Posts Tagged ‘demarcus cousins’

By Will Robinson

Well, unfortunately, this piece was going to branch off into a Kings tirade as well as tying in some free agent transactions; however, since there is a lockout and all, I will stick to the Kings moves pre-July 1.


Look, I don’t need to place the disclaimer, but: I’ve been a lifelong Kings fan. I only want what’s best for their chances to win games. And to put it bluntly, the moves they have made in recent years were mostly poor for the team’s direction.


Ever since they traded off Chris Webber, Peja Stojakovic, Mike Bibby, and all of the other usual suspects from the glory days, the message was assumed the Kings would be rebuilding. The problem was they kept bringing in mid-level free agents that kept the Kings right in the 35-win range. They didn’t bottom out. They were just average. Rebuilding ACTUALLY started the year they finished 17-65.


In recent years, they have made some solid pickups such as drafting Tyreke Evans, DeMarcus Cousins, and acquiring Marcus Thornton for Carl Landry, as well as some other ones (Dalembert, Greene – depending how you feel about him). But the first two they made this offseason really bothered me. A lot.




By Will Robinson


Yes, the relocations talks have been hovering all over the team. Yes, there is now a public pissing match between the owners and the city of Sacramento, but despite all of that, the Sacramento Kings are playing their best overall ball of the year. They have won five of their last six (the lone loss being a blowout in Chicago), including going 4-1 on a five game road trip. There have been some interesting developments going on with the team, so I will highlight a few that I have noticed (and extrapolate from some box scores).



The Kings have DESTROYED in rebounding. They have averaged 48.5 RPG, which would be the top number in the league; however, they are already the third best team in the league rebounding wise. The difference? Rebounds allowed. 37.3 RAPG (Rebounds Allowed per Game). The difference of 11.2 RPG difference is a dominant mark, which is double than the season high average per game (Chicago, with +5.6 RPG).


Samuel Dalembert’s Hot Streak

Samuel Dalembert Sacramento Kings v New York 5xyQVWCc1KllDalembert was acquired for his defense and rebounding, but he has been lighting up the stats sheet with his scoring. He actually hasn’t done much during this streak (12.5 PPG), but before the Timberwolves game, he had been putting up good numbers. For comparison, his season average is 7.8 PPG. Slammin’ Sammy has been dominant on the boards, pulling down 12 a game: 4.3 above his season average. DeMarcus Cousins has been inconsistent during this six game stretch, but the play of Dalembert in the middle has kept the Kings rolling. Speaking of another big…


The De-Slumpification of Jason Thompson

Thompson struggled enormously over the month of March, but has come on stronger during these six games. He had one big stinker performance (Bulls game), but has produced good rebounding numbers, as well as a solid percentage shooting (50%), slightly above his season average (48.7%). He’s played well recently, but he has been too hot and cold to jump on the bandwagon yet.


Marcus Thornton

Since joining the Kings back in February, Thornton has lit up the scoreboard. Obviously, in limited time, 18 games, Thornton has posted career high averages in practically category. Since Tyreke Evans had been out, Thornton has been the primary scorer, particularly over this stretch, in which he is averaging 24.3 PPG. He has looked absolutely great and unstoppable at times, and has been the Kings best player as of late. He has succeeded very well without Evans in the lineup, which was a concern of mine; they have played well in the three games with Evans’ return. With Evans coming off the bench, he has received limited minutes and has become more of the game manager I doubt he could be. Granted, it has only been three games, but he messed around and ALMOST got a triple double against Phoenix last night (11-10-8). The Kings would be fools not to resign Thornton.


I believe the future for the (location in question) Kings/Royals is particularly bright, especially if they can finish this season off strong. They need five more wins to top last year’s total, and with another lottery pick, should have a nice core of talent for the future. I clearly hope the Kings stay in town, but it’s not looking too good, especially with the dire situation with the letter to Anaheim and all. Let’s focus on now, though: beat the Nuggets tonight!

