Willie Cauley-Stein: the 2018-19 Season watch

You know it is possible to have a balanced view here of what Willie is vs. what we think he should be.

The so called WCS hate is because people have seen what he can be, but he just doesn’t do it often enough and his comments prove what they eye test shows us. Even his response about the game winner. He went after just in case. That’s a strange mind set to have. It says he contemplated not going after it.
I don't have a problem with criticism. But exaggerating a player's faults to meet an agenda, never giving credit for the good things they do, and just constantly focusing on that players faults obsessively, along with undeserved character attacks crosses the line. They ignore the faults of other players, in particular their favorites, while constantly attacking the object of their "hatred" (for lack of a better word). All of the Kings players have their flaws and almost all have room for growth and have grown.

One poster on here used to post before every game at the start of the game thread something along the lines of "I hope WCS doesn't play tonight" like clockwork. It's just an attack mode like sharks going after blood. This before the game has even started for a young player who was feeling his way and learning how to play. Same thing every game. You would think that as a fan he would hope that Willie show some improvement that night. Apparently Willie has shown enough improvement to get him to stop that, but he still looks for every opportunity to post something negative.

We had a similar situation this year with a poster who would fill the game thread with anti-JJ comments. 75% of his comments were some negative post about Jackson. Once or twice should be enough, move on. Those constant negative posts spouting the same drivel are just irritating. I don't know, maybe a lot people enjoy reading that garbage, but I don't. You can critique a player's performance fairly and evenly without making it seem like an attack on the player. It doesn't need to be repeated pretty much word for word over and over. At least show some imagination.
 

Kingster

Hall of Famer
Count me as 'on the fence' about Willie. He frustrates. He excites. He teases with his potential.
I don't understand the hate for him on this board. But I myself have probably appeared to be a Willie hater at times.
He has been more consistent this year, but now he can no longer block shots or hit free throws.
And he continues to be a disappointing rebounder.
But as Baja has pointed out many times, Willie helps the team defensively in ways that don't 'show' in the box score.
And with the pace success we've had this year, I'm not sure Willie is as replaceable as some here seem to think.
I certainly don't "hate" WCS. That's just a pejorative, as "scapegoat" is a pejorative. I'll tell you though what I do really, really, really don't like to see in his game (maybe that is hate) is when he's lazy getting back on defense, running the floor either behind the opposition, or with the opposition. The idea, Willie, is to get ahead of the opposition and turn your butt around. Add to that the fact that I can't even remember when he's run back on D to block a shot at the hoop. Why on earth after 3+ years are we still waiting for that to happen? Is it really asking too much for one of the faster big men in the league to get back on D?
 
I'm sorry you feel that way. Bullying is never ok. These are real people with family and friends who read those comments. They are not Internet tough guy wannabe shoulda been athletes hiding behind their anonymity. I could tell you what I think of people who bully while hiding behind their anonymity but I would get a hand slapping or "sanctioned". There is a double standard on the Internet where anonymous posters are protected while real people are bullied. When people behave that way they demean themselves.
I think you read the first 2 lines of my post and went in on what you were going to write back. If you take a look at the very next statement, you'll see that the first statement was a joke. I don't like people getting bullied at all, especially when people pile on, but we are talking about a professional athlete. Part of the job is taking criticism, what he does with it is his choice. If he or any other player doesn't want it than they are free to pick an other way to make a living that won't be in the public eye.
 
I think you read the first 2 lines of my post and went in on what you were going to write back. If you take a look at the very next statement, you'll see that the first statement was a joke. I don't like people getting bullied at all, especially when people pile on, but we are talking about a professional athlete. Part of the job is taking criticism, what he does with it is his choice. If he or any other player doesn't want it than they are free to pick an other way to make a living that won't be in the public eye.
Oh, no, I read the whole thing. It's just that IMHO, bullying is not something to be joked about. It's the mantra of the bully "I was on only joking" "I was just joshing you" "I was only funnin'". Now, I'm certainly not saying you are a bully, it's just that when people make light of it it enables bullies. As for criticism of professional athletes, there is a difference between criticism and bashing and they are people, too. Some people are of the opinion that they are fair game for any kind of attack. I don't share that opinion.

But enough of this, it's been beat to death and we have got off track. Looking forward to tonight's game. I would hope it's a win, but I am concerned about any after effects of the Suns game. It wasn't even a good scrimmage, no real challenge after the first 7 or 8 minutes. Hope that does not adversely affect the teams focus for tonight's game.
 
What's up with WCS's free throw stroke? I usually DVR the games and watch them from behind so I can fast forward through commercials but I also fast forward through most the free throws. Has his free throw stroke always kind of looked similar to Michael Kidd-Gilchrist's? I don't remember it looking so goofy in the past but I don't remember exactly what it looked like in the past either.

Either way you can tell it's a massive mental struggle for him anytime he's at the line.
 

bajaden

Hall of Famer
What's up with WCS's free throw stroke? I usually DVR the games and watch them from behind so I can fast forward through commercials but I also fast forward through most the free throws. Has his free throw stroke always kind of looked similar to Michael Kidd-Gilchrist's? I don't remember it looking so goofy in the past but I don't remember exactly what it looked like in the past either.

