno Udrih

    Votes: 8 14.0%

  • Total voters
    57
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Bricklayer

Don't Make Me Use The Bat
Staff member
#1
10!

Well, there goes our margin again. Sort of serves these no defense teams right though. A couple of weeks back we pretty much ended the Knicks' playoff hopes because they refuse to play defense. Today we pretty much ended the Suns hopes because they refuse to play defense. And hey, we refuse top play defense too, and its just such a shocker we'll all be attending that lottery party together. Now let's just hope that we didn't screw ourselves out of a draft position with this one. Because we don't only not play defense, we are stupid as well. And that's a nasty combo.

Theme = with the season running low I think its time to do the final Top 10 Kings thread, and so its going to be Top 10 PGs in Sacramento Kings History

Nocioni ( A- ) -- back in as a starter, and you can see how maybe this is not a great thing for our lottery hopes. Had some problems with Hill early on defense, but was very active on offense, drained open threes, and repeatedly cut along the baseline for inside scores. Just outworked Hill and scored at will in the third. Did not contribute much in the 4th, but the damage was done.

#1 Mike Bibby
Career Stats
With Kings: 99-04
Best Year With The Kings: 04-05 19.6pts 4.2reb 6.8ast 1.5stl 0.4blk
This tells you most of what you need to know about the Kings PGs over the years, and perhaps explains why to this day as a fanbase we are obsessed with finding a "pass first PG" etc. etc. Mike was of course very good for us through our best years, a great shooter, and just as importantly a clutch shooter. And Jerry would tell you, and did again and again, that he was "All-Star caliber" even when he was not. But he wasn't the most creative of points, did not play defense, and he never did have the complete game to make that All Star game, leaving PG as the only position in Kings history to have never seen a single All Star season in 25 years.


Thompson ( A- ) -- major impact in the early going using his superior size (over Barnes, who was just awful) and superior quickness (over Shaq) to bounce around for offensive boards. Made things tough by smoothly stroking long jumpers as well. Funny thing was that he wasn't there at all on the defensive glass, with his first 4 boards all coming on the offensive glass and the Suns smallballing keeping him away form the defensive boards when Shaq wasn't just muscling him in there. Slowed down after half as Jared Dudley of all people proved to be somewhat of an answer for the Suns, and was shaky from the line.

#2 Jason Williams
Career Stats
With Kings: 99-01
Best Year With The Kings: 98-99 12.8pts 3.1reb 6.0ast 1.5stl 0.0blk
And this one can certainly be argued. Not on impact, where JWill was arguably one of the most important players in Kings history, nor even on talent, where you could make a solid argument he might actually deserve to be #1. But on actual production...the JWill of the Kings era was always two parts flash for every one part substance, a none too bright kid with a special gift for passing and showmanship. In the end we decided we needed to get a more serious and sober point if we were going to win a title, and hence the arrival of Bibby. But there is no doubt that JWill was one of those foundational pieces that helped set and establish the tone for those great teams, and helped put Sacramento on the map not only nationally, but worldwide.


Hawes ( A- ) -- for three quarters out there he was doing ok, but predictably losing the battle rather badly against Shaq. Power problems of course, but we got him some early hoops on the move slashing toward the rim o at least lend the matchup some balance. Nonetheless before half we were better with a Thompson/Noc scrappy frontcourt. Started to pepper in some jumpers in the third to help, but continued to not be willing to body Shaq, allowing the big man, scratch that, enormous man, to repeatedly dunk back the other way. Came back in the 4th though, and upped this grade and the impression of his game considerably. Before the 4th it was maybe a B- or some such. Helping in some places, but his wimpy fear of body contact was making it all too easy for Shaq the other way. But after his late return, while the defense on Shaq inside was still splotchy the effort was better, and on one play he did actually chase Nash down from behind on the break and poke the ball away. So maybe the key to our defensive woes is that Spencer shouldn't guard centers but PGs instead. Hit some big jumpers down the stretch to help cinch it, and emerged from nowhere as the game's leading board nabber as well to get his second 20-10 (the bare minimum 20-10). I almost don't like going into the As on this given my feelings about the first three quarters. But in the end it was 20-10, there was no real garbagetime so it was all legit, and it was against a major opponent, so I think it warranted for a young big.

