Snips and clips from the Kings' camp, plus:
- Deconstructing Coach Nate's Turnover Obsession
- Meet Chris Johnson
- Haiku Game Review
- Fried Rice
- Blazers/Kings Recap
- Popcorn Machine
- The Basketball Jones
posted by pookeyguru to Sactown Royalty postgame thread
TS% update (for the game)
Evans: 69.7% (This is a season high.)
Udrih: 50.4% (his lowest in quite awhile)
Landry: 47.7% (Subpar performance for Carl in this dept)
Here are the season averages for everyone in that dept.
Tyreke's updated TS%: 47% (up from 46.4%)
DeMarcus' updated TS%: 47.3% (up from 47%).
I knew everyone just had to know that.
Editorial note: Multiply the above numbers by 2 to generate Points Per Shot Used numbers... —t d
First Half Sacramento Kings Poll - Are You Worried About Tyreke Evans?
by Bryan, A Royal Pain (Fansided)
Say what you will about Evans - he's had a disappointing sophomore season, at least so far. There are a variety of issues to throw blame on - injuries to his ankles, his feet, his thighs and even his arms. Then you have the "personal issues" Evans was dealing with. It's been nothing short of a roller coaster first half for the Kings ace in the hole.
Even more frustrating for King fans though is Evans' lack of improvement in his decision making. What could (and still can be) contributed to youth hasn't seen much, if any progression through the first half of this season and some might even say his decision making has regressed. Surely, the poor decision making has been aided by an injuries and Evans attempting to do more than physically allowed, but sometimes it's nothing more than pure stupidity, for a a lack of better terms. * * *
posted by SacKingsPejaFan to RealGM Kings message board
The commentators on NBATV are giving us a lot of praise. This is awesome. They mentioned how six of our last nine have been decided by 4 or fewer points and how we just had two overtime losses. They also mentioned how we blew out Denver on national TV.
posted by prezident to RealGM Kings message board
Finally a win! I really hope Whiteside is able to learn every single thing from Dally! Man that would be superb if he can get his game together! I'm so ready to roll with our young core and reward Dally with a trade to a contender. I'm also glad to see Evans clear his head and playing much better.
Beno is god awful on D and like I said in the other thread he and Evans piss me the hell off with their stagnant ball domination crap where they over dribble and looks for bailouts by committing double teams or a kick out to a Casspi etc.
posted by MassachusettsKingsFan to Kings Fans Forum
To say Dalembert has Aldridge's number is a severe understatement.
posted by Kingstime to Kings Fans Forum
Awesome W!! Felt real good to see the guys staring at yet ANOTHER heart breaking loss and fought through to get the rare W in Portland. Loved the game from Omri he is really shining right now I'm loving his play these last couple games. Not really much I can say about Dally I just love the fact that he is getting the time to show the type of effect he can have on us defensively. A great win hopefully they build on this tomorrow night.
Also don't look now but looks like somebody is getting some confidence in his jumpshot I'm not gonna say who because I don't wanna jinx it,but that form is looking good!!!
by Tom Ziller, Sactown Royalty (SBN)
Before Monday's game against the Kings, Blazers power forward LaMarcus Aldridge had failed to score 10 points three times in 45 games this season. Those performances came with short minutes, and in none of the three did Aldridge take more than 10 shots.
Against Sacramento, Aldridge took 14 shots in a game-high 42 minutes ... but still couldn't get his offense going. Aldridge scored nine points on 4-14 shooting, as the Kings pulled away to win 96-81 in Portland. The teams played last week, too, with Portland edging the Kings in overtime. But Jason Thompson and Samuel Dalembert did a lovely job on Aldridge then, too; LMA scored 23 points in 46 minutes in that game, but shot just 10-24 on his way there. * * *
Tyreke Evans had the big points total (26) and the icing shot (a spot-up three off a Beno Udrih assist to put the Kings up nine with two minutes left). But defense on Aldridge won this game for the Kings. Kudos to Thompson and Dalembert for providing it.
posted by pookeyguru to Sactown Royalty recap story comments section
I thought a key stretch was in the 4th qt when the Kings had run a bad play set (I didn't see the game so forgive me for subsisting off G-Man's radio call and ESPN PBP) and Omri airballed that layup, Dalemblock came into effect. That's what been missing for most of this season for this young team (and with the veterans I suppose): A response to a bad moment. Dalembert with one play turned around and changed the momentum for the Kings instantly with that block. Yes he had others that were important, but from then on out I felt the Kings would have a victory from then on out.