Either way you can tell it's a massive mental struggle for him anytime he's at the line.
Not sure what happened to his freethrow shooting, but its been pitiful this season. If it continues he's going to put the Kings in a situation where other teams will intentionally start fouling him in close games. Which could end up putting his butt on the bench at the end of those games. He needs to get his head straight. It's obvious to me that he's rushing his stroke compared to how he shot last season. It's as though he just wants to get it over with, instead of looking at it as an opportunity..
 
What's up with WCS's free throw stroke? I usually DVR the games and watch them from behind so I can fast forward through commercials but I also fast forward through most the free throws. Has his free throw stroke always kind of looked similar to Michael Kidd-Gilchrist's? I don't remember it looking so goofy in the past but I don't remember exactly what it looked like in the past either.

Either way you can tell it's a massive mental struggle for him anytime he's at the line.
It appears to me he has developed a little hitch.
 
What's up with WCS's free throw stroke? I usually DVR the games and watch them from behind so I can fast forward through commercials but I also fast forward through most the free throws. Has his free throw stroke always kind of looked similar to Michael Kidd-Gilchrist's? I don't remember it looking so goofy in the past but I don't remember exactly what it looked like in the past either.

Either way you can tell it's a massive mental struggle for him anytime he's at the line.
In short, it’s effed up.
 

kingsboi

Hall of Famer
Not sure what happened to his freethrow shooting, but its been pitiful this season. If it continues he's going to put the Kings in a situation where other teams will intentionally start fouling him in close games. Which could end up putting his butt on the bench at the end of those games. He needs to get his head straight. It's obvious to me that he's rushing his stroke compared to how he shot last season. It's as though he just wants to get it over with, instead of looking at it as an opportunity..
the issue here is he shoots the ball from his right shoulder and that's something that can be changed but whether he wants to put in the time is on him
 
There are many fans ready to throw in the towel on Willie, myself included. One thing I will say I noticed lately with reference to last night is he is running harder. Sprinting from end to end is his strength. He should do it more proactively. Run like the wind and you may create opportunity you may not have anticipated. I would rather he need to call for a sub than pace himself. I had this thought if we are building our team around the fastest PG in the game shouldn't there be a place on the team for one of the fastest centers? Well, you would think so, but only if he commits to using his strength. When Willie runs he forces the opposing center to keep up. Or maybe he tires them out. Or maybe he gets a tip that he would not have got. Or maybe he forces the defense into the paint to leave a teammate for an open three. Willie is not going to be a banger or an elite shot blocker. He certainly is not a one-on-one scorer. Willie is a below average starting center, I would put him in the bottom third and there is substantial statistical evidence to substantiate that. But he can run fast. If he keeps running fast that lead to plays he has heretofore not created for there may be a place for him on the team behind this year. This is something to watch for, the game within the game, maybe a light went off in his head; he can be more valuable if he runs harder, not just to get back into a play, but to create one.
 
Alright, so for some reason I never really thought to check, but just looking at his stats this year he has been really, really solid:

28 MPG

14 PPG (54%)
8.5 RPG
2.3 AST
1.3 STL
1.4 TO

Per 36 looks even better:

17.8 PPG
10.8 RPG
3.0 APG
1.6 SPG
1.8 TO

His rebounding (my biggest complaint) has gotten better. He gets some easy steals with his long arms and his APG is respectable. Low turnover rate.

He doesn't block a lot of shots which is crazy to me because I thought it would be one of his strong suits, and his defense is questionable at times. If he could just play average defense every game he would be a truly wonderful player. But regardless, just looking at raw stats, Willie looks pretty good.

Who on here EVER thought he would be a near 18 PPG scorer if given the minutes? I know I didn't. That wasn't the book on him coming out of college at all.
 
Alright, so for some reason I never really thought to check, but just looking at his stats this year he has been really, really solid:

28 MPG

14 PPG (54%)
8.5 RPG
2.3 AST
1.3 STL
1.4 TO

Per 36 looks even better:

17.8 PPG
10.8 RPG
3.0 APG
1.6 SPG
1.8 TO

His rebounding (my biggest complaint) has gotten better. He gets some easy steals with his long arms and his APG is respectable. Low turnover rate.

He doesn't block a lot of shots which is crazy to me because I thought it would be one of his strong suits, and his defense is questionable at times. If he could just play average defense every game he would be a truly wonderful player. But regardless, just looking at raw stats, Willie looks pretty good.

Who on here EVER thought he would be a near 18 PPG scorer if given the minutes? I know I didn't. That wasn't the book on him coming out of college at all.
I know we like to look at Per 36 stats, which is nice and all to get a general idea but I don't see Willie as a 18 PPG as you mention in your post. I always expected him to be a 12-15 PPG player and he's doing that this year, I still don't like his post defense and rebounding but he's made strides so that's a positive step in the right direction.
 