#3 Reggie Theus
Career Stats
With Kings: 85-88
Best Year With The Kings: 85-86 18.3pts 3.7reb 9.6ast 1.4stl 0.4blk
Once I decided not to call our erstwhile coach an OG, but rather a PG, this one became fairly easily for me. Reggie was not really a PG, not really. He was a talented if self-asborbed gunner with ballhandling skills. But notice that that gunner with ballhandling skills still averaged 9.6ast in his first season in Sacramento. 9.6. EASILY the most of any Sacramento PG. Even when taking into account the different era, that is still a ton, and he averaged 8.8 the next year before we drafted Kenny Smith to get ourselves a purer guy. And for better or worse, Reggie was the leader of that first crew of breezy defenseless jumpshooters who arrived in town, and ironically until recently he was the leader of the current group of defenseless jumpshooters as well.


Martin ( C- ) -- so bad were the Suns on defense in this one that Kevin was essentially not needed, which is a good thing given that he was largely not there as one of the few Kings to truly struggle. Got off to the slow start but was more uninvolved than hurting the Kings and he hit open shots when they were presented. Began to get chunky in the second quarter however, with Kevin maybe out of rhythm due to not being the featured guy. Forced a few things, turned it over, began to look to the refs to bail him out. Hit a couple of shots in the third as we looked like we were almost going to blow this one open at one point, but also turned it over and repeatedly missed or was denied around the rim. Not a factor late either, and just in general a down game all around that did not matter with pretty much everybody else in the top 7 having good games.

#4 Kenny Smith
Career Stats
With Kings: 87-90
Best Year With The Kings: 88-89 17.3pts 2.8reb 7.7ast 1.3stl 0.1blk
Perhaps a bit of controversy to this choice, as I picked him over a longer term King who comes up next, but I think that Kenny was the superior player. Nicknamed "the Jet" (just watch TNT) for his quickness (alas like many quick players the flipside was that he was scrawny and soft), he was an effective shoot first PG that I think could never quite outlive a) not being the star we needed; and b) being selected by us instead of local boy Kevin Johnson (who was picked next). Which was of course our fault, not his, but led inevitably to the perception of him as a disappointment in Sacto. He averaged 17 and 8 in his second season for us though, and went on to win two titles as a roleplayer stretching the defense for Hakeem in Houston.
 
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Bricklayer

Don't Make Me Use The Bat
Staff member
#2
Udrih ( B+ ) -- did ok early against Nash, but got into foul trouble showing uncommon hustle for him. Began to get it going in the early third as we continued to score efforetlessly and had one of those ridiculous and totally unpredictable Beno quarters as he just dominated play and pushed us to a 3rd straight 35pt quarter. Of course on defense Nash was lighting both he and Kevin up the other way and dominated the Suns quarter in similar fashion, but that is a litle more expected. Then of course this being Beno onsidered his nights work done with the one big quarter and disappeared again as the Nash took over down the stretch.

#5 Spud Webb
Career Stats
With Kings: 87-90
Best Year With The Kings: 88-89 16.0pts 2.9reb 7.1ast 1.8stl 0.3blk
Time for the little man as the last of the true starting quality guys on this list (yes, after this the list really begins to get dodgy). Size aside, a solid starting point for a few years for us, but you can never truly set the size aside. I have included a second photo below this main one to show you what I mean -- such a freaky physical specimen. Everyone loved to watch Spud play because hey, he was smaller than you and out there flying in amongst the trees.



BJax ( C- ) -- and keeping Kevin company down in the doldrums of this one was Bobby, who might be rethinking that whole play out the season with a broken face thing at this point. Lost control of the pace after entering as the Suns began to click, and even got burned by the completely pathetic Goran Dragic in the second quarter. Could not hit his shots while he had the mask on, so did something supremely unwise, and took it off just to prove that he could not hit them with it off either. Playing with a broken cheek and a mask is one thing, risking having an innie instead of an outie for a cheekbone for a meaningless game is just stupid. And Bobby, you are shooting 40% on the season, may I suggest its not the mask.

#6 Bobby Jackson
Career Stats
With Kings: 00-05; 08-09
Best Year With The Kings: 02-03 15.2pts 3.7reb 3.1ast 1.2stl 0.1blk
And with the last of the legit starters off the list, it is time to turn to by far the best of the backups. The Sixth Man through our best years, and in 02-03 during the peak of our power, filled in for half a season while Bibby was out and averaged a cool 18ppg as a starter as well. Obviously nowhere near a pure point, Bobby's muscle and hustle as a combo guard more than made up for his lack of creative ability for teammates, and he remains one of the more beloved figures of the golden era. He's only a shell of himself now (it just so worked out that his grade and this rank coincided) but still reminds you every once in a while of why he was special.