The next parts of the sequence:
1) Tyreke gets 2 FT's and makes both.
2) Reke steals the ball from Andre Miller
3) Tyreke misses a 3 but Omri gets a tip-in
4) Beno's 2 to put the Kings up 9
I guess my point here is that while the defense that JT & Daly played on Aldridge may have been the most significant factor, another significant factor was that a lot of players played well.
In the past, we've seen 3 or 4 guys play well but not a whole overall team effort. It seemed that part of the roster would zig while the other part zagged performance wise. Last night, and there were less than stellar performances, there was more of a performance on 2 ends as a group that certainly saw the team take advantage of the high end defense on Aldridge and Reke's efficient offensive night. * * *
posted by Zach Harper to Cowbell Kingdom (True Hoop)
I've always felt that if you're a fan of a losing team it's best to see some progress while still losing a bunch of games.
That's what you should want from your team. It comes down to either being a playoff team or being a lottery team. Those are the only two options possible. So if you were not going to make the playoffs, why wouldn't you want your team to have a chance at the best player available in the draft? * * *
It seemed to be ripe for the losing. The Kings seemingly try to pry defeat from the jaws of victory quite often. They'll fight hard for three quarters, get themselves a nice lead and then completely fall apart in the fourth quarter. It's almost like clockwork. They commit a turnover here or take a bad shot there. Then the Kings start pressing themselves on offense, using up way too much shot clock and falling apart on both ends of the floor.
Against the Blazers, the Kings looked like they were ready to fall apart. They couldn't separate themselves from Portland. The game hovered around a four to six-point lead for the Kings throughout a six-minute stretch the Kings would usually let seep out of their collective grasp. However, instead of the Kings' usually collapse, they decided to rally against the Blazers on foreign soil and go on a big game clinching run. * * *
by Greg Dix, Kings Gab
Gotta be honest folks. Its nice to write a recap of a victory. Kings beat the Blazers 96-81! It is a rare thing in Sactown these days! Five players in double figures is a shock. Could it be we are learning to balance the offense? Nah, I doubt it... We just caught the wounded Blazers at the right time. However, any win on the road for this team is a time to celebrate! I am recommending all fans to go out and play the lottery today. I'm heading to my local mini-mart right after this for some milk, lottery, and a NICE FATTIE! Today is a day of joy!
Tyreke Evans was on last night. When Reke is on so are the Kings. Reke had 26 points, 6 boards, and 6 assists. DMAC and Udrih had 14 pts. Landry pulled in 16 pts, 8 boards, and 2 steals off the bench. He came off the bench but pretty much played the whole game logging 34 minutes. Casspi dropped 12 with 2 treys. Sammy D played 17 minutes and produced 4 blocks. There is no doubt that his D helped to alter the outcome of this game. Sammy's D held Aldridge to a measly 9 points. The mystery to me is why can't they do this EVERY NIGHT? It would be a totally different season if they could somehow find constancy! * * *
by Jason Jones, Sacramento Bee
The Kings have been saying all season they know what they're doing wrong late in games but couldn't figure out how to correct the issues.
After their last loss, guard Beno Udrih lamented what he called "stupid" plays. That's when the Kings stop running their offense, play one-on-one and make fundamental errors that lead to defeat.
Udrih had no such complaints Monday night at the Rose Garden after the Kings beat the Portland Trail Blazers 96-81. The Kings ended a four-game losing streak that included two overtime setbacks in which they blew fourth-quarter leads.
Sacramento also had lost eight in a row to Portland.
