Tag:Sacramento Kings
Posted on: February 14, 2011 4:28 pm
Edited on: February 14, 2011 5:06 pm
 

DeMarcus Cousins to re-join team in OKC


Posted by Matt Moore

Well that didn't take long. Just two days after being told to leave the team plane and being listed as inactive against Phoenix, DeMarcus Cousins is rejoining the Kings in Oklahoma City, via Sam Amick of NBA FanHouse who has been on top of this since the beginning, and confirmed later in a Kings press release:

Kings forward DeMarcus Cousins is headed for Oklahoma City to join the team, according to a source close to the situation.

So instead of missing the entire three-game roadie, he misses one game, then rejoins the team. The decision is likely to increase scrutiny over the Kings' handling of Cousins. Some will argue he should be punished more severely for fighting with a teammate in the locker room, while others will wonder if he really did do enough wrong, why no formal suspension was levied and why he only sat a game. It's pretty much a no-win for Sacramento. 

The Kings did release a statement on Cousins featuring the following quotes from General Manager Geoff Petrie and Cousins: 
“There is no place in the NBA for violence, either on or off the court,” said Kings President of Basketball Operations Geoff Petrie. “Upon investigating the events of Saturday night, we feel it is necessary to impose an appropriate fine related to DeMarcus’ behavior. We will now move forward together. We do not intend to give up on DeMarcus’ talent or potential. We look forward to watching his continued improvement and development, which has been significant since the beginning of the season.” “I wish to apologize to my teammates, the Kings organization and Kings’ fans for my role in an unfortunate altercation between teammates,” Cousins said. 
“I accept full responsibility for my actions and know that I must keep raising my standard of professionalism to be my best and a great player in the NBA.”

The fine's not out yet, but we're sure it'll get leaked soon enough. The Kings have to kind of hope to put this behind them as soon as possible and that they can essentially stay on top of Cousins long enough for him to work through his immaturity. It's a gamble, but with his talent, its' really the only option they have.
Posted on: February 13, 2011 10:18 pm
Edited on: February 13, 2011 11:52 pm
 

Photos: Phoenix Suns host Star Wars Night

Photos from the Phoenix Suns' "Star Wars Night" on Sunday against the Sacramento Kings. Posted by Ben Golliver. 

On Sunday night, the Phoenix Suns hosted the Sacramento Kings but, more importantly, also staged their second annual Star Wars night, humorously titled "Star Wars: The Clone Wars Night Episode 2." Whatever. The timing was perfect, as Kings big man DeMarcus Cousins crossed over to the dark side on Saturday night and was left inactive for the game.

Star Wars Bight featured all sorts of themed prizes, t-shirts, and photo opportunities for fans, but the centerpiece for the night's festivities was a bunch of Star Wars dorks dressing up in costume for the rest of us internet dorks to laugh at. Let's take a look at some of the pictures from the evening, which include shots taken on the court, in the dressing room prior to the game and during the team's television broadcast.

phoenix-suns-star-wars-1

Via: Christian Petersen, Getty Images

phoenix-suns-star-wars-10

Via: Christian Petersen, Getty Images
phoenix-suns-star-wars-2

Via: Christian Petersen, Getty Images

phoenix-suns-star-wars-3


Via: Christian Petersen, Getty Images

phoenix-suns-star-wars-4

Via: Christian Petersen, Getty Images

phoenix-suns-star-wars-5

Via: Christian Petersen, Getty Images
phoenix-suns-star-wars-7

Via: Christian Petersen, Getty Images
phoenix-suns-star-wars-6


Via @kray1 on Twitter

The event is the brainchild of the Suns' webmaster, Jeramie McPeek. In the days leading up to Star Wars Night, McPeek posted the following shots on Twitpic.

phoenix-suns-star-wars-8


phoenix-suns-star-wars-9

Category: NBA
Posted on: February 13, 2011 6:00 pm
Edited on: February 13, 2011 6:08 pm
 

Kings list Cousins as inactive, no suspension yet

The Sacramento Kings have listed DeMarcus Cousins as inactive and have not yet decided whether to suspend him following an altercation with a demarcus-cousins-kingsteammate on Saturday night. Posted by Ben Golliver.

This is exactly what scouts and analysts mean when they say a player is a "red flag" during the pre-draft process.

On Saturday night, we noted reports that Sacramento Kings rookie big man DeMarcus Cousins got into an altercation with teammate Donte Greene following the team's loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder. Cousins was reportedly upset that he didn't receive the ball on the Kings' final possession and exchanged swings with Greene, who had inbounded the ball to Kings guard Tyreke Evans instead of Cousins.

