In a loss that wasn't nearly as embarrassing as the final score might indicate, the Kings actually showed some positive things tonight. Tyreke Evans actually played like a NBA player (it's a nice change), Isaiah Thomas had a career night going off for 20 points in the 3rd quarter (a season high in a quarter for a Miami opponent) and 24 points for the game (a new career high), and the ball movement at times from the entire team was something to behold. But, when you run into a championship contender who have all the answers you simply won't win. That's Miami in a nutshell.
No words to mince here: Tyreke Evans cost this Kings team the game with that foul. Would it bother me if it was another player or something of that nature? Not necessarily. But Tyreke Evans should, and always should, know the situation at hand. Mistakes are made, and I know that too. But this kind of mistake in a game where, frankly, these kind of fouls were called all night, and Tyreke looked like the Kings had a foul to give. Just a stupid braindead dumb play by him.no comments
Thsi is the question isn't it? Whom can the Kings trade, why would they trade them, and whom would they trade said player for?
So let's a get few salary cap thingamahjigs out of the way before we continue on down the pathway of internet improving our beloved assclowns.
Is there any player on the Kings roster that can't be traded?
The technical answer to this is everyone is eligible to be traded except for Travis Outlaw, and I'm fairly sure (I have a call on the Twitter bat phone to Larry Coon that I hope he'll answer in the next week--I'm partially kidding here as Coon does a lot of work and always has a ridiculous amount of questions to answer) that Outlaw will be treated as most waiver wire pickup's are. In otherwords, once 30 passes days after you've picked up a player off waivers you are capable of trading that player. So, the point here, is that Outlaw should be tradeable if the amnesty waiver process works as the typical waiver process does. The nice thing is that the Kings are trading a player that has 3 years and 9 million dollars remaining on his salary so that is something should be remembered. While Outlaw has been terrible for the Kings, there is recourse to moving him off the team. The real question would there be any takers? Coon speculated on Dec 8th 2011 that the waiver process of when you would be able to trade that player would be 30 days, and I haven't found anything since that contradicts that.
I'm typically loathe to make a whole post around one article, but this isn't just any article. It's an in depth profile from Sporting News on DeMarcus Cousins that every Kings fan must read. Kudos to Alejandro Danois for a ridiculously enlightening article. Here is the most important snippet of the whole thing:
“DeMarcus has an edge and he has to watch that at times, but he’s a great dude,” said Strickland. “Once he respects you, you’re good. He’s a good natured dude who is good at heart. But if he senses you being fake, or not being straight up with him, then you might have a problem.”
Now, a lot of people will take this as a shot at Paul Westphal and they should. The better question is why Paul Westphal's acumen is being judged as subpar to begin with.
While the entire article was mainly about Cousins, that particular paragraph illustrates how political the entire DeMarcus Cousins discussion really is. Which is really enligthening to begin with, but it certainly is illuminating on why Cousins is such a divisive topic for so many people.
For those who are not on Keith Smart, or are in love with Jerry Sloan, this is my biggest worry. It's not the basketball acumen; it's simply a generational disconnect. I worry that an older coach like Jerry Sloan who had difficulties getting along with Deron Williams (not the most difficult superstar of all time) when Williams was asking for relatively mundane things would have an innate amount of difficulties dealing with both Tyreke Evans and DeMarcus Cousins, but especially Cousins.
Again, please read the article linked up top. While it's very long, it couldn't be more worth your time.
I'm hoping to make this brief, but with all the reports flying around today I wanted to make sure that people got where I stood.
A) I'm not surprised by the amount that Dale Kasler of the Bee reported in today's paper.
B) Second, read Rob McAllister's yet again fine piece (something you'd expect from a journalist of his caliber) on Cowbell Kingdom why Seattle isn't the swellest alternative of all time.
Well, the time to cross paths with Jeremy Lin is here. Beware, it's Linsanity everywhere you look. (I had to do it. Sorry.)
As far as the Kings vs the Bulls, here is the advanced boxscore from the Kings-Bulls for you:
|Advanced Box Score Statistics|
And Chicago's advanced box score:
|Advanced Box Score Statistics|
Okay, now that we got that over with, some links and other nonsense to finish this monstrosity off after the jump.
Another day, another game recap. After the jump....
I think the title, as I always try to do, says it all. But let's move back a bit for a moment. There are other things to notice here first.
About a month ago I repeatedly wrote tweets about Tyreke Evans and how ridiculously awful and terrible from just an effort level Tyreke was performing at. That's disappeared. Which is good because I was getting tired of trying to think of creative ways to lobby for Keith Smart to shoot grenades at Tyreke everytime Reke would jog back in transition. That said, Tyreke is making an adjustment he wasn't willing to make under Paul Westphal, and, not surprisingly, isn't very successful at the adjustment Keith Smart has asked of Tyreke Evans. Part of that is that Evans has not really understood that every team in the league knows he can get into the paint, and that there is only so much good defense by one individual can actually accomplish on his lonesome. Tyreke's issue's are not really about whether he passes too much or too little. Tyreke's real issue's are whether or not Tyreke understands the right read and progressions that are happening, quite often, in just a split second. Can Tyreke make that adjustment? We don't know, and we won't likely know that much about it by the end of this season either. I do know that Tyreke Evans can be a better player than the one that has shown up for a large chunk of the season, and has the capacity to improve in all the real weak area's of his game. None of that will happen unless the decision making improves however.