>By Will Robinson and Dylan Davis

Last night, two members of the esteemed TSL staff attended the last game EVER at ARCO Arena. Yes, it will still be there, but under the stupid name “Power Balance Pavilion.” GREAT. We attended a game earlier in the month, but our seats were not conducive for a game report. This time, however, we were approximately 20 feet away from the basket on the Kings’ side of the court. I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.

Our SICK Tickets.


Will, pre-game in the PRIUS
Dylan, pre-game in the PRIUS as well
Skip the driving, and now we’re here before shoot around
Not quite filled yet…
Grant and Jerry!
JIM GRAY, probably asking JT if he still bites his fingernails
Notorious DMC checking in for the first time (THE CROWD!)
Vintage-esque ARCO crowd!
DeMarcus lining up to brick a free throw
POOH backwards spells HOOP!
One of the many re-done jump balls in this game
Reke checking out the game in a suit
Halftime. George Maloof Jr. returns to hide in his hole, followed by Grant Napear
Blake warming up on our side
Incredibly awkward TSL Staff picture taken by some disgruntled man
Some Clippers O
Blake Griffin moments before…
The Kings beasting it up on the other end
The crowd is WAY into the game
SICK Casspi oop (look for us in the video)!
ARCO immediately after!
The Kings leaving in victory
The scoreboard at the end – look at Marcus Thornton’s 29 points!

Two more notes from the game:

1. Beno had this SICK drive in the first quarter, and Dylan is visible in the replay!

2. Will was getting very upset with DeMarcus Cousins being DESTROYED from the free throw line, so when his Clipper counterpart, DeAndre Jordan, reached the line in the fourth quarter, he employed this strategy to try and make him miss. Of the five times he employed this strategy (once with Craig Smith), the Clippers missed ALL FIVE FREE THROWS! Magic? I think so. Look at the box score.

Thank you all for checking out our game report! The fans were fantastic last night, and chants occurred all night in support of keeping the Kings in town. While the Maloofs still have another month and a half to make a decision, it is still looking grim. Let’s all hope for the best.



By Dylan Davis

As I re-watched highlights of the travesty known as Game 6 of the 2002 Western Conference NBA Finals yesterday, the first thing that struck me (besides the WWF-style officiating) was just how talented the Sacramento Kings were that year. When thinking of the early 2000s version of the Kings, most people envision a freewheeling offensive juggernaut that wasn’t quite good enough to capture a championship. What people don’t remember is just how balanced and superbly fun the Kings were. They had outside shooting with Peja Stojakovic and Mike Bibby to complement the inside capabilities of Vlade Divac and Chris Webber. The entire first unit of Bibby, Doug Christie, Stojakovic, Webber, and Divac were superb passers and they were aided by a deep bench that included Bobby Jackson, Hedo Turkoglu, Scot Pollard, Lawrence Funderburke, Gerald Wallace, and the immortal Mateen Cleaves. While they weren’t exactly savants on the defensive end of the floor, Christie and Divac did provided a nice one-two shutdown punch.


The Kings cruised to a 61-21 record, which was good for first in the league and home court advantage throughout the playoffs. The Kings balance was shown when they only had two all-stars and a second-team all-NBA performer (Webber) despite being the only team to top the 60-win plateau. What pushed this talent over the edge, besides Rick Adelman’s guidance as head coach, was the best home court advantage in the league. The Kings were in the midst of 354 consecutive home sellouts to go along with a 105-18 run in home games from 2000-2003. I was just beginning to explore the supreme athleticism and excitement of the NBA at this point and the front running Kings were the perfect team at the perfect time to hold my interest and bring me back for more. While I did enjoy watching Peja threes and Bibby dimes on TV, I was never able to take in a Kings game live at Arco Arena during this run. I missed that three year window of opportunity and I’ve regretted it ever since. When the Warriors had Oracle Arena rocking in the 2007 playoffs against the Mavericks and Jazz, I was reminded of the raucousness that had passed me by at the start of the millennium.


