Sunday, October 31, 2010


Twitter, as most of you know, is the single most important invention of the last 100 years. And you need to keep track of the tweets to really know what's going on behind the scenes with the Kings. Here we present the best tweets of the young season:

@COUSINS No food worth eatin' on plane. Gonna snack on brother @WHITESIDE'S leg.

@OMRI How was I possibly not starting over @DONTE?

@TYREKE Ankles swollen like balloons. Maybe I'll just pass the ball more. LOL.

@SPENCERHAWES Do U guys miss me?


@RONWENIG Yo @GRANTNAPEAR, stop the drooling over DeMarcus. He not THAT good. Yet. You sound like a fawning fanboy.

@GAVINMALOOF Just listening 2 an old favorite song, "Leaving on a Jet Plane."

@GRANTNAPEAR Stop tweeting, me, you idiot @RONWENIG I don't need your opinion.

@WESTPHAL Got cool tattoo on chest. Players very impressed. It reads "Born To Coach"

@BENO Haven't been injured in 24 hours. Wow. Sigh of relief.

@JOEMALOOF Great tix deal: Buy 4-game package at Arco, get a 4-game package free in San Jose.

@FRANCISCO Did anyone see @WESTPHAL'S tat? OMG.


@DALEMBERT Coach @WESTPHAL keeps walking around with shirt off. LMAO.

@BENO Sprained my lung while sighing. May need 2 go on injured list.

@DONTE Keep getting dirty looks from @OMRI. He thinks I care that I don't start anymore.

@WESTPHAL Anyone know any laser tattoo removal places?

@WHITESIDE I'm having leg pain. Strange bite marks on knee.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Kings win but Westphal invents NBA Prevent Offense

Gutty win for the Kings over the Cavaliers Saturday night, but it was a lot harder than it should have been.


Because Paul Westphal has invented a unique offensive scheme in the final minutes that guarantees the team will never put away a team with ease this season.

Congrats, coach, you've invented the NBA's Prevent Offense.

Here's how it goes:

Tyreke Evans stands 30 feets from the basket for 15 seconds and the rest of his teammates stand around waiting.

Finally, Evans bulls his way down the lane, only to be met with a slew of defenders. It becomes virtually impossible to score.

This odd, clock-killing option may be the silliest coaching idea I've seen in years.

The team was clicking on all cylinders in the fourth quarter. Everyone was involved. Omri Casspi was hitting open looks.

There was zero reason to change anything. I repeat, ZERO.

Too much coaching. Too much bad coaching.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Darnell Jackson, who are you? I think that I'm in love

The Kings lost a rough game to the Nets, but found a new frontcourt talent Friday night.

His name is Darnell Jackson and it might be a mirage, but he did everything I've been waiting three years for Jason Thompson to do.

He caught the ball with soft hands (his finish on a break was a revelation)

He banged down low.

He made shots.

He rebounded.

Final tally in the loss to the Nets: 12 points, 6 rebounds and 1 steal in 22 minutes.

Was he a flash in the pan?

I don't think so. He looks fundamentally strong, unlike Thompson, who perpetually hacks opponents, takes bad shots, and looks like he leads his life off-balance. Sometimes I wonder if he stumbles on the way to the bathroom in the morning.

Anyway, let's hope Jackson is the real deal. A solid rotation guy who can help on offense and defense.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Talking Points: Kings get a taste of the future in opening-night squeaker

Here We Rise?
Maybe.  A victory over the T-Wolves on the road without Tyreke is a good start.  The team produced down the stretch and  Carl Landry proved himself a worthy clutch performer.  DeMarcus Cousins gave us a glimpse of his star-power potential.

Francisco Garcia was a bright spot, providing much-needed offensive pop from the outside. He's the team's emotional leader. 

Donte hasn't earned his minutes
Small forward Donte Greene still looks lost and overmatched too much of the time.  He should be getting 10 minutes max a game until he shows he can compete consistently.

