Where: Bankers Life Fieldhouse Indianapolis, Indiana
When: Saturday November 3rd, 2012 4:00 PM
PG: Isaiah Thomas PG: George Hill
SG: Marcus Thornton SG: Gerald Green
SF: James Johnson SF: Paul George
PF: Jason Thompson PF: David West
C: DeMarcus Cousins C: Roy Hibbert
SF Danny Granger Iknee): OUT
SF Sam Young (shoulder): QUESTIONABLE
Keys to the Game
1.) Play Team Basketball
You don’t have to watch basketball for a living to know that the Kings simply have no interest in playing team basketball, and passing the ball around to find better opportunities. After Keith Smart pledged that the Kings worked hard in Training Camp to “build team chemistry” and be more of a unit, this group of individuals appears more divided then we have seen in previous years. These players would rather run down the court, take the defense one on one, and take a poor jump shot that rims out, rather than pass it to the open man for an easy 2. The Kings inability to find an open teammate was evident last night when they shot an awful 36% from the field. If Sacramento even wants to compete against the Pacers, it is time for Keith Smart and the team to practice what they have been preaching for the past 3 months. We all have had enough of hearing about “teamwork” only for guys like James Johnson, Tyreke Evans and Travis Outlaw to play “me” basketball and miss 65% of their shots. The time is now for the Kings to learn what it means to play as a team, pass the ball and communicate. Don’t be afraid to get the assist instead of the points, help your teammates instead of yourself, The name of the game is passing the basketball, and if the Kings can learn the concept, they could beat the Pacers on Saturday.
2.) Stay Out of Foul Trouble
We have seen it in the past two games, both resulting in ugly losses. Game after game DeMarcus Cousins, Thomas Robinson and Jason Thompson find themselves on the bench early in the game because of foul trouble. Last night DeMarcus Cousins had 5 fouls even before the midway point of the 3rd quarter, so he sat down next to Jason Thompson who had 4 fouls of his own. It is a serious issue for a Kings team that has struggled thus far getting rebounds down low and hasn’t shot the ball well. Cousins has played 25 minutes per game to start the season, and it is simply inexcusable for your best player to be on the bench for half the game. We all know what DeMarcus Cousins can do when he is on the court, we saw it last year when he averaged over 18 points and 11 rebounds per game. If the Kings are to have any chance in this game, DMC and JT must stay on the court and avoid the silly fouls that have plagued them this season. While it certainly isn’t easy to avoid fouls, there are certain measures this team can take to cut down on them. If they can learn to let the game come to them, take it slow and avoid being forced into fouls on defense, it will go far in getting the win. The plan is simple, keep your best players on the court and you have a better chance to win the game.
Game MVP: Marcus Thornton 24 points, 3 assists, 2 rebounds
Prediction: Pacers 103 Kings 95