Game Recap: Kings vs. T-Wolves.

Starting Line-ups

Kings

  • Tyreke Evans
  • Beno Udrih
  • Omri Casspi
  • Carl Landry
  • Samuel Dalembert

Reserves:  Francisco Garcia, DeMarcus Cousins, Jason Thompson, Luther Head, Darnell Jackson, Donté Greene, Antoine Wright.

Inactives:  Pooh Jeter, Hassan Whiteside.

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The Donté Greene Conundrum.

The Beginning

Coming into training camp, the Kings had a handful of player position battles/questions that needed to be answered.  By far, the hottest topic was who would be the starting small forward when the season kicked off.  I didn’t always phrase the question the same way, but I got the rep around camp as the guy who was always asking the coach about who the starter would be.  I even had a member of the Kings media relations team, ask me one day why I was so interested in who was going to start, even though training camp was only a couple of weeks in.  I had a very simple answer for him.  It’s what sells.

Team Omri anyone?

The battle for the starting small forward spot took on a Twilight-esque – Team Donté versus Team Omri debate amongst the Sacramento faithful.  Kings fans begged for news on two things- the small forward competition and video of Tyreke Evans shooting jump shot.  So everyday I would ask, in one of a million different ways, who was going to start, and everyday, Coach Westphal refused to outright answer, but he would feed us crumbs of information to keep the interest alive.

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Luther Head back at practice.

After missing Fridays game to tend to personal business, Kings guard Luther Head is back at practice and according to my sources, it will be a game day decision as to who will be active for tomorrow nights game against Minnesota.  The 27 year old Head is averaging 6.4 points and 3.4 assists in a little over 18 minutes a game.  Luther has provided a nice spark off the bench which has allowed coach Wetphal to make some other moves like starting second year small forward Omri Casspi instead of bringing him off the bench.

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Practice Notes: November 8.

Coach Westphal and Coach Carril.

When they lifted the curtain today, the players were working in two main groups.  On one end of the court, the guards and wings were doing three point shooting drills and on the other end, the big men were working on bank shots and post moves.  A few of the big men had to run some line drills but overall, it looked like a lightweight workout.

Once the official practice ended, Carl Landry, Hassan Whiteside and Donté Greene individually worked on shooting free throws.  Omri Casspi and Antoine Wright went back to their shooting contests while Tyreke and Francisco worked together on mid-range jumpers.

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Postgame Notes and Quotes: Kings vs. Grizz.

Coming in a little late are the notes and quotes from the Kings loss to the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday.  There are some good tidbits mixed in from Coach Westphal on the Donté Greene situation, to Tyreke Evans on the loss as well as birthday wishes for one of the Kings big men.

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Breaking down the defense with Jim Eyen.

The Sacramento Kings have struggled defensively in the first half of almost every game this season.  Overall, the Kings are allowing 107.7 points per game which ranks 26th in the league and their defensive rating of 112.6 places them at number 29 of the 30 NBA teams.  Tom Ziller and my friends over at Sactown Royalty, recently looked into some of the team’s issues in Kings’ Defensive Deficiencies: At the Rim, Behind the Arc which opened up some questions that maybe we could get to the bottom of.  Fortunately, this allowed me the opportunity to sit down again with Kings coach Jim Eyen, one of the men in charge of defensive game planning.  Here is Coach Eyen with The Purple Panjandrum:

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Game Recap #6: Kings vs. Grizzlies.

Starting Line-ups:

Kings (3-2):

  • Tyreke Evans
  • Beno Udrih
  • Omri Casspi
  • Carl Landry
  • Samuel Dalembert

Reserves:  DeMarcus Cousins, Jason Thompson, Francisco Garcia, Darnell Jackson, Donté Greene, Pooh Jeter, Hassan Whiteside.

In-actives:  Antoine Wright (personal), Luther Head (personal).

Grizzlies (2-4):

  • Mike Conley
  • O.J. Mayo
  • Rudy Gay
  • Zach Randolph
  • Marc Gasol

Reserves:  Tony Allen, Darrell Arthur, Greivis Vasquez, Xavier Henry, Acie Law, Hasheem Thabeet, Sam Young.

In-actives/Injuries:  DeMarre Carroll (sore right ankle)- out. Hadadi (inactive).