DeMarcus needs to work on footwork
A nice debut for Cousins, but you can tell he gets impatient when he gets the ball in the low block. He's not really sure what he wants to do.  And he doesn't seem to have a go-to move.  He needs to work on a quick jump hook and step-back jumper and then let the rest come later.  Oh, and if someone can get a waiver to give Cousins an extra six personal fouls a game, that would be much appreciated.

Stop fawning, Grant
Kings announcer Grant Napear needs to stop drooling over Cousins.  The kid had a nice game, but it wasn't earth shaking. And he was playing against Darko Milicic.  I repeat, he was playing against Darko.

Wesley Johnson is good
The Kings were reportedly eyeing Wesley Johnson as a possible pick if Cousins wasn't available.  He looked very skilled Wednesday night.  In fact, he would have looked very nice as a small forward for the Kings this year, especially in comparison to the recent play of Omri Casspi and Donte Greene.  

Monday, October 25, 2010

Guaranteed-Accurate Kings Win Prediction Based on Precise Mathematical Formula

Time to use our patented and Nobel prize-winning mathematical formula for predicting the amount of games the Kings will win this season.

Before we start, I'll preface this analysis with two points:

I don't mind setting the bar low.

I'd love to be proven wrong.

Okay, here we go:

Start with 82 wins.

Subtract 41 right off the bat.  Why?  Well, because the Kings play in the Western Conference and they are not named the Lakers, Jazz, Nuggets, Thunder, Spurs, Mavericks, Trailblazers, Rockets, Suns, or even, dare I say it, the Blake Griffin-led Clippers.

Add 6 because of the addition of rookie DeMarcus Cousins and his massive potential.

Subtract 3 because DeMarcus Cousins may believe a little too much of his own hype.

Add 4 because Jason Thompson and Omri Casspi have to get better.

Subtract 3 because, as hard as it is to believe, Donte Greene may be worse.

Add 3 because the Kings fans are the best fans in the world.

Subtract 8 because a half-full arena with the best fans in the worlds isn't a home-court advantage.

Add 5 because Tyreke Evans figures to take over at least that many games down the stretch.

Subtract 2 because Evans still can't figure out how get his teammates involved on a consistent basis.

Subtract 9 because coach Paul Westphal seems incapable of getting his players to A.) run an unselfish offense and B.) play defense without hacking the other team.

Add 4 because the Maloof Brothers seem like genuinely nice guys.

Subtract 6 because the Maloof Brothers have a sister who agreed to be on Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.

Subtract 4 because Luther Head and Pooh Jeter actually made the team.

Add 2 because Carl Landry and Samuel Dalembert give the team some veteran leadership.

Subtract 6 because both will probably be traded by the All-Star break.

There it is.  The numbers have been checked and cross-checked by professors at MIT.  The final tally is in.  Kings fans probably won't like it, but math doesn't lie.  The Kings will win:

Friday, October 22, 2010

Stern ain't bullish on Sacramento... but here's my solution to the arena problem

According to news reports, NBA commissioner David Stern's 
optimism for a new arena in Sacramento has "faded completely."

What does this exactly mean?

Well, if the commish is bringing the dark clouds, that's a very ominous sign.  

It probably means that we won't have the Kings next season.

And there's no reason to think otherwise.  There's not a single viable plan on the table right now.

What would I do?

Here's my emergency arena plan:

1. Build the new arena in Natomas.  Forget the downtown plan.  It's too complex and costly.  The land is already there in Natomas.  So is the parking.  So is the infrastructure.  And you don't need a slew of environmental reports.

2. Finance the arena with a 5-5-5 plan.  A $5 ticket surcharge on every ticket to every event for the next 20 years.  If you average 125 events and 16,000 tickets, that's $10 million a year and $200 million over 20 years.   With a modern arena with a capacity of 20,000 or more, that should be a semi-reasonable number to hit.  And with this plan, the only people getting taxed are the people using the arena.   Add $5 million a year in rent from the Maloofs and another $5 million a year in naming and endorsement rights (including luxury box pre-sales) and you've got another $200 million.  That's $400 million and should be more than enough dough since you don't need to buy land and build off-ramps and parking structures.