DeMarcus Cousins has shown incredible progress in a month under Keith Smart. Better attitude, some monster rebounding, and some real issue's remain. The one thing that Cousins has done with Keith Smart is established a relationship pretty quickly which is nice. If there is any player that can ensure the revolving door of coaches ends, it's DeMarcus Cousins. The thing about Cousins that has my eye is the minutes he plays under Smart has gone up. Cousins averaged about 26 MPG under Paul Westphal for the 6 games Cousins played. (Ignoring the 1 game Cousins did not play of course.) Under Keith Smart, Cousins has averaged about 30.5 MPG every night.
Marcus Thornton was super efficient in part because he didn't get the ball far too often during the 4th quarter. (I'll talk about that further below do trust.) But, Marcus Thornton has been Marcus Thornton under Paul Westphal, and now Keith Smart. The biggest thing I think the return of Thornton from injury illustrates is how much competiveness Thornton has and why it's so important to this team. Thornton is not the perfect player next to Tyreke Evans, and we know that. However, perfection is now what we are talking about here. This is not a championship team or anything near a 500 team yet. Let's be honest here: Marcus Thornton can help the Kings get to 500, and that's a far more important hurdle for this team right now than worrying about potential "success" down the road.
Jason Thompson has shown remarkable amounts of growth becoming a more reliable post player, a tremendous defender (one of the 3 best the Kings have on a night in night out basis right now), and a quality energy guy the Kings can rely on almost every night he is out there.
Jimmer Fredette is a rookie, and Jimmer is struggling with the speed of the game. This happens.
Fans, and media, love Isaiah Thomas, but what makes Isaiah Thomas so incredibly important to this team is that he always wants to make a play regardless of what's there. The desire, the ability to push the pace, the need to change the pace and tone of the game is what makes Isaiah such a valuable player despite how few NBA games Isaiah has had.
I love the Chuckwagon too much to ever mutter that I'm greatly irritated when Chuck makes an undefensable play. That said, Chuck Hayes is an integral part of this Kings team due to his leadership and veteran presence on defense.
Donte Greene has played better as of late which is a pleasant surprise. I've said many times I think he will end up being better as a stretch 3, but if Donte proves me wrong? I'll be rather glad. Not for any one particular reason or anything, but because Donte will have found a way to hang onto a career where most players in Donte's situation tend to wash out by now. If Donte can figure out a way to be more effective, than dribble driving that is, on offense while being the designated defensive stopper, Donte Greene has the talent to carve out a 10 year career without a doubt.
Keith Smart is clearly showing that a new head coach was needed not only from a new voice perspective, but one that comes with an outsider perspective from how the franchise had been operating. This development in particular has been a welcome change, and I don't care if it's Keith Smart providing it. Right now, I'd fire Geoff Petrie for hiring a caretaker head coach to secure his legacy, but I'm not the one in charge.
Okay that's pretty much all I gotta say on that part. Now onto the game.
Well, the day is finally here. I can announce that I'm moving this site to the Bloguin network. The site is remaining the same title, but the URL is changing to "www.evilcowtown.com".
As far as everything else goes, this site will remain as an archive (it will eventually revert back to the eci.wordpress link but like I said, this will only be an archive so it shouldn't be an issue). Hopefully you enjoy the new digs as much as I am already enjoying it.
Well, here we are. The new site. Who woulda thunk it eh? I guess the real issue is explaining the who what when why and how of it all. (Does where really matter?)
Why Evil Cowtown INC? The INC part should be self-explanatory. As far as the Evil Cowtown part, this is from Jerry Renolds seminole book "Reynolds Remembers" back in 2005. (I will refer to it as JR's bright breezy memoir in the future.) It was a reference to Chris Webber not wanting to come to Sacramento and, of course, that "Evil Cowtown". As a Kings fan who missed a heavy chunk of the first 8 years in Sacramento, I found the book exceptionally insightful.
I have never understood why Sacramento is considered a "Cowtown" to begin with. I know agriculture is a big deal in the Central Valley, and for a good reason no less. But for the life of me, I don't know how growing tomatoes, rice, apples or grapes has anything to do with cows. (Or grazing these lovely obese beasts.) Maybe I just missed that day in logic class. While I know that's really slang for being a small backwards town, Sacramento is neither small or, well, yeah it is backwards. The discussion about building a new arena would not be a decade old if Sacramentans understood the point of what progress actually entails. Or, the purpose of investment in self for that matter.
As a River City child, I grew up rooting for the Spud Webb's-Walt Williams, Mitch Richmonds and Brian Grant's of the world. Eventually that became Vlade Divac, Peja Stojakovic, Chris Webber, Doug Christie among others of the best teams this franchise has ever seen about a decade ago. There have been lots of lows and a few memorable highs. Hopefully, as the start of the Keith Smart-Tyreke Evans-DeMarcus Cousins era is upon us, some reasonable level of prosperity can return.
I look forward to sharing my viewpoint and irrational hatred as the most recent episode of the now 27 year old journey presses on.