"Definitely, team basketball won today," Udrih said. * * *
The Bottom Line:
1. After so many close losses, that felt REALLLLLLY good tonight!!!
2. Our guys are not even close to being as bad as their record. It's nice to put some points on a team on their home court to prove the fact.
3. Tyreke was a manimal tonight — hell of a game for him!
* * *
Does Turnover Minimization Lead to Victory?
In the last issue of "The View" we learned that on of the leading statistical commonalities of the team's victories this season was an advantage of the Blazers over their opponent in turnovers. After a slow start, marked by a staggering 6 TOs in the 1st Quarter, the Blazers once again won the total turnover battle in the Indiana Pacer game, netting the ball 19 times from the visitors while giving it up 15 times. This made the 21st time out of 25 Blazer wins (84% of the time) that the team had fewer total turnovers than its opponent.
How about Blazer losses? Do the Blazers tend to win the turnover battle even when they lose? Or is this somehow a decisive component of Portland's wins — a casual factor? This was something that was outside of the scope of the last little study, but I'd like to take a look at that question here.
Has Portland always placed a huge emphasis on ball security and turnover avoidance? I'd like to know how the team has ranked among its NBA peers during the Nate McMillan era and to attempt to see whether Blazer turnovers seem to be correlated to the team's success on the floor.
It's time to investigate.
I. Total Turnovers in Portland's 2010-11 Losses.
Let's begin with the most relevant question, shall we? Is Portland's consistent winning of the turnover battle unique to the team's victories — or do the Blazers often also tend to give up fewer turnovers than their opponents in losses?
If the Blazers have better ball control than their opponents both in victory and in defeat, this entire exercise becomes entirely academic. "The Blazers are a good ball control team and they win or lose based on other factors." On the other hand, if a positive margin of turnovers is somehow unique to wins, we may be venturing down the path of understanding a fundamental principle behind Nate McMillan's coaching success.
You don't think this is important? Do you remember why Nate was starting Steve Blake over Andre Miller for a time? He hated Andre's turnovers... And now we have the example of Armon Johnson, soldered to the Blazer bench despite a depleted roster. Why is that? Turnovers, turnovers, turnovers... Nate hates them...
Let's begin. All these numbers are culled from the box scores published by NBA.com.
Portland has lost 20 games this year. Here are the games, scores, and total turnovers of the Blazers and their oppenents:
So much for the theory that Portland's positive turnover differential was a primary causal factor behind the team's wins. We see here that in 13 of 20 games (65% of the time), the Blazers had a favorable number of total turnovers compared to their opponents in losses — only coming up on the short side of equality 6 of 20 times (30% of the time).
Winning the turnover battle would seem to be positively correlated with victory, but the relationship is loose and fuzzy rather than tight and decisive. The Blazers are clearly a comparatively careful team with the ball, win or lose. But turnover differential, in and of itself, does not seem to be a primary causal factor delineating the team's victories from its defeats.
II. How do the 2010-11 Blazers compare?
We have established pretty conclusively that the Blazers tend to be careful with the ball, winning the turnover battle with their opponents in 34 of their first 45 games this season (69% of the time) and tying once. We have also observed that turnovers are but one small part of a complex equation behind wins and losses — including shooting proficiency, playing defense against opposing shooters, getting to the foul line, hitting long balls, and rebounding.
How does Portland compare with its peers in terms of turnovers? For this information we will pay a visit to Hoopdata.com, one of the fine sources for basketball stats on the internet. Clicking "BASIC STATS" and sorting the column for "Turnovers," we see the following, as of the morning of Jan. 24, 2011:
I've got two observations relating to the above:
1. The first two teams on this list really suck, so being the NBA leader in the statistical category of Fewest Turnovers Per Game doesn't necessarily imply tremendous on-court success.
2. In general, there are a lot of good teams that are careful with the ball and a lot of bad teams that are not. "Mavericks, Lakers, Hornets, Thunder, Jazz, Spurs, and Nuggets" sounds a lot like the Western Conference elite, does it not? It would seem to be far better to be grouped with those teams under the league average in turnovers per game than to be relegated to the bottom of the pack...