(This just in: After some research, I discovered Edmonton is considering this exact surcharge idea... READ IT.)

3. Partner with a major entertainment company to build a sports-themed entertainment complex on site.  A sort of theme park/restaurant/retail combo.  Maybe build a year-round venue for extreme sports. 

4.  Pass a series of tax breaks for companies that want to build and invest in the new site, helping to bring a stimulus to the local construction economy.

There you go.  Done deal.

I've saved the team.  Maybe even the world.

 I need a nap

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Tyreke Evans has plantar fasciitis? Why was he playing 40 minutes in a preseason game?

Okay, you play the coach of the Kings...

Go back two nights.  You are one week from regular season.

A good start in the first month may make or break the team's future in Sacramento.

You find out your best player is suffering from plantar fasciitis, a painful inflammation of the heel.

You also know the best treatment is rest.

You are playing the Clippers in a meaningless preseason game.

What do you do?

Well, if you're Paul Westphal, you play the injured Tyreke Evans for 40 minutes.

Yup, that's right.  Forty minutes in a preseason games against the Clippers.

Was it a smart move?

You decide.

Oh, and as a public service, we provide you with an article dealing with the latest new technology to deal with the problem.


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A vote for Casspi

Sometimes it's very revealing to look at the plus-minus stats in the boxscore.  This stat shows the point differential while a player was on the court.

From last night's slim victory over the Clippers:

Donte Greene: -13
Omri Casspi: +17

That's a huge disparity.

Greene was recently handed the starting job but there's no real reason why the job shouldn't belong to Casspi.   Although a bit selfish, Casspi works harder, shoots better, and brings an attitude.

 Here's one vote for a modification to the starting five.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Secret Memo Revealed: Top 10 Rejected Slogans for Kings

Another preseason game, another up-and-down effort.  The King looked both dreadful and energized during Tuesday night's game against the Clippers.  Using their starters until the bitter end, the Kings needed an all-out effort in the final minutes against the Clippers' second stringers to gain the win.

Once again, Tyreke Evans provided the heroics.

Still, you have to wonder just how good or bad the Kings are going to be this season.  The Maloofs had to hope the preseason would bring more buzz for the team.

With only one game remaining before the regular season, the Kings might need to re-think this whole "Here We Rise" campaign.  So what were the other options?

We were lucky enough to receive a secret email containing the top 10 rejected slogans.  As a public service, we offer them for your perusal...

1.  We'll Stink Less.

2.  Buy Us an Arena and Then We'll Talk.

3.  These Aren't The Good Old Days.

4.  Winning Is Not As Important As You Think.

5.  Buy One Luxury Box, Get One Free.

6.  We'll Win The Race -- Especially if Tyreke is Driving.

7.  Eight Seed or Bust.

8.  It Could Be Worse.  We Could Be The Timberwolves.

9. Don't Make Us Beg.

10.  Please come -- or we're gone!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Does Tyreke Evans have bad balance? His ankles say maybe yes

Why do some people have chronic ankle injuries?

That's a question that Kings' guard Tyreke Evans would love answered.

Well, according to the New York Times. researchers says bad balance is the reason.  And that a simple set of exercises can help prevent future injuries.

Now on the face of it, the thought of Tyreke having bad balance seems odd, but has anyone ever seen Tyreke on a surf board?

Read this, Tyreke.  Then send me a check.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Donte Greene wins, er, handed small forward spot

Donte Greene is the Kings' starting small forward.

Nobody else had a chance.

Guy was lights out.   Earned it.

Of course, I should have been given a shot, based on the criteria used by Paul Westphal to make his decision.  I've put on a few pounds lately and I've shown little or no ability to hit an outside shot.  But I can defend Shaq.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Injuries and the Doomsday Scenario (don't read if you have a queasy stomach)

The injury bug is not just bothersome...

It could spell doom for the franchise in Sacramento.

Follow this disaster scenario...

Without Samuel Dalembert to add depth and provide quality minutes, DeMarcus Cousins struggles mightily.