On Sunday, the Kings released a statement that said Cousins would "not play in tonight's game at Phoenix while the organization reviews the situation that occurred in the locker room following last night's game versus Oklahoma City."

Earlier reports noted that Cousins had been suspended, but Yahoo! Sports reported on Sunday that the Kings have simply listed Cousins as "inactive" for Sunday night's game against the Suns in Phoenix and that any further disciplinary action - including a potential suspension - will not be released until Monday. 

The Kings own the worst record in the Western Conference at 12-38, so Cousins' frustration with all the losing is understandable, to a degree. He's a competitive, fiery spirit that wants to help his team win and has faith in his own considerable talent. But SacTown Royalty brilliantly laid out the biggest problem with this situation: Cousins wasn't even open on the play in question. 

In other words, this was a baseless public tantrum from an immature rookie, one that showed up a veteran teammate (Greene). To make matters worse, Cousins' actions also went against his coach, Paul Westphal, and his team's best player, Evans. Cousins' job in this situation is to flash to the ball and then go rebound if he doesn't receive the pass. It isn't his responsibility to draw up plays, second-guess the plays that are drawn up, or question his teammate's late-game abilities, especially in a manner that is public and/or inflammatory. This is NBA 101 stuff.

The Kings have done the right thing by placing Cousins in timeout as they gather the facts. This incident has the potential to be a crossroads for Cousins, who has a long way to go if he is to become the consistent, reliable player and person that coaches look for when they divvy up late-game touches. Right now, he's just a mess.
Posted on: February 13, 2011 3:21 am
Edited on: February 13, 2011 3:39 am
 

DeMarcus Cousins suspended by Kings

DeMarcus Cousins was suspended by the Kings late Saturday night following a locker room incident involving Donté Greene.
Posted by Matt Moore

DeMarcus Cousins is arguably already the league's most volatile player. Prone to fights with opponents and even his own coaches, it would seem his frustrations have now boiled over into conflict with teammates. FanHouse reports that Cousins has been suspended for at least the upcoming three-game roadtrip following a locker room altercation with Donté Greene that came to blows. Perhaps most stunning is the source of the argument. Cousins has reportedly become increasingly upset about Tyreke Evans' late game decision making and the coaching staff's reaction, culminating in Cousins yelling at Evans following the Kings' loss to the Thunder Saturday night, "from (the) tunnel to the locker room." 

Cousins has already been fined by the coaching staff, kicked out of practice, and benched for a premature choking gesture. In-between he's averaging 14 points and 8 rebounds, grabbing 17% of all available boards, shooting 44% from the field (a huge blemish) and has a league-average-ish PER of 15. He's a player with tremendous upside and ability, who just wants to win. But there are ways of dealing with that kind of passion, and Cousins has expressed all the wrong ones. 

The Kings have to find a structure to rebuild around, and if Cousins and Evans are incompatible, that's going to have to be established early. GM Geoff Petrie was right to act quickly and try and snuff this but furthermore, if the Kings decide Evans is the future and they can't rectify this rift, one of them will have to go. Furthermore, Paul Westphal and Petrie will have to figure out if the kid is worth the considerable headache he's providing them by continually being this much of a pain.  Good teams can't afford distractions of this magnitude, especially out of a rookie, let alone struggling squads like the Kings. 
Posted on: February 3, 2011 9:59 am
 

Shootaround 2.3.11: Getting better all the time

Injuries improving, the Cavaliers are sad, Paul Pierce wants Ray in the 3-Point Contest so he can beat him. Shootaround. 
Posted by Matt Moore

Trevor Ariza severely sprained his ankle in last night's loss to the Timberwolves, and is out indefinitely. Ariza's had another inconsistent season, but he's still a significant part of the Hornets, who are now without two starters as Okafor continues to recover. They can't afford to lose too many guys more. 

Marcus Camby says he's close to returning. His coach says he's out a "few more weeks." Which is it? Maybe Nate's just used to saying (X player) will be out "a few more weeks" and responded by reflex. 

Scott Skiles says Brandon Jennings' minute restriction could be lifted soon.

A comprehensive review of possible trade partners for the Sacramento Kings

A celebration of Christian Eyenga getting into the top 200 in Cavalier points history. Things are sad in Cleveland. 