Okay, it's pretty definite now that the Blazers are careful with the ball, win or lose, and that they are among the best in the NBA in this respect. How good are they? Delving into the advanced statistics on the aforementioned Hoopdata site, we find that Portland is also the 3rd best team in the NBA in terms of turnovers per 100 possessions, that they are number 2 in causing the most turnovers in their opponents per 100 possessions, and that they are number 1 in the NBA in the differential between the turnovers they make and the turnovers they create per 100 possessions — coming out ahead of their opponents 2.78 times per 100 possessions.
In short: this Blazer team is careful with the ball and does well at making their opponents cough it up. It would seem that this is one of several key components to the team's unlikely success this season.
Is this tendency an anomaly this season or is excellent ball security a hallmark of Nate McMillan-coached teams?
Let's find out.
III. Ball Security of Nate McMillan's Teams in Historical Review.
Unfortunately, Hoopdata's comparative advanced statistics do not function for previous seasons, but we can take a look at how the average number of Portland's turnovers per game compared to the league average back to the 2006-07 season — that is, for the entire era of Aldridge and Roy:
It is clear that Nate McMillan's teams have taken particularly good care of the ball in recent years, finishing considerably under the league average in turnovers per game not only this season, but also in the three previous seasons. This characteristic has held true regardless of whether the main Point Guard was Steve Blake or Andre Miller. Along with Portland, the Detroit Pistons are annually among the league's best in this regard — I leave it for others to decide whether in this latter case this is the result of a unique personnel situation, a matter of fundamental coaching philosophy, or a mixture of both.
Coach Nate's recent Blazer teams don't turn the ball over much, however, that's plain to see.
1. In the NBA, elite winning teams tend to take good care of the ball. But not every team that takes care of the ball is a good team.
2. The Blazers have been among the NBA's best over the past 3 and a half years in minimizing turnovers. In this current season, they are also taking the ball away from other teams at a high rate — a combination which places them at the very top of the NBA in turnover differential. While not directly causal of victory, this tendency has no doubt contributed to the decimated unit's surprisingly good record this year.
3. Nate McMillan gives every indication of being a coach that believes in ball security as a fundamental principle of his teams. The extent to which he practiced this principle as an NBA Point Guard and as coach of the Seattle Supersonics remains a matter for investigation on another day.
* * *
There's a New Kid in Town...
The Portland Trail Blazers announced on Monday, Jan. 24, that they had signed Chris Johnson of the Dakota Wizards of the NBA Developmental League to a 10-day contract under provisions of an injury hardship exception granted the club. Johnson, a rail-thin 6'11" Power Forward, was added to the roster in an attempt by Blazer GM Rich Cho to bolster a decimated front line.
Johnson was a four year player at Louisiana State University, ending his collegiate career with the 2008-09 season, in which he averaged 7.7 points and 7.2 rebounds for the Tigers in just over 25 minutes of game action. Johnson ended his LSU career with a total of 176 blocked shots, second in the school's history to a rather larger individual, Mr. Shaquille O'Neal.
Undrafted in the 2009 NBA draft, Johnson made his way to Europe, where he played professionally for teams in Turkey and Poland. He was drafted with the number 1 pick of the Dakota Wizards in the 2010 NBADL draft, moving to Bismarck to play ball for the D-League affiliate of the Washington Wizards and the Memphis Grizzlies.
Johnson started in all 27 games for the Wizards this season, scoring a team-hgh 465 points — an average of 17.2 per game. Johnson also gathered in an average of 9.7 rebounds per game and blocked nearly 3.1 shots per contest in about 33 and a half minutes of game action.
Although described as a "Center" by the Trail Blazers in their official announcement, in actuality Johnson is regarded as a pick-and-pop face up Power Forward, noted for his athleticism and jumping ability. Barely over 200 pounds, Johnson's Kevin Durant-like body frame leaves him physically ill-suited for the rigors of the NBA low post game.
