Sacramento Kings small forward Travis Outlaw (25) Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
Sacramento Kings fans were treated to a rarefied three-game win streak ending with the first road win of the season against the Portland Trail Blazers. There was a clashing of alternate universes in which the gods looked favorably upon Travis Outlaw who became an unexpected hero for a night in the play against his former team, while Isaiah Thomas and Jimmer Fredette joined forces to bring home a win against Orlando.
Games Played This Week:
* Game 17 Wednesday, December 5, Toronto Raptors versus Kings, Win 107-100
* Game 18 Friday, December 7, Orlando Magic versus Kings, Win 91 – 82
* Game 19 Saturday, December 8, Kings versus Portland Trail Blazers, Win 99-80
Players of Week:
Just about everyone was a player of the week this week, but I will begin this story with Tyreke Evans. Evans had his moment in the spotlight, his chance to do the happy-dance, but it was his 2-game absence which allowed fellow teammates to receive minutes they otherwise probably would not have received, allowing the clouds to part and the blessing of opportunity to shine through upon them.
Tyreke Evans got back to back 3’s at the end of the Raptors game, a first for him this season. He now can be a force to be reckoned with on the perimeter. Additionally, he scored 23 points, 10 in the fourth quarter.
John Salmons had 19 points and 11 assists, against Portland. This is the most assists for any Kings player this season. He also had 3 rebounds, 2 steals, zero turnovers, with a +17, to boot. This had to be his best game since returning to the Kings last season.
DeMarcus Cousin had a fantastic week. He received double-doubles in all the games, in addition to being the Kings high-point player. This is the DeMarcus we were looking to see this season. With some missteps behind him, perhaps we will see more of this high-caliber play from him moving forward.
Thomas Robinson arguably had his breakout game this season. Although he only scored one point against Orlando, his defensive presence, aggressive play, and hustle were necessary to bring about the win.
Dec 7, 2012; Sacramento, CA, USA; Sacramento Kings point guard Jimmer Fredette (7) Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
Jimmer Fredette and Isaiah Thomas proved quite the duo against Orlando. With Tyreke Evans out, these two were provided the opportunity to play together in the fourth quarter to dazzle fans. They fed off from each other, pushing the pace of the game and knocking down shots.
Travis Outlaw surprised everyone last night, playing 17 minutes off the bench. He made 11 points, making 5 out 7 field goal attempts (.714), a 3-point shot, grabbed four rebounds, a steal, with a +15. Lions, and tigers, and bears. Oh my!
Francisco Garcia received his opportunity in two games, starting in both of them to replace Evans. Against Orlando, he played a total of 30 minutes, making 12 points, a couple of 3-point shots, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, 2 blocks, only one turnover, with a +17 for his time on the court! Wow, looks as though Garcia still has something left in the tank.
Bill Walton was far more entertaining this week, sitting in for Jerry Reynolds, as color commentator, in the game against Orlando. He kept everyone entertained, the twitter timeline was abuzz with his Walton-isms, and I didn’t feel the need to mute the volume. Far from the usual, want-to-pull-your-hair-out Walton. Even his back and forth bantering with Grant Napear was hilarious, especially when the two of them didn’t agree with a call by the officials. Get out those Kings swords.
It was another defeat for George Maloof and family, by the hands of Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell. While George’s wheels may be turning, he just can’t seem to grab any traction, as he and his family appear stuck in the mud, again. It is unlikely Virginia Beach is going to be an option for the team next season, so any dreams the Maloofs had to apply for relocation next spring are probably dead on arrival. It seems Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell wasn’t taken in by the glib charm of George Maloof. Bravo, Governor!
7 Wins – 12 Loses (22nd – 30)
The win-loss column sure looks a lot better this week. This was a week to remember. The State of Virginia putting the owners on hold was a win for Sacramento. It will undoubtedly ensure the team will be here for at least another season, thereby buying more time for Sacramento.
If anything, Sacramento gained some leverage, when McDonnell put the brakes on the Maloofs. Still everyone needs to temper excitement with caution. These are still the same owners who tried, unsuccessfully, to leave town, not once, but twice. Whatever reasons drove them to seek other locations are still there.
A leopard doesn’t change his spots.
– George Lincoln Rockwell
I made a last-minute change to my headline. It was going to be Maloofs Stuck in the Mud Again. Yet, the alternative, bizarre, wacky game last night changed everything. It brought a sense of fun and the thrill of the unexpected. It reminded me that even though the team remains in a precarious situation due to its owners, there are still moments to treasure. It changed the entire tone of my weekly review. Even in the worst of situations, humans are able to find the best in themselves and each other. That happened this week with our team and its players.