Kevin Love's odds at the All-Star game are not good

Paul Pierce wants to face down one guy in the 3-point contest: Ray Allen

Does the league need to do a better job of screening ownership? Maybe if they had done that in the beginning, contraction wouldn't be such a hot topic right now. 

Derrick Rose is the type to hold grudges, which is partially why he beat the Clippers, and partially why his free throw shooting has improved so much. 

In case you missed it, Rick Carlisle says Dirk Nowitzki is the MVP
Posted on: February 2, 2011 11:27 am
Edited on: February 2, 2011 11:29 am
 

Game Changer: LMA drops 40

The Rockets keep bugging the Lakers, DMC gets into it with KG, and LaMarcus Aldridge has the game of his life, all in today's Game Changer. 
Posted by Matt Moore

THE BIG ONE: LMA TAKES OVER TO KEEP PORTLAND ALIVE

LaMarcus Aldridge has become a complete player this season, and has gone from good player to star. No further proof is needed beyond the performance Aldridge gave Tuesday night in the Blazers' 99-86 win over the Western-Conference-leading San Antonio Spurs. Aldridge dropped 40 on the Spurs, with a barrage of inside layups, dunks, and perimeter mid-range jumpers. See for yourself, in the shot chart from our GameTracker: 



7-13 on jumpers? That'll do, LMA. That'll do. Aldridge made a strong case for All-Star reserve in front of the coach for the Western team, not only with his shooting display to go along with 11 rebounds.  Aldridge has become the focal point of the Blazers, and he's the reason they're hanging onto the 8th spot in the West. That Aldridge has become the focal point after so often being passed over by Blazers management and fans is equally notable. First it was Brandon Roy, then Greg Oden, then Andre Miller, and most recently sophomore Wesley Matthews. But with Roy and Oden on the shelf, Miller marginalized by age, and Matthews still learning consistency, it's fallen upon Aldridge to shoulder the team. And he's risen to that challenge. 

Patty Mills at one point lobbed a dangerous, ill-advised pass into traffic for Aldridge. Mills knew it was a poor pass, but trusted in Aldridge to make a play. Aldridge nabbed the pass and nearly threw it down, drawing a foul. That's trust in your star, and the Blazers have it. That Aldridge has had to wait so long to reach this level must make it all the more worth it. Always the consolation prize, with the Blazers hopes for a title run with their young core vanished into a mist of lost opportunities, Aldridge is now the Blazers' best hope moving forward. He's a legitimate star to build around. 

For the Spurs, this game serves as a warning. The Spurs had no one to extend their perimeter defense against Aldridge with.  DeJuan Blair is not mobile enough and Duncan is unable to cover the distance and recover. As a result, Aldridge dropped the array of mid-range top-of-the-key shots you see above.  It's his sweet spot, just as Dirk's is the corner elbow, and David West's is the 16-foot baseline. All give the Spurs problems. Stretch fours are a problem for the Spurs, and they're going to be seeing a lot of them in the playoffs. Meanwhile, their offense sputtered and their defense wasn't able to hit the gear they're going to need in the playoffs.

Not the way they wanted to start the rodeo road trip. 


GO-GO-GADGET LINE OF THE NIGHT:

Aldridge, obviously.

Runners-Up:

Kobe Bryant: 32 points, 6 rebounds, 11 assists

Luis Scola: 24 points, 15 rebounds, 3 assists

AN UGLY COIN FLIP

The Celtics and Kings engaged in a pretty brutal standoff with the officials Tuesday night. The Celtics played their usual brand of brutal, physical, abrasive style, swiping, clubbing, shouldering, and creating so much contact the officials couldn't call everything. And when they did call something, the Celtics reacted with their usual outpouring of incredulity. What the Celtics weren't expecting was for the Kings to attempt the same approach. The Kings sped the pace up, which the Celtics hate, and then got aggressive down low, repeatedly blocking Kendrick Perkins, Kevin Garnett, and Glen Davis. That helped the Kings to a three-possession lead, which of course the Kings blew down the stretch when their entire offense came unglued as the Celtics buckled down. 

The most interesting part of the game was the interaction between DeMarcus Cousins and Kevin Garnett. Garnett did his usual "Look at me, I'm so crazy" act, hitting himself and mumbling obscenities. Cousins, for the most part, seemed off-put by Garnett's defense of him in the post, which involved a lot of slapping at the ball, missing, and hitting Cousins, then predictably getting the call because it's Kevin Garnett versus a rookie.  Cousins did mouth off to Garnett once, prompting Rajon Rondo to try and ease him back with his hand, which caused Cousins to slap the hand away, ending in Rondo shoving him and drawing a technical. It was a weird mirror image to Garnett's own behavior, if obviously less mature. 