Johnson joined the Trail Blazers in Portland immediately.
Johnson has demonstrated excellent shooting ability for Dakota this year, landing an impressive 51% of his field goal attempts while going 1-for-3 from distance. In addition to his 83 blocks, Johnson contributed 23 steals to the Wizards' defense this season. On the negative side of the slate, Johnson proved something of a turnover machine, coughing up the rock an average of 2.7 times per contest. He averages something around 75% from the free throw line over the course of his collegiate and D-league career.
Chris Johnson was born July 15, 1985, in Washington, DC. He has one brother. He attended Laurinburg Prep in Montrose, Virginia, a suburb of Richmond.
Johnson did not emerge as a collegiate player of significance at LSU until his Junior year, which saw him start 22 of 25 games for the team, playing just shy of 30 minutes per contest and averaging 11.6 points per game.
It is unclear whether Blazer GM sees Johnson as a mere warm body on a team that can use one, as an emergency stop-gap player until a trade for a more established NBA player like Anthony Randolph can be arranged, or whether Cho wants to test Johnson's ability at the NBA level.
With the same long and lanky body type as the Knicks' Randolph, Johnson may well be a prototype for an possible imminent upgrade at the "Scrawnbone 4" position. Alternatively, Johnson's acquisition may be read as a rejection of the team's reported interest in Randolph, the result of the latter being offered at too high a price or exhibiting objectionable character traits.
All this will become clear in coming days. For now, his trivial cost of acquisition makes Johnson an inexpensive roll of the dice for the risk-averse General Manager Rich Cho. Whether Chris Johnson remains in town long enough to make an impact in front of Blazer fans remains to be seen.
Highlights of Johnson's most recent D-League game, vs. Rio Grande Valley...
* * *
Oh, this is easy!
We just beat these guys last week...
We don't need to play!
I'm really not in the mood.
Kings 96 at Blazers 81.
January 24, 2011.
Blazers' record is now 25-21, the Kings are 10-32.
1. DaMarcus "Crazypants" Cousins tried to show Pryz that he wasn't going to be shown up again. He got Joel to commit a reach-in foul and hit a long J for the first 3 Sacramento points. Pryzzy didn't help his cause by failing miserably to box out Omri Casspi on the missed free throw, resulting in a second chance for the visitors. "Eeeeew!" said Rice. Later in the quarter Pryz was stripped of an easy rebound by Tyreke Evans. Let us have a moment of silence for him.
2. Sacramento doubled LMA and Wesley missed a wide, wide open trey. Portland was 2-for-8 from the field at the open, down 4 points. The Blazers drove the lane, however, with a Nic dunk and a Wesley lay up taking the game to the first TV timeout tied at 10.
3. Beno Udrih demonstrated why Rudy Fernandez is not a Point Guard, picking his pocket in the open court for an easy coast-to-coast layup. Shortly thereafter, Matthews made a lazy entry pass and it was Tyreke going around the back and making the Rose Garden crowd ooo and ahh. At the second break it was 18 all.
4. LMA went out for Przybilla and Tyreke instantly walked one in. Rice: "The Blazers' defense looked like the Kings that time." Then it was a Dalembert dunk over Mr. Immobile and a 6 point Sacramento lead. The damaged Przybilla is not just ineffective, he's positively a detriment at this point.
5. Patty Mills had 7 seconds to go coast-to-coast at the end of the quarter. It took him 5 seconds to fumble the ball away. Joel Przybilla, butt on the floor, gathered it in as the horn sounded on a pathetic quarter. END OF THE FIRST QUARTER: SAC 25, PDX 20. B
6. Przybilla flailed for an unobtainable rebound and ended up amongst the cameras. DeMarcus Cousins lead the break, which ended in a Carl Landry dunk. Ugliness. All right Nate, stop screwing around. At 9:23 LMA was reinserted for the hopeless Pryzzy. Portland was down 7.
