If you watched Tuesday night’s game (and you could…it was on NBA TV) you saw a very sloppy Kings team force their way to victory against a Clippers team that outplayed them for the first 40 minutes. If you didn’t watch Tuesday night’s game (and you should’ve…it was on NBA TV) you missed a very sloppy Kings team force their way to victory against a Clippers team that outplayed them for the first 40 minutes. Glad I got both sides covered.
With 1.9 seconds remaining and a 94-94 knot, the reigning Rookie of the Year Tyreke Evans did what us Kings fans have become accustomed to: a couple dribbles, a crossover, and a bulldozer-like drive to the basket for a layup. The Kings won the game, 96-94.
Omri Casspi came off the bench and, depending how you felt about Evans overall game, Casspi was the Kings best player all night. They shot a woeful 38.3 percent as a team, but Casspi finished 7-11 for 17 points and 8 boards. He was the Kings best help defender all night, and did what all in the Kings organization hope he can do on a nightly basis: provide the extra push off the bench to give the Kings the victory.
Overall, here’s how the game broke down:
Omri Casspi played great overall. He played starter minutes (31) and looked like he very well could be the starting SF. But maybe this is a sign that he’s better off as the Kings sixth man?
The Kings got to the line 42 times, and it was a big reason why they were able to cut a first quarter deficit of 19 to six by halftime.
Darnell “D-Block” Jackson finished with 11 points and 5 boards in 19 minutes. He played bruising defense down low, but also hit a jumper and a three pointer. Personally, I think Jackson deserves minutes this year regardless of injuries. Remember how we all loved Jon Brockman last year? Successful teams all have players like Jackson and Brockman who can clean up.
Donte Greene wasn’t spectacular in his first game after being named the starting small forward. He played just 20 minutes and finished with 6 points and 5 boards. Although Greene fits better defensively in the starting lineup than Omri Casspi, the Kings community will be comparing the two all season.
The Kings frontline was absolutely abused by Chris Kaman and Craig Smith…but mostly Chris Kaman. Kaman fouled out, but finished with 21 points, 10 boards, and four blocks in just 28 minutes. Kaman shot 10-16 and was too versatile for both rookie DeMarcus Cousins and Jason Thompson. He had an array of low-post moves, pulled the big men out for jumpers, and then drove past them. He showed why he was an all-star last year, and hopefully for the Kings sake, he really is that good. The Kings are definitely going to miss C Samuel Dalembert, who’s out 4-6 weeks.
That first quarter. The Kings started off the game by digging a 10-0 hole for themselves. They were lazy on defense, not rotating, not getting back, and not grabbing rebounds. And offense was equally frustrating. Cousins was obviously frustrated after Kaman did work on him, and he responded with an aired jumper and a couple ill-advised drives to the basket. At one point, they were down 30-11, but finished off only down 34-22.
There were four technical fouls called in the game. They were very weak calls, and I’m just warning everyone now…there’s not going to be a lot of passion for the first month of the season. Cousins was T’d up after he fell the the floor and slapped his hand on the hardwood. The Clippers DeAndre Jordan was whistled after he raised his hands, and Brian Cook suffered probably the most embarrassing technical call I’ve seen since that Tim Duncan/Joey Crawford incident-Cook slapped his hands together saying he got all ball on a block (and he did get all ball) and was subsequently whistled. However, we only have to wait until Kobe gets ejected in the second on a nationally televised game before the rules become more lax and we can get back to the arguing.
Also, these Clippers announcers were cracking me up all night. Ralph Lawler and Mike Smith did their best Tommy Heinsohn impression-you didn’t hear anything bad about the Clippers and you certainly wouldn’t have guessed they only won 29 games last year. They routinely confused Landry, Cousins and Greene (must’ve been the headband), and, if you didn’t know, Blake Griffin was a leading candidate for Rookie of the Year. By my count, there were four DMC travel calls from Lawler that weren’t called. I know a lot of fans hate homer announcers, but it just made me long for Grant and Jerry.
Clippers Blake Griffin and Eric Gordon both had ankle injuries-Griffin sat out all game and Gordon sustained his late in the first half. This may sound bad, but I’m glad the Kings aren’t the only ones with ankle issues.
I’m pretty sure Chris Kaman is Mitchell the gay guy from Modern Family.
(This joke is better with a click of the link.)