I eventually did get to a Kings game. On February 12th of this year I attended a Kings-Thunder tilt with fellow Sack Lunch writer Will Robinson that featured four of the league’s best young stars in Tyreke Evans, DeMarcus Cousins, Russell Westbrook, and Kevin Durant. I figured that if Kings fans would show up for any game this year, it would be to see the best young team in the league, and the reigning scoring champion. Boy was I wrong. We got to our seats right after tip-off and I had a perfect view of a half-empty arena. I spent half of the game wondering when the rest of the spectators would arrive before realizing that no one wanted to watch a last place team, no matter whom they’re playing. While Sacramento used to supply the best crowd in the league that was contingent on the Kings winning, and being competitive in every game, that’s just not the case anymore.


This is not me pleading for the Kings to stay in Sacramento; the time for that has come and gone. The decision will be made soon enough by the league as to whether or not there will be a franchise in Anaheim next season. If the Kings move away from Northern California, I will continue to root for them, and that’s why they must do the following two things to be able to compete for a championship for years to come. If they stay in Sacramento, I would like to be a part of a crowd that makes a difference in playoff games, but obviously that can’t happen with the current roster. Here’s what needs to happen.


1. Trade Tyreke Evans: This may sound tyreke-evanslike heresy to Kings fans. Why would they trade the 2010 Rookie of the Year? If the aim of the Kings is to make the playoffs intermittently for the next 15 years while not ever winning a championship, keeping Tyreke is the perfect move. Winning Rookie of the Year doesn’t seem to have any bearing future championships as 19 of the past 22 winners since 1990 have a combined zero titles in the NBA. Evans did play very well last year, there is no doubt about that, but what value can he have carrying over into the future? Evans is only a point guard in the sense that he brings the ball over half court, he’s not a shooting guard as that would involve being good at shooting, which he certainly is not. You may be saying, “But he’s young, give him time and he’ll get better at shooting.” Assuming that he does get better at shooting, he will probably approach, and possibly precede, the level of play Gilbert Arenas achieved before he got a monster contract and blew out his knee.


Arenas averaged between 25 and 30 points from 2004 to 2007 and was considered one of the best offensive guards in the league. He was flanked by all-stars in Caron Butler and Antawn Jamison while playing in the decrepit Eastern Conference. During none of those three years did the Wizards make it past the second round. It has become clear that Tyreke looks for his own shot (just like Arenas) before looking to pass and there is not a precedent for title teams having shoot-first point guards. In fact, other than the 2006 Miami Heat, no team that had a shoot first ball handler has won the title since the mid 1980’s. Tyreke is a good player because he can get to the basket and score, but that is not a recipe for winning it all. Many teams around the league are looking for a quick fix that can get them ticket sales, and acquiring Tyreke would be the perfect move to get some buzz going for decrepit franchises such as Toronto, Cleveland, and Detroit. If the Kings were to trade Tyreke this summer, they would be able to sell high and stockpile future draft picks and young players. While people may call this a panic move, I say doing nothing is a panic move. Letting the young players grow up together is a good strategy if you have a good group of players that can fit a championship type, but Tyreke is not that type. Completely blowing up the team is not the best move either, that’s why they do this:


2. Keep DeMarcus Cousins: This may seem obvious to some people, but with Cousins’ attitude and penchant for throwing temper tantrums like a six year old, some have talked about trading the mercurial big man before he destroys the team. This would be a horrible move. Let’s hop into the NBA time machine and travel back to the early careers of Hakeem Olajuwon and Magic Johnson. Both were derided as selfish, me-first players hat needed to be run out of town. Obviously, both stayed with their original franchises (Houston and L.A. respectively) and combined for seven rings. When looking at their careers from today’s perspective it’s hard to tell that both were looked at in the same way that Cousins’ is now, so let’s look at another young big man that was traded early in his career: Moses Malone. Moses is remembered as the greatest rebounder of all time (Cousins’ best trait) but came into the league as an immature teenager (like Cousins) and was spent time on eight teams in his illustrious career. Big men that can rebound and have good post moves (like Cousins already does) are often the cornerstones for championship contenders, and with Cousins, the Kings can compete for championships for the next 10-15 seasons. If they just can weather the storm…


While I’m obviously not an NBA general manager, I’m not a total idiot when it comes to NBA moves. A lot of fans only look at stats when deciding how good a certain player or team is, but the style of play and chemistry are often much more important, and that’s why the Kings would be better off in the long-run if they traded the popular Tyreke Evans and kept the mercurial DeMarcus Cousins.