Cousins was brilliant on offense, hitting everything from tap-backs and fadeaways to three-pointers.  But on defense, he too often lazed around getting back, didn't commit off-ball, and wound up in poor position. Imagine if the kid had a work ethic. 

LAKERS FINALLY FIGURE OUT THEY'RE TALL

The Lakers needed a win, and an injured, short-handed, small, poor defensively Rockets team was the perfect cure for what ails them.  Of course, for 48 minutes, the Lakers refused to take their medicine, and the Rockets used crack perimeter shooting and savvy ball movement to outwit the Lakers on their way to overtime. The Lakers would make a run by being tall and very good at basketball, the Rockets would call timeout, and then the Lakers would completely go away from everything that worked previously. Sure, the Lakers were missing Andrew Bynum. But the Rockets were missing Yao Ming, obviously, so it's not like they were full strength.

Meanwhile Pau Gasol drifted and drifted until overtime. Kobe Bryant dished seven assists before he scored 7 points in the first quarter, then started to take over offensively again.  Guess when the Rockets came back?  Meanwhile, he went back to distributing and finding Lamar Odom late, which allowed the Lakers to close the deficit and force overtime. In the extra period, it was simple physics.  The Lakers are tall and long, the Rockets are short.  The end. 

It wasn't a great win for the Lakers, but it's a win, and it's a start for their way back.
Posted on: February 2, 2011 11:27 am
Edited on: February 2, 2011 11:29 am
 

Game Changer: LMA drops 40

The Rockets keep bugging the Lakers, DMC gets into it with KG, and LaMarcus Aldridge has the game of his life, all in today's Game Changer. 
Posted by Matt Moore

THE BIG ONE: LMA TAKES OVER TO KEEP PORTLAND ALIVE

LaMarcus Aldridge has become a complete player this season, and has gone from good player to star. No further proof is needed beyond the performance Aldridge gave Tuesday night in the Blazers' 99-86 win over the Western-Conference-leading San Antonio Spurs. Aldridge dropped 40 on the Spurs, with a barrage of inside layups, dunks, and perimeter mid-range jumpers. See for yourself, in the shot chart from our GameTracker: 



7-13 on jumpers? That'll do, LMA. That'll do. Aldridge made a strong case for All-Star reserve in front of the coach for the Western team, not only with his shooting display to go along with 11 rebounds.  Aldridge has become the focal point of the Blazers, and he's the reason they're hanging onto the 8th spot in the West. That Aldridge has become the focal point after so often being passed over by Blazers management and fans is equally notable. First it was Brandon Roy, then Greg Oden, then Andre Miller, and most recently sophomore Wesley Matthews. But with Roy and Oden on the shelf, Miller marginalized by age, and Matthews still learning consistency, it's fallen upon Aldridge to shoulder the team. And he's risen to that challenge. 

Patty Mills at one point lobbed a dangerous, ill-advised pass into traffic for Aldridge. Mills knew it was a poor pass, but trusted in Aldridge to make a play. Aldridge nabbed the pass and nearly threw it down, drawing a foul. That's trust in your star, and the Blazers have it. That Aldridge has had to wait so long to reach this level must make it all the more worth it. Always the consolation prize, with the Blazers hopes for a title run with their young core vanished into a mist of lost opportunities, Aldridge is now the Blazers' best hope moving forward. He's a legitimate star to build around. 

For the Spurs, this game serves as a warning. The Spurs had no one to extend their perimeter defense against Aldridge with.  DeJuan Blair is not mobile enough and Duncan is unable to cover the distance and recover. As a result, Aldridge dropped the array of mid-range top-of-the-key shots you see above.  It's his sweet spot, just as Dirk's is the corner elbow, and David West's is the 16-foot baseline. All give the Spurs problems. Stretch fours are a problem for the Spurs, and they're going to be seeing a lot of them in the playoffs. Meanwhile, their offense sputtered and their defense wasn't able to hit the gear they're going to need in the playoffs.

Not the way they wanted to start the rodeo road trip. 


GO-GO-GADGET LINE OF THE NIGHT:

Aldridge, obviously.