Cisco ( B+ ) -- came in off the bench on fire, just attacking aggressively against the pathetic backup crew of the Suns (Tucker? Dragic? Dudley? Admundson?) and racking up 10pts in about 4 minutes to push us out to the lead by the end of the first quarter. Of course gave a lot of that back on the other end where he was aslepp against Hill after entering, with Grant the oldest player on the floor making everybody else look decrepit, and on one play in particular squaring Cisco up and just embarrassing him with a nasty hesitation crossover. Bit of a mystery why the Suns were not covering Cisco, with anybody, in the second quarter. But they weren't, and so Cisco was calmly stepping up like he was alone in the gym and drainign long jumpers. Reversed his normal its the 4th so I'll can a three pattern by airballing not one, but TWO shots (one of them a three) in the last quarter as the Suns crept back in, and in general had burned most of what he had before half.

#7 Larry Drew
Career Stats
With Kings: 85-86
Best Year With The Kings: 85-86 11.9pts 1.7reb 4.5ast 0.8stl 0.0blk
With the rest of these guys its really a feel thing, as they are a bunch of short timers with nearly identical statistical outputs. Drew was part of that first Kings team to come over, and was not even a starter. We used him off the bench as a quick third guard, swinging Reggie to OG in the process when we wanted a purer point. I have long thought all the whining from the Kings front office about trading Drew and Woodson to bring back Derek Smith was just excuse making -- neither guy was that good for us that losing them were franchise turners. But it should be noted that a few years before the Kings arrived in Sacto, Drew averaged 20pts 8ast in his best season in Kansas City. Hard to believe given what he was by the time he hit Sacto, but at least maybe excusing the handwringing by Kings' front office types who might have remembered Drew as he had been in his early career ratehr than what he was as a solid but not spectacular vet.
 
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Bricklayer

Don't Make Me Use The Bat
Staff member
#3
McCants ( B ) -- couple of nice assists after entering in the late first and palyed a solid first half. Only real down side was missing two makeable threes in the second quarter that could have really put the heat to the Suns. Solid and physical again after half, but missed shots he can make. Did however step up to hit maybe the clenching jumper with under two minutes to go, and was yet another King who had a solid/strong night against the Suns version of defense.

#8 Tyus Edney
Career Stats
With Kings: 95-97
Best Year With The Kings: 95-96 10.8pts 2.5reb 6.1ast 1.1stl 0.0blk
Our superquick replacement for Spud, we were the only team in the league who could install a 5'10" 150lb 2nd round draft pick as our new starting PG and actually get BIGGER at the position. He wasn't truly a starting caliber guy though. Had the quickness, but completely lacked strength and was in constant danger of being overpowered. Gave us one decent year as the fill in starter (a maneuver we repeated wiht Anthony Johnson a couple of years later -- 2nd round draft pick thrown into the fire as starter), then a second season off to the bench, and was off to Europe by age 25. Still I think his tenure wiht us is better thought of than the man appearing in the next spot in the rankings.


Booth ( INC ) -- in late in the second quarter to hack-a-Shaq, and with Shaq shooting FTs like it was 1999, why not. When you are faced with Superman, who do you turn to but Boothman! Played his role (3fls in 4 minutes), wrapped the big guy up, completely ineffective otherwise.

#9 Beno Udrih
Career Stats
With Kings: 07-09
Best Year With The Kings: 07-08 12.8pts 3.3reb 4.3ast 0.9stl 0.2blk
Yep, you heard me right. The other contenders for this position are largely one hit failures like Rory Sparrow and Anthony Johnson, who not surprisingly directed perhaps the two worst years of Kings basketball before this one. And Beno is legitimately better than either. For flashes, a quarter here, a quarter there, he's actually quite good. But the inconsistency, turnovers, terrible deffense have him pinned deep on this list, and with a PG deep draft coming up, he may not have a chance to rise any higher.


Bricklayer ( F ) -- hey, putting forth the effort can be a chore this late in this crummy season, but once you say you are going to do it, have to be more timely than this.

