[Grades] Grades: Kings @ Mavericks, 10/20/17

Discussion in 'Kings Rap' started by Tetsujin, Oct 20, 2017.

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Favorite moment of the home opener:

Poll closed Oct 22, 2017.
  1. Lil Jon

    3 vote(s)
    15.8%
  2. The refs flubbing another call

    13 vote(s)
    68.4%
  3. Accidentally paying for international league pass three times

    3 vote(s)
    15.8%
  1. Tetsujin

    Tetsujin The Game Thread Dude

    Grit and grind is dead, you say? Not so, respond the 2017-2018 Sacramento Kings.

    It wasn't pretty but the win is in the books and this team had already looked better than I thought it would this season.

    Justin Jackson (C-) -- 17 min, 2 pt, 4 rb, 0 ast, 0 stl, 0 blk, 1 tov, 1 pf
    At this point in his very young NBA career, Justin Jackson isn't being asked to do much in his time on the court. As the fifth option on offense, he's had minimal opportunity to make a play. When he does get the ball, Jackson looks comfortable and he's got a smoothness of movement on the floor. He certainly makes an effort on defense though on the few possessions where he was matched up on Harrison Barnes, the vet got the better of the rook. He did at least pull in a few boards in his time though.

    Zach Randolph (C) -- 30 min, 13 pt, 6 rb, 1 ast, 2 stl, 0 blk, 1 tov, 1 pf
    Welcome to Sacramento, Z-Bo! Or should I say 3-Bo, because Randolph's apparently a stretch big now. Now, while Zach Randolph's Kings debut was a bit of a mixed bag, I thought I'd start with the bad and work back from there. The worst thing about Z-Bo's game was probably something largely out of his control, that being the sudden emphasis on throwing the ball into Randolph in the post and letting him grind out ten seconds of the clock before something happened. Now, this is a play structure that pretty much defined most of the classic Memphis Grit'n'Grind style and, considering the coach and personnel on this team, I can understand why this happened against the Mavericks, which doesn't make me like it or anything. While Z-Bo certainly has a pedigree deserving of all the touches he got, he didn't really do all that much with them and aside from a good possession or two in the fourth quarter didn't really yield all that much production.
    On the positive side, Randolph knows Joerger's schemes on both sides of the court, allowing him to read and react better than you'd expect a 36-year-old big man with little natural athletic ability to be able to. On defense, he held his own and had active hands, though he had trouble staying in front of "power forward" Harrison Barnes. Z-Bo's inability to match-up with this new quicker breed of stretch-fours is something to keep an eye on going forward. Either way, I don't think Z-Bo's debut was anywhere as bad as some people seem to be thinking.

    Willie Caulie-Stein (B-) -- 26 min, 10 pt, 11 rb, 1 ast, 0 stl, 1 blk, 0 tov, 5 pf
    Could it be? Has Willie finally started to "get it"? After a preseason that caused portions of the Kings fanbase to give up on him, Willie has pieced together two good, encouraging performances to start the actual season. While Willie still has a tendency to watch the ball as opposed to his man, leaving him open for the easy lob, he's been active and involved on defense, his length and agility key to the team's good defensive start to the season.
    On offense, Trill has developed a semi-dependable midrange shot, which can be a complete game changer in his development and ceiling as a player. Forcing his defender to guard that shot opens space to drive to the rim for Willie and, as we saw on several possessions in this game, his sheer athleticism is hard to stop on the drive. Even more encouraging, Willie has battled on the boards, nabbing quite a few offensive rebounds and extending possessions for a team that'll never be confused for an efficient offensive squad.
    More of these performances please.

    Buddy Hield (C) -- 27 min, 13 pt, 6 rb, 3 ast, 0 stl, 0 blk, 1 tov, 1 pf
    Well that was good. While certainly not as hot and cold as his last performance, Buddy still put up another solid scoring guard performance, whilst also providing more rebounding (seriously, how awful were the Mavs at boxing out?) and a couple of nice assists. Obviously, people are going to be talking about that game saving offensive board but I was more impressed by Buddy continuing to buy in on the defensive end more than anything. I know it was just poor old broken Wes Matthews but Buddy still did his part in smothering the Mavs for most of the night.

    George Hill (B+) -- 31 min, 21 pt, 5 rb, 2 ast, 2 stl, 0 blk, 5 tov, 1 pf
    George Hill is probably never going to impress you. No, his talents and production are almost more of a slow burn than anything. Compared to the spectacularly exciting play of De'Aaron Fox, George Hill brings more of a blue collar, workman quality than anything else. But make no mistakes about it, George Hill is very very very good at basketball, not an all-star but on the tier just below it. A nonbeliever may point to the assist-to-turnover ratio and say Hill had a bad night as a point guard but I'd argue that wasn't the case. The turnovers have been a bit of a problem early but George does so much else to minimize the damage that you don't really notice. In crunch time, Hill cranked it up another level, getting us a big play or basket just about whenever we needed it.