Runners-Up:

Kobe Bryant: 32 points, 6 rebounds, 11 assists

Luis Scola: 24 points, 15 rebounds, 3 assists

AN UGLY COIN FLIP

The Celtics and Kings engaged in a pretty brutal standoff with the officials Tuesday night. The Celtics played their usual brand of brutal, physical, abrasive style, swiping, clubbing, shouldering, and creating so much contact the officials couldn't call everything. And when they did call something, the Celtics reacted with their usual outpouring of incredulity. What the Celtics weren't expecting was for the Kings to attempt the same approach. The Kings sped the pace up, which the Celtics hate, and then got aggressive down low, repeatedly blocking Kendrick Perkins, Kevin Garnett, and Glen Davis. That helped the Kings to a three-possession lead, which of course the Kings blew down the stretch when their entire offense came unglued as the Celtics buckled down. 

The most interesting part of the game was the interaction between DeMarcus Cousins and Kevin Garnett. Garnett did his usual "Look at me, I'm so crazy" act, hitting himself and mumbling obscenities. Cousins, for the most part, seemed off-put by Garnett's defense of him in the post, which involved a lot of slapping at the ball, missing, and hitting Cousins, then predictably getting the call because it's Kevin Garnett versus a rookie.  Cousins did mouth off to Garnett once, prompting Rajon Rondo to try and ease him back with his hand, which caused Cousins to slap the hand away, ending in Rondo shoving him and drawing a technical. It was a weird mirror image to Garnett's own behavior, if obviously less mature. 

Cousins was brilliant on offense, hitting everything from tap-backs and fadeaways to three-pointers.  But on defense, he too often lazed around getting back, didn't commit off-ball, and wound up in poor position. Imagine if the kid had a work ethic. 

LAKERS FINALLY FIGURE OUT THEY'RE TALL

The Lakers needed a win, and an injured, short-handed, small, poor defensively Rockets team was the perfect cure for what ails them.  Of course, for 48 minutes, the Lakers refused to take their medicine, and the Rockets used crack perimeter shooting and savvy ball movement to outwit the Lakers on their way to overtime. The Lakers would make a run by being tall and very good at basketball, the Rockets would call timeout, and then the Lakers would completely go away from everything that worked previously. Sure, the Lakers were missing Andrew Bynum. But the Rockets were missing Yao Ming, obviously, so it's not like they were full strength.

Meanwhile Pau Gasol drifted and drifted until overtime. Kobe Bryant dished seven assists before he scored 7 points in the first quarter, then started to take over offensively again.  Guess when the Rockets came back?  Meanwhile, he went back to distributing and finding Lamar Odom late, which allowed the Lakers to close the deficit and force overtime. In the extra period, it was simple physics.  The Lakers are tall and long, the Rockets are short.  The end. 

It wasn't a great win for the Lakers, but it's a win, and it's a start for their way back.
Posted on: January 28, 2011 9:12 am
 

Shootaround 1.28.11: Desperately wanting

Grizz searching for White Chocolate, Suns looking to keep Nash in the Valley, and Wade joshing about Phil. All this and more in today's Shootaround. 
Posted by Matt Moore

The Grizzlies are in a rush to try and sign Jason Williams, because they really think he can help the team win. Because they're the Grizzlies. 

Robert Sarver doesn't see the Suns making another trade before the deadline, and definitely doesn't see them trading Steve Nash. Which is a bummer because you'd love to see Nash on a contender rather than feeding Vince Carter in a first round exit at best. 

Deron Williams will have an MRI on his wrist Friday, after hearing it "pop" Wednesday. The word you're looking for is "Yikes."

Dwyane Wade jokes that Phil Jackson just wants to coach the Heat and that's why he's talking up retirement

Were the Cavs close to trading Anderson Varejao to the Thunder before his knee injury?

Well, you can't really blame the Cavs for looking at all options since they're on pace to make history in terms of a downturn year to year. 

Charles Barkley says that the Knicks can never win with Mike D'Antoni's system, which is a popular sentiment. Anything that doesn't prioritize defense and rebounding is going to get shredded by traditional pundits. It would take an overload of talent for the Knicks to get to the promised land with that system, but considering how much matchups rule the NBA playoffs, it's probably a stretch to say they'll never win.  It would take a rare set of circumstances, though.

Julian Wright has to keep shooting, apparently. File under "signs that your team is trouble if you're talking about this."

Tiago Splitter in a cowboy hat. Yee-haw.

Could Larry Ellison be targeting the Kings next? If so, you can kiss Sacramento goodbye. 
 
 
 
 
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