Mike Tyson isn’t a man of many words (or syllables), but it was Iron Mike who once said “everybody has a plan ’till they get punched in the mouth”. A plan? The Kings had one. Hell, the assistant coaching staff told Westphal before the game that the Kings were “ready as they could be” – they took that loss to the Bulls on the chin and were geared up for revenge.
Geared up? Yeah – they were geared up, all right. Geared up for a kick to the balls. Not only did they take a punch to the mouth, they took one to the groin, the nose, a couple pokes in the eyes and a few broken fingers by the time the Knicks finished them off earlier tonight. I’ve seen slaughterings that were less painful to watch.
It’s one thing to lose to the Bulls – and while it’s frustrating to lose to the Blazers, the game was in Portland and the bad half could be chalked up to just randomness but tonight was something different. I wont get into the guts of it (and it’s no slight to the Knicks), we all knew the situation – a tired Knicks team on the final legs of their western roadie missing their All-Star big man and the Kings promptly had their assholes roto-rootered by a rookie big man, looking beyond lethargic in the process. The Knicks had 78 points in Oakland the other night – they had 35 at the end of the first quarter tonight.
Too early to panic? In a way, yes. But I’m not panicking – no, not at all. I’m just irritated. Irritated at the lackadaisical play from top to bottom. Irritated at the stupidity. Irritated at the lack of hustle – lack of desire. It’s embarrassing.
There’s no doubt that the Kings are facing an up-hill battle. They’ve had almost no practice time considering everything – the roster is significantly different from last season – they’re still young and they’re putting the weight of the world on a rookie who, while offensively talented clearly has major issues right now outside of scoring. So, no, I’m not expecting the Kings to run a gauntlet on the rest of the NBA but I do expect effort, heart and desire. That’s all. A loss? They happen – quite a bit, actually but beating yourself? Nah, that’s not okay. Ever. Doing so game after game? No way, no how.
Do I see things that I think are significantly adding to the Kings problems? Yes. But I’m not really in the mood to call particular players out right now since it’s a problem among them all, sans a very small handful like Isaiah Thomas and at times, Jason Thompson – both of whom who’ve played solid in their small minutes through the seasons first four games.
The Kings have no reason not to turn this around – and they will, or you’d at least assume so. But to see a team give such an uninspired effort – it’s inexcusable.
Losing is one thing, but beating yourself is another. The only thing the Kings are winning right now is a Darwin award.
A win versus the Hornets gets the Kings on the right path tomorrow, but right now the Kings need a class in basketball 101 to stay on that path because that yellow brick road wont be getting any easier.