The Sacramento Kings lost a tough one tonight, in a game in which they lost mainly due to the foul trouble of their big man, combined with the majority of the second quarter. The Kings kept themselves in the game once again with their defense, and made it a one point game; but the Kings couldn’t hold on late in the fourth quarter.
This was a classic case of DeMarcus Cousins’ foul trouble affecting the overall outcome of the game. Cousins’ team managed to play solid basketball and had themselves within one point of the Spurs by the end of the third quarter.
The Kings managed to frustrate guards Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker, but the real deciding factor in tonight’s game was the unexpected play of young guard Patty Mils; who went 8-9 from the field for 18 points. His outside shooting was amongst the best of anyone against the Kings this year.
Tim Duncan had a classic evening continuing his reign over the Kings as he has most of his career. Duncan recorded a double-double, scoring 23 points on 9-12 shooting, while grabbing 12 rebounds.
The Kings’ Jason Thompson was perhaps the catalyst of why they remained in the game so late. He was very effective from the floor scoring 17 points on a 7-10 shooting night. Thompson also grabbed seven rebounds while getting two steals and a block.
While four other Kings players scored in double figures, none of them shot the ball well. One of the key statistics for the Kings is that in six games, not a single player has had over five assists, and the team has failed to reach the 20 assist mark a single time in six games. If the Kings want to beat good teams, they must first learn to win games as a team. When the game gets tight they cannot rely on one on one or isolation situations; they must learn to pass the ball and find the best matchup or the open man. The Kings showed potential fighting against a Spurs team that is experienced as they come.
Finally, in a game that was relatively well officiated, the Kings must remember that they cannot comment on every call, or always have a comment about calls they may not agree with. Referees are humans and like anyone, they make mistakes. The Kings have grown to almost harass referees at times when they dont receive a call, or when a questionable call is made. Referees game plan just as players and coaches, and are aware of players attitudes and previous incidents. While the Kings seem to challenge almost every call, the Spurs seem almost like they pick and choose which calls deserve a reaction. As the Kings continue to grow and mature as a team, they will surly be fun to watch. So keep an open eye Kings fans; even though our team lost tonight, the future is starting to look up.