Nagging injuries to Tyreke Evans and Beno Udrih linger until December.
They get out of the gate by losing eight of their first 10 games.

The early losing dampens the hope of the Kings fans. 

Arco Arena is soon half full and there is no buzz in town.

A deal for a new arena is virtually dead.

Geoff Petrie's hands are tied and he can't make a trade to turn the team's fortunes.

The Maloofs begin to ponder their options.

The midseason deadline for relocation approaches fast...

What happens then?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Cousins needs a crash course in defense - fast

Look, we all know that DeMarcus fella has offensive skills.  He can post, dish, even hit the three.

But the Kings better hope he learns to play position defense very quickly or he is going to be a very annoyed young man come the middle of November.

Cousins has looked hopelessly lost on defense in his short NBA career, picking up foul after foul after foul.   The referees don't figure to get much kinder once the regular season comes around.

Now this wouldn't be too big a deal except for one very important fact:

On Tuesday night, the Kings announced that they had lost their biggest offseason acquisition -- center Samuel Dalembert -- for 4-6 weeks with a left abductor strain.  I'd tell you what a left abductor strain is, but I'm too lazy to Google it.

So where does this leave the Kings and their high hopes for rejuvenation?

In a bit of a pickle.  A sour pickle.

Cousins is not ready to play 35 minutes a night in the NBA, no matter how good he has looked in spurts.   And even if he was ready, he can't possibly stay of the floor for that long.  Not with the refs blowing their whistles in his ear every two minutes.

Frustration may set in a little too soon.  And that's not good for a player who needs to get his emotions under control.

The Kings are going to have to tap-dance, ad-lib, and pray if they hope to get through the first couple of months of the season and make that big leap back to respectability.

For now, it's time for DeMarcus to work on three things.

Defense.  Defense.  Defense.

Excuse me, it's time for me to go Google.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Donte Greene named top sideline cheerleader

The accolades have begun to role in for the Kings.  And this one is a biggie.

Forward Donte Greene has been named Top Sideline Cheerleader in the NBA.  This is huge.  An award like this come around once in a century.   And for the Kings, it's a game changer.

This past Thursday, Greene's sideline cheering antics were on full display before the team's preseason game with the Clippers.  He danced and hugged every teammate.  He fist-bumped every person on press row.  It was impressive.

Greene's added weight gave him even more of a presence.  He moved fluidly from teammate to teammate.  He never fumbled a gregarious slap.  He smiled and laughed with the skill of a veteran twice his age.

Yes, the offseason has been kind to Greene.  His cheerleading skills have exploded.  Remember Mark Madsen on the Lakers' bench?  Stinkin' piker compared to Donte.

Of course, most players would be frustrated, angry and downright surly about seemingly being shuffled to the back of he pack in the race for a starting role.   And maybe he is.   But Donte ain't showing it.  In fact, he's acting like it's not bothering him a bit.

So now Greene is being rightly rewarded.  The AWP doesn't bestow this award on just anyone. You have to earn it.  And when I got the call from the Association for Wasted Potential, I knew it was a once-in-lifetime scoop.

Congrats, Donte.

We expect to see lots more of you on the bench this season.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Preseason Game Live Report: The Kings don't like to share

I witnessed the Kings live for the first time this year on Thursday night.

I think I have retinal damage.  My eyes are still burning.  It was that ugly to watch.

You see, the Kings have a problem.  It was evident last year and it's starting to become evident again.

The do not like to share the ball.  They do not play well with others -- others notably being their teammates.

This was in clear evidence in Thursday night's preseason car wreck against the Clippers.

Take the second quarter...

For an 11-minute stretch, I kept track of every possession, the number of passes made by Kings players,  and the result.

Here's how it broke down:

Zero passes.  Four possessions.  Result: One basket, One drawn foul, One turnover, One missed basket.

One pass.  Eight possessions. Result: Five Turnovers, Two misses, One drawn foul.

Two passes. Eight possessions. Result: Three misses, Two turnovers, Two drawn fouls, One basket.