7. Big call at 7:47 when an out-of-control Wesley Matthews ran down Cousins, who was trying to draw the charge. Cousins was in the restricted area, however, and the call went Portland's way. It was three fouls on him.
8. I do not want to see Brandon Roy wearing a headset on TV during games. I do not like split screens during game action. I do not like Mike Barrett and Mike Rice asking softball questions of anyone. I do not like in-game interviews of any kind. I do not like Brandon Roy. Is Dick Chaney the Executive Producer of these telecasts? All I know is that Amnesty International would define this broadcast as torture and call it a violation of the human rights of Blazer fans. It went to a 10 point lead by the Worst Team in the Western Conference™ during the interminable blah-blah-blah and Nate needed time out. News flash: Blazers — you are not the "flip the switch" Lakers. You don't have Kobe Bryant. Your starting Center is the damaged Joel Przybilla. You have among the worst percentage shooters in the NBA. If you play REALLY HARD FOR 48 MINUTES, maybe you will not lose to the lowly Sacramento Kings. Thank you.
9. Nate re-inserted Przybilla at 6:01 and MB and Rice resumed blathering with Brandon Roy. I considered jamming pencils in my ears to deafen myself, but decided this was probably overkill. I directed many, many F-words at the three participants, using a full range of interjections, imperative verbs, and obscene emphatic adjectives in connection with mother-oaths and crude slang terms for excrement, body parts, and oral copulation. SHUT THE HELL UP, IDIOTS!!!! THIS IS NOT THE LAS VEGAS SUMMER LEAGUE!!!!! Brandon Roy has no insight about anything whatsoever that is happening on the floor. He's a self-absorbed superstar who wears Sears Toughskins™ suits. He's not gonna suddenly dish exclusive info on camera regardless of how many times you ask him the same idiotic questions. He has no information about his own future. All he knows and all you know and all we all know is that he's gonna be cashing big checks from Paul Allen for the next five years. When Brandon and the Mikes finally shut the hell up, the Blazers had rallied to within 4 points. How did that happen? Don't ask the Mikes, they have no clue, but they can tell you with perfect certainty that THEY TALKED TO BRANDON ROY!!!!!!!
10. Rice on the Kings: "They haven't had a tough shot all quarter." True that, terrible defense both on the perimeter and in the paint. MOST HORRIBLEST defense on the last play of the half, when Sacramento went full court off a make for a layup in 1.71 seconds. Fortunately for the Blazers, there was only 1.70 seconds remaining. HALFTIME SCORE: SAC 45, PDX 44. Blazers had 9 turnovers in the half. Wesley was team-high with 11.
HALFTIME ENTERTAINMENT: Code Blue "Whisper Touch" [audio only, 1980] — BAND HISTORY
11. Following matching turnovers, the Blazers took the lead briefly on a Wesley Matthews longball. It was the first made Blazer 3-pointer of the night.
12. Nate's insistence on using Przybilla is maddening. All he can do — literally ALL he can do — at this point is set big picks.
13. Omri Casspi with back-to-back treys. He barks to the Rose Garden crowd the full length of the court after the second, screaming in Hebrew:
קח את זה, אתה המתפללים של אידיוט קווין פריצ 'רד!!!
אתה יכול לקבל אותי, אבל הוא לקח ויקטור מפחיד Claver!!!
איך זה נראה לך עכשיו, מטומטמים?!?
"TAKE THAT YOU WORSHIPPERS OF THE IDIOT KEVIN PRITCHARD!!!"
"YOU COULD HAVE HAD ME, BUT HE TOOK VICTOR FREAKING CLAVER!!!"
"HOW'S THAT LOOKING TO YOU NOW, MORONS?!?"
14. At what point do you admit that this team is not as good as the Sacramento Kings? Nic tries to force a pass, the Kings bring back the stolen ball and make it a 10-0 run.
15. The Kings played with energy and motivation. The Blazers ineptly coasted. The score reflected the same. END OF THREE QUARTERS: SAC 70, PDX 65.
