Nothing like winning a couple games at home to turn a nasty start into something more palatable. Kings’ fans were able to enjoy the sweet taste of success for two of their three home games this week.
Games played this week:
Game 4 Sacramento Kings beat Golden State Warriors at home 94-92
Game 5 Sacramento Kings beat Detroit Pistons, at home, 105-103
Game 6 Sacramento Kings lose to San Antonio Spurs, at home, 97- 86
Players of the Week:
DeMarcus Cousins was the standout player this week. It was the Boogie Cousin’s show against Golden State, leading the Kings with 23 points, on 10-16 field goals, 15 rebounds, 2 steals, 2 blocks in 33 minutes of play. In Game 5, Cousins faced Greg Monroe and the Detroit Pistons. While Monroe won this contest, capturing the season’s first triple double, Cousins played an outstanding game, with 21 points on 8 -17 field goals, 11 rebounds, and 2 steals. In Game 6, Cousins came out with a monster dunk against San Antonio, then promptly ran into foul trouble, which limited his on court minutes. While there was some dust up created by current color commentator Sean Elliot, covered this morning by Bryan Rosa, from my vantage point, I didn’t see a problem between Cousins and Duncan. If anything, I thought the two players were playing hard against each other and enjoying the contest.
Marcus Thornton lit up the court in the 2nd quarter against the Warriors, finishing the game with 16 points on 6-15, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal in 29 minutes of play. He continues to demonstrate toughness, creating his shots by driving to the basket, as well as his signature long shots. In addition, Thornton has significantly cut his turn over percentage this season to 1 turnover out of 100 plays, compared to 8.8 and 9.6 his two previous seasons with the team.
Jason Thompson was Kings’ best player in Game 6, against the Spurs. With Thomas Robinson out, Thompson got some extra run, putting up 17 points on 7-10 field goals, 6 rebounds, 2 steals, and 1 block on 38 minutes of play. He even displayed a fancy spin move, not generally seen by him.
- Sacramento put on a feel-the-Goosebumps pregame display for the season’s Blackout Home Opener, at Sleep Train Arena, with 17,317 in attendance. It was a good way to start the season at home. The crowd responded, helping to pull the team to the first win of the season.
- Assist numbers continue to remain an issue. After 6 games the team had 96 assists, ranking 26th in the league, while their opponents had 125 assists, ranking them 13th in the league. This means that Kings’ opponents averaged 4.83 more assists per game than the Kings. Kings ended the 2011-2012 season, ranking 26th .
- On a positive note, the Kings rank 5th in their steals, with 58. While this isn’t an improvement over last season, it continues to be a strength of our agile fast-handed young players, which they can continue to capitalize upon.
- Thomas Robinson received a 2-game suspension for a flagrant foul. It could simply have been a one-time mistake. It could also signal the possibility of other underlying issues for this young man who experienced profound losses of his family this past year.
- Virginia Beach and relocation rumors reared its ugly head again. It appears the Maloofs are continuing to explore their options behind the scenes, providing more ongoing angst over the future of the team here in Sacramento.
- Something isn’t working well with the guard rotations.
Winning trumps losing, but the team still has a long way to go if they are hoping to capture a playoff spot. Keith Smart continues to have his work cut out, especially with his rotations, most notably the guards. Also, the low percentage of assists appears to have carried over from last season. This may be a good stat to follow, as it may be an indirect measure of trust and a willingness to help each other.
Tonight the team will be playing the struggling LA Lakers, in Los Angeles at Staples Center. With the firing of Mike Brown, we can only hope the Lakers will continue to struggle. Here is hoping the Sacramento Kings can only add to their misery today.