Three passes.  One possession.  Result: One miss.

Four passes.  Four possessions.  Two misses, Two drawn fouls.

That was it in 11 minutes.  Of a grand total of 25 possessions, the team passed twice or less 20 times.

Now, part of the blame has to rest with coach Paul Westphal.  The offense is stagnant.  There is almost no player movement and almost no reversing of the ball.  There seems to be virtually no improvement from last year's lethargic offensive sets.  There are very few sharp cuts to the hoop, almost nothing in the way of smooth, crisp passing.

But perhaps the players must take the brunt of the blame.  Almost all of them would rather fire up a shot than dish for an assist.

Let's go down the list:

Tyreke Evans: Okay, this guy probably doesn't need to look for anyone else because he can simply take it to the hoop most every time he desires.  Still, he only looks for teammates as a last resort.  And that's not good for keeping his teammates happy and hearty.

Jason Thomspon:  Not sure he actually knows how to pass.

Omri Casspi:  Once passed the ball during a pickup game in East Jerusalem, but he hasn't since.  Just refuses to pass.   Plays with an odd chip on his shoulder.

DeMarcus Cousins:  He can pass, but he likes to score more.  And his impatience is not a virtue.  You can see the frustration in his body language when things don't go his way -- and that means more forces to the basket and fewer passes.

Carl Landry:  He has averaged 0.7 assists for his career.  Nuff said.

Donte Greene:  He occasionally passes, but I'm just not sure he knows where it's going.

Francisco Garcia:  A savvy veteran but never a guy who was much of a set-up man for teammates.

Beno Udrih:  Ding, ding, ding -- a guy who can actually pass.  He missed Thursday night's game with an injury, but the Kings may not realize how much they need this guy on the court.

So there you have it.   Yes, it's only preseason and, yes, this team should get more cohesive.  But there doesn't seem to be a well-rooted philosophy of sharing the ball.

And that could be a big problem if this team really wants to take the next step.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Video: Beno Udrih guarantees a playoff spot for Kings (with plenty of prodding)

Let's face it.   Nobody is gonna compare Beno Udrih to Joe Namath, but when I badgered the Kings guard about whether he was willing to guarantee a playoff spot for Sacramento this year, he came through.

So have a look as Beno plays "Stud or Cop-Out"

Sure thing: Kings win NBA title

Okay, let's get all carried away after one trivial, meaningless, preseason game.

This team is unstoppable.

A force underneath.

Great talent at every position.

We are the champions of the world.

Then again... maybe not.  

I'm gonna wait until the second preseason game before I take a flying leap onto the bandwagon.

I'm gonna wait to see if anyone can hit a deep three beyond Marcus Landry.  Marcus Landry?

I'm gonna wait and see if Donte Greene has regressed again or if he's mature enough to step up and finally produce consistently.

I'm gonna wait and see if Omri Casspi can take a deep breath and become a team player.

I'm gonna wait and see if Samuel Dalembert has anything left in his tank.

I'm gonna wait and see if Jason Thompson can make it through a game without the histrionics.

But let me tell you.  If they all produce Thursday, I'm buying playoff tickets.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Video: Donte Greene talks his future, guarding Kobe, and bad teammate dancers

Donte Greene figures to play a big role for the Kings this season.  We put him to an early test by quizzing him in a game of "Stud or Cop-Out."

He talks about where he expects to be in three years in the NBA, playing defense against Kobe, and bad dancing teammates.


Friday, October 1, 2010

Video: DeMarcus Cousins vows revenge (in a fun kinda way)

Kings rookie center DeMarcus Cousins may actually end up being a futue media darling. 

Yes, he usually sports a surly look and he's tough to crack, but he's got something.  Call it charisma.  Call it an odd type of charm.  There's something there if you can get him to open up a bit.

Mr. Cousins played a little "Stud or Cop-Out" with Kings Talking Points.  Watch for the very end of the video.  You get a real glimpse of his playful side and what he may become off the court.

Will he become like the jovial and sometimes controversial Charles Barkley?  You never know.