There are many fans ready to throw in the towel on Willie, myself included. One thing I will say I noticed lately with reference to last night is he is running harder. Sprinting from end to end is his strength. He should do it more proactively. Run like the wind and you may create opportunity you may not have anticipated. I would rather he need to call for a sub than pace himself. I had this thought if we are building our team around the fastest PG in the game shouldn't there be a place on the team for one of the fastest centers? Well, you would think so, but only if he commits to using his strength. When Willie runs he forces the opposing center to keep up. Or maybe he tires them out. Or maybe he gets a tip that he would not have got. Or maybe he forces the defense into the paint to leave a teammate for an open three. Willie is not going to be a banger or an elite shot blocker. He certainly is not a one-on-one scorer. Willie is a below average starting center, I would put him in the bottom third and there is substantial statistical evidence to substantiate that. But he can run fast. If he keeps running fast that lead to plays he has heretofore not created for there may be a place for him on the team behind this year. This is something to watch for, the game within the game, maybe a light went off in his head; he can be more valuable if he runs harder, not just to get back into a play, but to create one.
Well, I initially wanted to trade him. Not because I didn't like him. I just thought he had good trade value. But he's now being woven in as a part of this team's identity. If Bagley is going to play the 4 more often than not, then it makes sense to keep WCS. Moving WCS would change how this team functions. Kings could eventually adjust, but why fix something that's not broke.

Willie isn't perfect or a complete player, but not many are. He plays a role that fits in perfectly with what Fox and Bogi like to do.
 
I'm going to give a shout out to Willie and Joerger. When the Wolves were playing hack-a-Willie late in the game, he missed 4 straight FT including an air ball and Joerger had to take him out. But only a couple minutes later, Joerger showed confidence in him and put him back in. I'm sure "everybody" thought that was a bad move, but Willie responded by going 4-5 of pressure packed FT. I'm not sure what Shump said to him and how much that helped but he definitely shot with more confidence. Against GS, he was 8-11 including some big FT down the stretch. GS didn't even play hack-a-Willie against him. He is now 12 of his last 16 FT (75%). I have always thought Willie could be a 70+% FT shooter, his form doesn't look all that bad, it's mostly in his head, he thinks too much.

Also, Willie seems to have picked up the defensive intensity the last several games. For those who are concerned with such things, he has 5 blocks in the last 4 games. He seems to be "taking a swing at" (one of Doug's favorites sayings) a lot of shots, sometimes it appears he is almost windmilling at them. Not sure how effective that is, but I would think it could be disconcerting to have a 7-footer coming at you windmilling. Willie is not going to average 3 or 4 blocks per game, but I believe he will get his average back up over 1 by the end of the year.
 
Willie stonewalling Curry on that drive is not normal.
Willie has gone one on one with a lot of PG's in the league, and not many have been able to get past him. One of the things that makes him valuable is his ability to guard almost anyone on the perimeter. In the post, he struggles from time to time. As I've said before. Take a game and count how many times Willie stops the ball when one of our guards gets beat on the perimeter, and then gets back to his man. There are times when people complain about Willie not doing something when a player has penetrated the lane.

Well you tell me what he should do. Example: in the Timberwolves game, Bagley was guarding Covington out on the perimeter. Covington crossed him over and got past him. Bagley pursued him all the way to the basket, but couldn't stop the layup. During that play, Willie was standing on the right side of the basket, fronting Towns. So Willie's choice was to either step out and try to contest Covington's shot, or stay put. What do you think would have happened if he had stepped out to contest? I can tell you. Covington would have passed the ball to Towns who would would have had an uncontested dunk.

Decisions like that have to be made in a tenth of a second, and there's no guaranteed result. If all you saw was Covington scoring and Willie standing there watching, then you didn't see the entire picture. I've always found it interesting that people want to make Willie responsible for his own defense, and his teammates defense as well. Your asking Willie to guard his man, and then stop anyone else that gets past our perimeter. I think for the most part Willie does a good job. My biggest complaint used to be him cheating off of his man, and then his man hitting a three. He's much better this season.
 
I didn't think anyone was great last night. If WCS was "great" he would have made some great plays down the stretch to win the game. I guess I have a different definition of great.
Actually I thought the team played darned good basketball last night for about 45 minutes against maybe the best team in the world, who brought their A game to the floor and barely won. Unfortunately we picked the wrong game to start missing shots, but hey, that happens. It happened to the Warriors against Houston. I don't believe in moral victories, and that loss last night hurt. But you know what? It's been a dam long time since losses hurt emotionally. I find myself on the edge of my seat again. I find myself invested again. It's about time that losses are painful again!
 
Actually I thought the team played darned good basketball last night for about 45 minutes against maybe the best team in the world, who brought their A game to the floor and barely won. Unfortunately we picked the wrong game to start missing shots, but hey, that happens. It happened to the Warriors against Houston. I don't believe in moral victories, and that loss last night hurt. But you know what? It's been a dam long time since losses hurt emotionally. I find myself on the edge of my seat again. I find myself invested again. It's about time that losses are painful again!
I kind of want to like this... but I don't. I usually like a bit a pain, but I am not into that much bro.