Have a great weekend, see you next week when the Kings are hopefully still in Sacramento.



By Brent MacDonald
Carmelo to be Traded?
This would probably be one of the worst things Carmelo could do this season, besides holding an hour-long TV special to spotlight his decision to go to New Jersey. The trade is supposedly going down sometime next week, and would involve transactions from Denver, New Jersey and Detroit. 
Off the court, ‘Melo isn’t a Jersey Shore type of guy; he just wouldn’t like it there. Besides the money, I don’t see the other benefits he would be getting from signing with the Nets. $65 million over three years is a hell of a figure, and with pockets like Mikhail Prokhrov, it’s just another drop of a dime. But is that dime even worth being dropped?
Carmelo has always been just another high-scoring star with no real pieces around him to help the nuggets journey past the first round of the playoffs. Plus, at the rate New Jersey is going, they’ll be getting another high first round draft pick come this summer. There’s really no point in starting to win now, they’ll only end up with a worse draft pick and zero chance at playoffs.
Denver needs to keep Carmelo for the remainder of the season and try to ride him a little further into playoffs, then allow other teams to begin bidding in the summer. If not, it looks like Pauly D might have a new GTL pahtna.

College Basketball
College basketball is the most unpredictable sport in America. Florida State proved this fact by knocking off top-ranked Duke this past week in a battle that must have left Dick Vitale’s windpipe in more pain than usual.
Just days earlier, FSU had lost to Auburn, arguably one of the worst major-conference teams in the nation. But the Seminoles put together a gameplan that involved highlighting the weaknesses of the Blue Devils…yes, even coach K has weaknesses.
‘To live and die by the 3’ is a term often heard in college basketball. For Duke, the past few years have garnered success off of ‘living’ by the 3, and rarely (if at all) ‘dying.’ They shot 11-35 from beyond the arc. Singler missed key shots down the stretch and was well beyond his range for many of them. You could credit that to poor shot selection or great defense, but from my perspective I’ll have to go with the latter.
This season of college basketball is proving to be a good one, Ohio State is 17-0 for the first time in 20 years, and currently ranked number one overall. But don’t expect that ranking to last long. In this sport, it often doesn’t. 
Lebron assumes role of villain:
            LeBron James recently made public announcements that he has embraced and assumed the role of ‘hated villain.’
            I don’t really give a shit, and you shouldn’t either.
Allen Iverson back in America:
But apparently not for long. The Answer has been having trouble with his right leg, and has returned from his stint playing in Turkey to get treatment. It has been rumored that he may not return to play in Europe, however Iverson has repeatedly stated that he would like to play in Turkey again.
Playing in America would mean that a potential championship team would want to pick up a veteran point guard for a reasonable amount of money. I don’t see the Celtics, Heat, Lakers or Spurs offering A.I. a deal anytime soon, and I don’t see Iverson wanting to go anywhere without hopes for a championship.
He’s loved in Turkey, and playing out his years with a fan base overseas would be the best option for him at this point.
NBA Awards: Pre-All star break:
MVP: Derrick Rose
Rose has led the Bulls to a 25-12 record as of Friday, good enough for third place in the newly-competitive Eastern Conference. 24 points and better than eight assists per game are phenomenal numbers for a point guard, and Chicago’s playoff hopes continue to look brighter with D-Rose bringing the ball up the court.
Rookie of the Year:
John Wall: Wall has proven himself to be a huge playmaker and distributor for the Wizards so far, he’s averaging more than ten assists in four of his past seven games, and fifth overall with 8.8 dimes per game.
DeMarcus Cousins: Cousins had been called a ‘bust’ by many earlier this year, but has been playing like an all-star the past few games. His ppg average has increased to 21.2 over the past six games and he’s getting 9.2 boards for Sactown. Sacramento might be the first team to have two ROY’s in a row, and still not improve a single bit.
Blake Griffin: Griffin has been part of the league for two years now, and in my eyes, does not deserve to be discussed in Rookie of the Year voting.