It seemed like this game was played in slow motion. Against a team like Milwaukee, the Kings could certainly win a game at a lethargic pace, but to do that, you have to make shots. Sacramento didn’t do that. With DeMarcus Cousins (suspension) and Marcus Thornton (personal) out, the Kings fired up brick after brick on their way to a putrid 37.2 percent shooting mark. Just for good measure, Sacramento turned the ball over 17 times. It all added up to an easy 98-85 Bucks victory in which the Kings never led.
IT STARTS AT THE ‘1’ – Yesterday, Bryan outlined the Kings poor play at point guard, and those deficiencies were on full display Wednesday. Sacramento desperately needs direction, a steady hand to guide the ship. Nobody the team throws out there at the point brings that. Aaron Brooks (35 MIN, 10 PTS, 3-11 FG, 1-7 3FG, 6 AST, 4 TO) and Isaiah Thomas (11 MIN, 6 PTS, 2-5 FG, 0 AST, 2 TO) combined for 46 minutes against the Bucks. Both were careless with the ball, recklessly driving into the lane, completely out of control. Additionally, neither knocked down shots. It’s pretty simple. The point guard drives the ship, and until Brooks or Thomas steps up, the Kings are going to fail. It seems like the Thomas of last season who proved to be a crafty creator with the ball has yet to hit the floor this season.
THE RETURN OF REKE – After missing five of the last six games with a knee ailment, Tyreke Evans (23 MIN, 17 PTS, 6-15 FG, 4-5 FT, 7 REB, 2 AST, 5 TO) returned to the court in Milwaukee. Understandably, the guard produced with mixed results. Coming off the bench by choice, Evans immediately tried to save a floundering offense by getting to the rim. For a while he had success, but eventually, perhaps a lack of conditioning caught up to him. He got a little loose with the ball on occasion and there was really nobody worth kicking it out to for a look. Reke posted a decent stat line, aided by some garbage time baskets. But still, it was good to get Evans back, especially with the others missing and the Kings brutal offense.
LAUGHABLE LINEUP – Let’s take a moment to recognize one of the most uninspiring lineups ever created. Brooks, John Salmons, Travis Outlaw, Francisco Garcia and Jason Thompson started the game for the Kings. Slotting in at center, Thompson (33 MIN, 8 PTS, 4-10 FG, 15 REB, 2 STL, 1 BLK) did an admirable job, even losing a tooth and blocking a shot in one sequence. And Salmons (36 MIN, 16 PTS, 7-14 FG, 3 REB, 2 BLK) was the Kings lone offensive weapon for much of the game. But Keith Smart tried to catch lightning in a bottle again with Outlaw (16 MIN, 6 PTS, 1-6 FG, 4 REB). No dice. Completely useless. Garcia (22 MIN, 3 PTS, 1-5 FG, 5 REB, 2 BLK) couldn’t find the smooth shooting touch he’s had in recent games. And Brooks’ struggles were outlined above. It’s hard to put together a sadder starting five.
OTHER OBSERVATIONS – Anybody else miss Beno Udrih? Beno was that steady hand at the point guard spot that the Kings massively undervalued. The former King missed the game for Milwaukee with an ankle sprain … A typical Thomas Robinson (25 MIN, 8 PTS, 3-9 FG, 8 REB) game. Strong athleticism, good rebounding but a failure to finish around the basket continues to hinder his effectiveness. He missed an easy two-handed dunk against the Bucks … Jimmer (15 MIN, 9 PTS, 4-8 FG, 2 REB, 0 AST) was efficient in limited playing time. Some clever dribble drives ended with converted shots.