So no, the Kings didn’t shoot well (again). They also had a lot of silly turnovers and were unable to make their free throws, something we’ve seen WAY too much of to start the year. But with all of that said, the Kings played with effort, heart, and hustle. And for that, I’m proud of them. Yeah, they still lost but they took the punches and kept rolling.
Players were diving on the floor, jumping into meat grinders to grab a rebound, coming out of the dog piles bloody and wounded, but proud and full of emotion. From Beno Udrih taking a elbow to the grill to DeMarcus Cousins playing the 4th quarter with a tampon or two shoved up his nostrils, the Kings fought and fought with pride – something I’m not sure I saw much of since the first few games of the year.
The defense was fantastic, overall. Well, as much as it can be for this team. Yes, the Hornets enhanced the Kings defense with some poor choices and spotty shooting, but it was the Kings defense (lead by Samuel Dalembert who was a force) that caused the overflow of low quality shots. The Kings held the 11-1 Hornets to 28-87 shooting, a .322 clip.
Donte Greene started his second consecutive game in a row and played a much more efficient game on both ends of the court, at least in my awesome opinion. Greene was hustling for loose balls and rebounds like Pablo Sandoval at an all you can eat buffet. His unique length and long arms can really be a benefit defensively when they’re used properly.
His partner in crime Jason Thompson also had a strong game, well, for the short stint he actually saw the floor. Thompson helped the Kings extend their lead in the first half with some strong hustle plays and a silky smooth jumper. Why he never saw the floor again after that, I’m not sure. Just another casualty of Paul Westphal’s shrapnel I guess. Don’t get me wrong, I love DeMarcus Cousins…..but Thompson deserved the floor time over DCuz last evening.
The Kings certainly played well enough to win and they had their chance late in the fourth. But the Kings don’t have a Chris Paul or a David West…and that proved to be the difference late.
With that said, effort is effort – and that’s all we ask. Keep it up, boys.