First Quarter Recap:

The Kings started off sloppy, turning the ball over four times in the first seven minutes of the quarter.  At the 4:30 mark of the first, Coach Westphal inserted Garcia and Cousins for Udrih and Landry.  To my knowledge, this is the first chance we have had to see both Dalembert and Cousins on the floor together this season.  Dalembert impressed early, blocking shots, rebounding and even adding six points in his ten minute of play. The Kings fell behind after being out shot and losing the turnover battle seven to one.  The Kings closed the quarter with a hay maker three by Casspi to cut the deficit to six.

Kings  24  Grizzlies  30

Leaders:

Kings-  Casspi (8) Points;  Dalembert (4) Rebounds; Evans (3) Assists.

Grizz-  Randolph (9) Points;  Gasol (3) Rebounds; Gay/Randolph (2) Assists.

FG%-  Kings  50.0%  Grizz  54.2%

Rebounds-  Kings  11  Grizz  9

Assists/TO-  Kings  7/7  Grizz  6/1

Second Quarter Recap:

The second quarter looked eerily similar to the first quarter to start.  The Kings continued to turn the ball over but the Jason Thompson, playing the small forward position, was all over the court.  DeMarcus Cousins continued his fouling ways, lasting just about ten total minutes before picking up his third.  Tyreke Evans came alive in the second, finishing the half with six points, five rebounds and four assists.  The Kings had the lead down to two but finished the quarter with a four point deficit.

Kings  49   Grizzlies  53

Leaders:

Kings- Evans (12) Points;  Dalembert (6) Rebounds;  Evans (4) Assists.

Grizz-  Gay (15) Points;  Arthur (5) Rebounds;  Gay/Randolph (2) Assists.

FG%-  Kings  51.1%  Grizz  51.3%

Rebounds-  Kings  20  Grizz  19

Assists/TO-  Kings  11/12  Grizz  8/6

Third Quarter Recap:

The Kings came out in the third and turned the ball over six times in the first four minutes.  With 7:47 left in the quarter, Grizz 67 Kings 53.  To combat the Memphis run, the Kings turned to Darnell Jackson and Francisco Garcia early, similar to the first quarter.  Both players responded; Jackson defensively as he stopped Zach Randolph on consecutive plays while Garcia got out and ran the floor both on offense and defense.  With :26 remaining in the third, Darrell Arthur of the Grizzlies went down with an apparent right leg injury, his return is extremely doubtful.  The Grizzlies pushed the lead to 14 on multiple occasions and finished the quarter up 13.  The Kings turned the ball over a total of 17 times through three quarters which is unacceptable.

Kings  67   Grizzlies 80

Leaders:

Kings-  Evans (20) Points;  Dalembert (8) Rebounds; Evans (5) Assists.

Grizz-  Gay (23) Points;  Arthur/Randolph (7) Rebounds;  Gay/Conley (3) Assists.

FG%-  Kings  46.6%  Grizz  48.6%

Rebounds-  Kings  29  Grizz  34

Assists/TO-  Kings  13/17  Grizz  11/9

Fourth Quarter Recap:

The Kings have no answer for Rudy Gay but they did figure out a way to trim the Grizzlies lead.  At the six mark, the Kings trailed by eight and had limited their turnovers in the quarter to two.  The Kings went back to the big line-up of Cousins and Dalembert down the stretch after Darnell Jackson played very well for a lot of the third and fourth quarter.  Carl Landry played his worst game of the season, scoring four points and not grabbing a single rebound in 19 minutes while allowing Randolph to run rough shot over him on defense.  The Kings had a shot to cut the lead to six during the final three minutes but DeMarcus Cousins missed both of his free throws and Arco Arena cleared out early.

Kings lose!

Kings  91   Grizzlies  100

Leaders:

Kings-  Evans (30) Points;  Dalembert (12) Rebounds;  Evans (5) Assists.

Grizz-  Gay (32) Points;  Randolph (11) Rebounds;  Conley (5) Assists.

FG%-  Kings  43.0%  Grizz  48.2%

Rebounds-  Kings  41  Grizz  43

Assists/TO-  Kings  16/20  Grizz  13/15

I will have post game notes and quotes up in the morning including the evasive Coach Westphal’s answer to why no Donté Greene again tonight.  Also tomorrow morning, I’ll post up a very interesting interview with Coach Jim Eyen were he goes pretty in-depth about most aspects of the defense.

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