Another day, another potential blowout (30+ baby!!! Gotta go for the gusto...), and well, more crap play from the 2 franchise cornerstones. Not only that, but we'll get to hear (if you are not in the Sacramento region) all about how DeMarcus Cousins got Paul Westphal fired and how the Kings might not move if Kevin Johnson doesn't pull off the miracle on 7th street. Blah blah blah. I don't blame you if you are tired of these storylines, but that's the way it is.
As far as the 2 teams, Utah played last night in Dallas while the Kings were sitting in Salt Lake City waiting for them in their 5 star luxury hotel. So that's something. Utah hung with Dallas for about 3 1/2 quarters and imploded down the stretch. (We've heard this story before.) Will they be upset or ready? Nobody played more than 33 minutes with only the venerable Paul Millsap playing over 30 minutes.
The Kings ORtg is 96.8 points (27th of 30) per 100 possessions and the DRtg is 109.8 points(29th of 30) per 100 possessions.
The Jazz ORtg is 104.6 points (10th of 30) per 100 possessions and the DRtg is 103.6 points (21st of 30) per 100 possessions.
An interesting point that should be taken into consideration: The Kings have had the toughest schedule so far of any team in the season. Playing Utah tonight won't make that quest of improvement any easier.
My hope for tonight is to see a whole quarter of solid professional play from Tyreke Evans and DeMarcus Cousins. I don't think it will happen, but I'm hoping to be surprised. Or some such.
Jones had an important blog post about not reading scouting reports. (Guess who was at fault?)
Speaking of Jimmer, Sebastian Pruiti of Grantland had a wonderful piece about Jimmer and why he struggles quite a bit. It's a well informed thought out piece. (Unlike what Jimmer dick suckers would tell you. A Jimmer Dick Sucker is not referring to BYU fans or even BYU/King fans. It's the irrationality around Jimmer I struggle with. Yall...need to go. All I'm gonna say.) I suggest reading it if you are one of the rare few who have not.
Brian T Smith of the Salt Lake Tribune discussed why the Jazz struggled win Dallas last night. If you don't follow Smith's Twitter account, you really should. (It's incredibly informative stuff about the Jazz and the rare NBA note.) Here are quotes from Jazz players as well after last night's loss. One quote by Millsap really sticks out to me:
(You've had some tough losses lately; what's you're read on where you guys are at?) - "We're still learn; we're still young. It's going to take a little time for us to get better with our situational stuff, but we'll figure it out."
Devin Harris, the struggles Harris is having, and what Harris is doing to alleviate these issue's. (From Friday's SLT paper.)
One side note about Jimmer: The way he handles media with ease is not something he picked up after 4 years at BYU. Jimmer is just tremendous at understanding how the media game works. Most guys don't get it at all. (This is crediting Jimmer in case you don't understand.)
SLC Dunk has plenty of stuff routinely, but the Downbeat is probably my favorite feature they routinely do.
Salt City Hoops has a piece up about the effect the condensed season is having on the Jazz.
Clint Peterson (@Clintonite33) has a ridiculously wonderful piece about Paul Millsap over at the Utah Jazz blog. Read it. Immediately. Kyle Kirkham also names Millsap his Player of the Week over at the UJB.
And the Forbes info just came out....
In case you hadn't noticed, Forbes came out with it's annual rankings of Franchise valuations. The Sacramento franchise came out at 23rd with an even 300 million, about 6.2 million in operating income (that's code for profit--but that's not all there is to it as Forbes warns), and the main point is that the franchise dropped the payroll and expenses by over 20 million dollars to regain the potential of actual profitability. Here is the entire list in case you're interested in poring over those numbers.
Stathead Final Thoughts
After the run of the previous few games, Jimmer's TS% for the season stands at 48.3%. Jimmer is leading the Kings with a 3 Pt% of 36.5% averaging nearly 4 a game. (Thornton leads the Kings with nearly 6 attempts at 5.9 3PTFG. If Jimmer can get that number up to 6 attempts at 40% hit, I'll be a happy man. Jimmer was way too off early in the season, and hopefully the rhythm he's found recently continues in Utah tonight.
Real Final Thoughts
Professional players vs non-professional players. Utah has a strong culture with professional attitudes and players (that doesn't mean you are perfect in every phase of the game 100% of the time) which means the approach is appropriate to the setting. I'm hoping Utah whoops the Kings tonight so that the glimpses of "why are we losing this way" finally sets in on the terrible two. (But I'm not hoping for miracles or anything.)
Game is at 6pm PST on Comcast if you are in the Sac region, NBATV if you are not in the Sac region (this means the Utah broadcast).
Flew in from Miami Beach BOAC...Didn't get to bed last night... All the way the paper bag was on my knee... Man I had a dreadful flight...
I'm back in the USSR... You don't know how lucky you are boy... Back in the USSR...
Been away so long I hardly knew the place... Gee it's good to be back home... Leave it 'till tomorrow to unpack my case... Honey disconnect the phone...
I'm back in the USSR... You don't know how lucky you are boy... Back in the US..Back in the US...Back in the USSR...
I'll be on Twitter (@Kingsguru21) in case you wish to read tweets about launching barely legal projectiles at either Tyreke Evans or DeMarcus Cousins.