The Kings beat the Timberwolves Wednesday night 117-116 in Minnesota, winning their season opener for the first time since 2003. The Kings were led by Carl Landry and Francisco Garcia, who scored 22 points apiece. The Kings shot 46 percent from the field and had 25 assists on 39 field goals. Overall, the Kings offense played well without reigning ROY Tyreke Evans, but the team did have lapses defensively and struggled for stretches offensively.
They had no trouble moving the ball without Tyreke Evans. In the first quarter, they had 8 assists on 10 FGM, an outstanding number that usually leads to good things. They shot 46 percent from the field, and had a TS% of 56 percent. They did miss 12 FT’s, though, but were able to hit all of them down the stretch.
The worst part about watching the Kings last night (besides missing the World Series) was watching them defensively. It seemed like the Timberwolves killed them on the fast break. But even worse was how the Kings couldn’t move around screens. As Eze pointed out in the season preview, young team’s generally struggle defensively and getting around picks are the hardest part. But there must’ve been four or five times Luke Ridnour got a high pick and hit a wide open jumper. The Kings also struggled with guarding the perimeter, letting the Timberwolves hit 8-18 from three point range.
- DeMarcus Cousins was the player all Kings fans were watching. After a slow start, DMC came through in the clutch, finishing with 14 points, 8 rebounds, and 5 assists. He led the team in +/- by a large amount with +18. (the next highest King was Francisco Garcia’s +9) Perhaps the most impressive part of Cousins game was how he performed in the 4th quarter, when from the 5 minute mark to the 2:30 mark, Cousins received the ball four straight times in the post. The result: 3/4 FT’s, a jump shot, and an assist.
- Carl Landry had 22/11 on 8/18 shooting. He provided mismatches for the Timberwolves with his solid mid-range shot, although he only hit 6/10 FT’s.
- Francisco Garcia had an all-around efficient game. He had 22 points on 7-12 shooting, including 2-2 from 3 and 6-6 on FT’s. He also had 3 boards, 4 assists and 3 steals. Garcia, if healthy, is going to be provide some stability to the backcourt off the bench.
- Probably the most surprising player for the Kings was Luther Head, who played 20 great minutes. He had 14/3/3, shot 3-5 (1-2 from 3) and went 7-8 from the line. He’s not a true point guard, but he guarded Luke Ridnour and Sebastian Telfair very well when he was in. If he can find his three point stroke, he may play lots of minutes with Tyreke Evans or another ball handler, like Francisco Garcia.
The Jason Thompson/Donte Greene Round Table Pizza commercial was horrible. It reminds me of funny videos my friends and I made in media class. If you didn’t see it, let me explain: Jason Thompson is inexplicably in the back of a Round Table Pizza kitchen, making pizza. Donte Greene inexplicably comes into the back, and starts salivating. Jason Thompson already has a pizza in the oven, and he puts another one in. Donte Greene tries to eat the pizza Jason Thompson made. The end.
Grant Napear wore three shades of blue in his opening night suit. The jacket was dark blue, and the button up was a powder blue. It didn’t look so bad next to Jerry Reynolds pink button up and triangle/square shaped fluorescent tie my three year old cousin designed for him. I think the Kings need to draft a stylist next season.
With 21.2 seconds left in the 1st half, during a timeout, Target Center officials saw fit to play the 39th most popular song in the R&B genre in the year 2001, with 112’s “Dance With Me”. If you’re not familiar with the song, you shouldn’t be. Why they played this song is beyond me. Why they drafted four PG’s a year ago is also beyond me. Why Anthony Tolliver played more than a healthy Kevin Love is beyond anyone, and I don’t think Kurt Rambis realized he did it.
I never realized this, but Beno Udrih looks like he could be Ben Affleck’s younger brother. But he’s certainly not Casey Affleck.
Michael Beasley was fouled in the fourth and, after being fouled, mouthed “Ice cream, you scream, I scream.” Beasley has a history of drug problems. Was he high during the game?
Jim Gray has 11 Emmy’s. Yet another award show I don’t need to care about.
“Just remember, Pooh spelled backwards is hoop!”-Jerry Reynolds, teaching us about semordnilaps.