Here is the Box Score in case you care about that sort of thing.
These are games that are always tough to write about because of the complicated nature of the struggles. I suppose I'll start with Tyreke Evans: He flat out stunk tonight. He should be ashamed of his performance and go at Chicago Thursday night with the intensity of a Hindu Penitent to make up for tonight's stinker. Tyreke probably won't though so there is that. Whatever he was, Tyreke was not engaged and getting after it tonight. I don't care what the reasons are; Tyreke needs to be the driving force behind this team night in and night out. Tonight Tyreke did not exhibit such.
Marcus Thornton was off tonight and never really had it going all night. But Thornton wasn't really to blame. It's not like he was the only one who was out of rhythm, sync, or even that effective. He had lots of company tonight.
Jimmer Fredette frustrated me all night with his shot selection, but it's his 2nd game. Patience is very much needed. What illustrated to me that Jimmer hasn't really figured it out quite yet is when he passed up a wide open 3 (especially for him) to give it up to Travis Outlaw. Outlaw had literally just passed the ball to Jimmer for a wide open 3. Once Jimmer learns these things, I suspect we will see a more consistent performer. Jimmer was beat repeatedly in transition defense, and that's to be expected. Jimmer is like the rest of this roster: A work in progress.
John Salmons had one of those games that happens. If he wasn't a veteran, I'd be concerned. But bigger SF's like Gerald Wallace will give the current 10 man rotation problems unless Evans or Salmons can defend them. That's really the lesson you should be taking away from tonight.
Isaiah Thomas didn't have a great game, but let's be honest: He wasn't likely going to have to a special moment every night out. The Kings, though, turned the ball over 20 times, and Thomas wasn't one of them. (He got a bit lucky as a few potential turnover's ended up not happening.) Nonetheless, LSG took fairly reasonable care of the ball. The Blazers just figured out the Kings number tonight and smashed the Kings for the last 2 1/2 quarters.
Travis Outlaw grabbed 7 boards. If there is one thing I do not understand, it's the fixation on Travis Outlaw by Westphal and the coaching staff. But, if at some point, Outlaw emerges as an effective contributor off the bench I suppose the early struggles are worth it.
Jason Thompson had some really good moments that showed me he knew what was going on. In fact, all of them came when the Kings were building at one point (gasp!) a 14 point lead. As that lead evaporated the Kings simply and slowly devolved into a hot discombulated mess of a stinkpot offense. It cost them big time on both ends with all the repeated leak-outs by the Blazers (who exploited the godawful transition defense). But Jason Thompson showed that he could hit a shot in the lane, would play active if not effective defense, and looked like he was trying to play well. Whatever happpened during the 1st 2 preseason games are forgettable if JT can perform anything near his 5-6 floor (1-2 line too) performance for 11 points. He only grabbed 2 boards, but that was not entirely his fault. Not when JJ Hickson and Travis Outlaw each grab 7 boards apiece.
Speaking of Hickson, he was also effective offensively at times tonight. Unfortunately, that was all during the building of the 14 point lead. After that, I'm not sure the Kings ran any offensive sets that weren't offensive. Hickson used his athleticism and scoring ability to get some buckets that I think as the other guys around Hickson figure out he'll get the ball more in those spots whenever possible. But, as I said about Jimmer, there is growing pains. Figuring each other out is a part of the process.
Chuck Hayes was Chuck Hayes.
And then there was Cousins. He had a reasonably decent statistical game, and that was something in of itself. There was a couple of nice spin moves along with some excellent rebounding. There was also a few turnovers, a few fouls that shouldn't have been committed. Boogie, and this was the part that I thought really made me happy to see, managed to block 2 shots tonight. If he can manage to block a shot or even 1.5 shots most years that will help this team get better possessions offensively.
My biggest frustration with DeMarcus Cousins tonight was on a play, I think, in the late 3rd quarter where Cuz could have started the break if he could have found an outlet pass to Jimmer (I think) that might have resulted in an easy bucket that could have helped stem the tide. Other than that, he got a double-double and made a few stupid plays. No Kings fan should be upset if you could pencil Boogie in for 17 & 11 all year long.