16. The Kings opened up continuing their scoring run, reconstructing a 10 point lead. Cousins picked up his fifth foul at 10:20, but it wasn't much of a bright spot — sort of like a dusting of gold spray paint on top of a stinky cow turd. Still, Portland managed to shave the lead to 6 by the 8:00 TV timeout.
17. Rudy airballed a three pointer to go 1-for-9 for the night, but Andre was in the paint to catch the miss and put it in. LMA wasn't much better botching a close look to go 4-for-13. After a Kings bucket, LMA tried to post up Dalembert and was easily capped. The Kings scored again and the lead was back to 8 at the half-way mark.
18. Sactoe went into penalty at 5:18 when Beno Udrih fouled a rebounding Nic Batum on their own end. Seemingly Portland's only hope in this puppy was getting hot from the line and Nico got them started with two makes.
19. LMA got his first trip to the line at 4:07. He lamarcused the shots, but the lead was down to 4. Still, the suck machine was in full swing and it was 6 points and the ball for Sacramento at the final TV time out, following yet another failure, this time a basic inability of Nic Batum to handle an easy bounce pass, which careened off his shin and out of bounds.
20. No happy ending tonight. Shooters shot, but they sucked. Tyreke hit a money trey, Blazers missed, Kings ran clock. Blazers failed to box out on a miss and Casspi tipped it in for DAGGER. FINAL SCORE: WORST TEAM IN THE WESTERN CONFERENCE 96, PORTLAND FAIL BLAZERS 81.
Got any other D-Leaguers to put on the bench, Cho?
15 point loss to the Sacramento garbage truck. Kings scored 31 points off Blazer turnovers.
Was there a worse loss this season? Not one that I can remember...
Let's take at this thang graphically, shall we?
Are you sure you want to revisit this game? Okay, don't say I didn't warn ya... Go ahead and CLICK THE LINK...
A. The 10-win Sacramento Kings didn't steal this game. They beat Portland in the 1st Quarter, they extended and played ahead and held off the Blazers in the 2nd Quarter, they fought back hard in the 3rd Quarter, and they made the Blazers mockable at the finish.
B. Andre Miller did his best in the 4th Quarter, with 10 points. Nic added a couple buckets for 5. LMA scored ONE, count it ONE, lowly point in the final 12 minutes, which is a brilliant recipe for losing to the 10-win Sacramento Kings at home.
C. At least Aldridge broke ice in the 4th and lamarcused in a free throw shot — Rudy and Wesley added squadoosh.
D. Joel Przybilla played almost 23 minutes and finished a team-high +2 in Plus/Minus. This proves conclusively that the +/- stat will lie to you through its teeth on any given night. Joel was simply atrocious, managing just 6 rebounds (none of which were in any way difficult) and a putback bucket. When your starting Center is getting out-rebounded by Dante fricking Cunningham, that's when you know that the next three games, Boston + San Antonio + @Denver, is gonna produce a train wreck of epic proportions for this franchise. Buckle up.
E. Oh, did you see that LMA is having x-rays on his hip?!?! THAT always ends well...
Finally, let's gather round for another installment of THE GREATEST THING IN THE WORLD, eh?
In case you missed it, here is Monday's show...
The Basketball Jones is a NBA blog and video/audio podcast, written and recorded five times a week by J.E. Skeets, Tas Melas, Jason Doyle and Matt Osten. A ssume that there will be a couple Not Suitable For Work words used in any given episode.
The Pinwheel Gang at their first Portland viewing party, Jan. 19, 2011.
Chris Johnson Credits:
Lou Babiarz, "Chris Johnson a Raw Talent," Bismarck Tribune, Nov. 16, 2010.
Joe Freeman, "Trail Blazers Awarded Hardship Exception, Sign Chris Johnson to 10-day Contract," The Oregonian, Jan. 24, 2011.
Photo Credits: Chris Johnson: Bismarck Tribune. All photos heavily tweaked in Photoshop by Tim Davenport.
With this column, the Las Vegas pre-season Over/Under for The View of +/- 45 has been surpassed. Those of you with winning tickets may redeem them at the window.