#10 Jim Les
Career Stats
With Kings: 90-94
Best Year With The Kings: 90-91 7.2pts 2.0reb 5.4ast 1.0stl 0.1blk
Well...this maybe introducing a slight distortion into these rankings. Maybe. Sparrow would probably be the guy here just on stats, but you knwo what? he sucked and was at the end of his career, and lost minutes during the back half of that season to this very guy right here. Anthony Johnson started a year for us, but he sucked too, put up similar numbers to Les, and could not hit the broad side of a barn (shot .372). I am not a member of the cult of Bobby Hurley -- said cult still clinging to the belief that if it weren;t for that darn car accident Hurley would have been a good pro PG, and ignoring the fact that scrawny kids who can neither shoot nor defend are not destined for much in the big leagues. In fact really, the other guys I was thinking of more seriously here were another old favorite of mine, Randy Brown (yes the assistant coach) who was a defensive minded combo guard for us in the same era that went on to win a couple of rings with Jordan in Chicago, and of course, Mateen. And not explanation is even needed on that front. But I decided, given the underwhelming options, that Les was going to be the man. A one trick pony, Les came out of nowhere to emerge as a major 3pt threat for a couple of eyars wiht us in the early 90s. I once had a Les 4 3 jersey made for my brother to wear on the pickup courts, and Les's appearance in the 3pt contest on All Star weekend (he damn near won it too -- last shot rimmed out) was literally the highlight of several years of terrible Kings basketball during an era, like the current one, when no King was ever worthy of being invited to the festivities. As soon as the league caught on that Les could only dribble one direction, and could not finish if you crowded him, he was done, but for a bit there he was a feel good story before leaving the legaue ot become an accountant (I kid you not). he now is the coach at Bradley University.
 
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#9
In some ways I'm glad we beat down the Suns when they needed a win badly. Man do I hate them for all the so called revolution they were credited with, even though the so called revolution never happened. They weren't as good as us in our best years, yet received tons of accolades. Out of the playoffs, no shaq kobe duel... good riddance.

Seeing the suns crumble almost makes the lin worth it. Hopefully Arenas knee doesn't bite us. Dude is probably buying thousand dollar koi's for this tank. We need to step our game up.
 
#10
I have to think Kenny Smith is cracking the list above Spud Webb and Tyus Edney.

The real mystery is whether the picking are so slim that stalwarts such as Anthony Johnson (version 1.0) and Bobby Hurley crack the top 10...
 
#14
In some ways I'm glad we beat down the Suns when they needed a win badly. Man do I hate them for all the so called revolution they were credited with, even though the so called revolution never happened. They weren't as good as us in our best years, yet received tons of accolades.

and i thought i was the only one thinking these things, the past few years!
 
L

LWP777

Guest
#15
Let me give this a shot:

10. Jim Les
9. Bobby Hurley
8. Rory Sparrow
7. Tyus Edney
6. Larry Drew
5. Beno Udrich
4. Spud Webb
3. Kenny Smith
2. Jason Williams
1. Mike Bibby

Am I close?
 
#16
Let me give this a shot:

10. Jim Les
9. Bobby Hurley
8. Rory Sparrow
7. Tyus Edney
6. Larry Drew
5. Beno Udrich
4. Spud Webb
3. Kenny Smith
2. Jason Williams
1. Mike Bibby

Am I close?

Some of this might depend on how the committee (Brick) elects to handle tweener guards like Danny Ainge, Mahmoud Abdul Rauf and the beloved former coach of the Kings Reggie Theus. For Ainge and Rauf, I believe they might have played as point guards despite being more of a shooting guard while in Sac. I remember that we frequently started Rauf and Mitch as the backcourt which would make Rauf a point guard by default...

Plus- I can't imagine any situation where Les and Hurley could rank above Anthony Johnson. At least he played and started for an entire season. Les was a role player and Hurley played a dozen games before his major injury and was never the same (and never that great to begin with)
 
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L

LWP777

Guest
#17
Some of this might depend on how the committee (Brick) elects to handle tweener guards like Danny Ainge, Mahmoud Abdul Rauf and the beloved former coach of the Kings Reggie Theus. For Ainge and Rauf, I believe they might have played as point guards despite being more of a shooting guard while in Sac. I remember that we frequently started Rauf and Mitch as the backcourt which would make Rauf a point guard by default...

Plus- I can't imagine any situation where Les and Hurley could rank above Anthony Johnson. At least he played and started for an entire season. Les was a role player and Hurley played a dozen games before his major injury and was never the same (and never that great to begin with)
Yeah, I thought about Theus, Ainge and Rauf and excluded them since they weren't "pure" point guards. I hope Brick does the same.

I forgot about Anthony Johnson. :(
 
#24
Bibby must have been an all star in 05-06 season but Tony Parker was picked instead. And Bibby was MUCH better than parker that year!
And wow did we really went with Kenny Smith over Kevin Johnson in a draft???!!!
 
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