    ----
    Garrett Temple (B) -- 28 min, 8 pt, 6 rb, 3 ast, 2 stl, 0 blk, 1 tov, 0 pf
    Garrett did what Garrett does, that is to say, he made smart plays, played great defense, and served as central glue guy 1B to George Hill's 1A. Joerger's shown a willingness to go small this year, going with Garrett, Hill, and Fox with Vince Carter at the 4 spot for spurts in both games and with all three guards being plus defenders and competent other dudes behind them, the FGG alignment has applied all kinds of pressure to unsuspecting backcourts to start the season. Tonight, as an added bonus, Temple didn't force too many things on offense, instead doing the solid role-player thing of taking open threes and getting the ball to the "stars" in positions where they could make plays. I would expect nothing less.

    De'Aaron Fox (B) -- 29 min, 9 pt, 6 rb, 10 ast, 1 stl, 0 blk, 2 tov, 3 pf
    Two games into the De'Aaron Fox experience and the fifth overall pick continues to impress. With Rick Carlislie being an exponentially better defensive coach that Mike "I swear I'm not a ten year old playing 2k for the first time" D'Antoni, Fox wasn't able to get all the way to the rim with ease as much as he was able to against the Rockets (I expect this to continue to be the case as more and more tape on the guy becomes available throughout the year) and opted instead to put his midrange game to use to mixed results. While he made some (probably enough to keep the defense honest), De'Aaron also missed more than his fair share of shots. Much to my surprise, Fox quietly passed for ten assists against the Mavericks, something that I attribute more to his teammates hitting their shots for once as opposed to some flash of playmaking brilliance on the part of De'Aaron. Nevertheless, the fact that he proved himself capable of setting up scoring plays is encouraging in the long run. On defense, De'Aaron looked solid but to be fair he wasn't exactly up against Steph Curry tonight. Onwards onwards, the future is bright.

    Kosta Koufos (C) -- 21 min, 3 pt, 5 rb, 0 ast, 1 stl, 1 blk, 2 tov, 3 pf
    Kosta is who he is. Unspectacular, suffering from male pattern baldness, tall, a good teammate, a solid bench big man. While I get the frustration with him, remember that Kosta is on the team to shore up the backend of the defense and be a workman on the offensive end. Really, anything that we get from the man beyond putbacks on that end should be considered a pleasurable surprise.

    Skal Labissiere (C+) -- 12 min, 8 pt, 5 rb, 0 ast, 0 stl, 1 blk, 1 tov, 1 pf
    Pushed to the bench by Z-Bo's return from mouth surgery, Skal responded with one of the best spurts of action of his young career in the first quarter. After being called for a bajillion travels in the season opener, the Haitian didn't dare give the refs the chance to whistle him again, this time blitzing the Mavericks with a barrage of soft shots from the midrange area. On defense, Skal moved his feet well and even provided some rim protection in that first stint. His second foray into the game was less exciting but he continued to rebound well, which, considering how much of a concern that was in preseason and beyond, is very encouraging. He didn't force things tonight but he wasn't passive and I anticipate him seeing way more time against Denver tonight.

    Vince Carter (C) -- 17 min, 6 pt, 3 rb, 0 ast, 0 stl, 0 blk, o tov, 2 pf
    Another night, another game where Vince Carter had an offensive performance consisting exclusively of threes. To his credit, Vince can make them at a nice clip. On defense, the Mavs don't exactly have many explosive wings to challenge the 40-year-old's aged legs. As with most of the rest of the roster, he knows his role and is completely willing to fulfill it on the defensive end. Nothing spectacular here but just another solid old man game.
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2017
  2. jcassio

    jcassio Well-Known Member

    Vince = C
    WCS = B
    Fox = B-
    Buddy = C (that rebound was enough to move from a C- to a solid C)
    Hill = B+
    JJ = C-
    KK = C (mixed bag)
    Skal = C
    Zach = C
    Temple = B

    Despite all the B's and C's, we won! Horray for being at .500! That's gotta feel good to these guys.
    King Baller likes this.
  3. New Era

    New Era Well-Known Member

    Vince = C+
    WCS = B
    Fox = B
    Buddy = B-
    Hill = A-
    JJ = C-
    KK = D-
    Skal = B
    Zach = C+
    Temple = B
    King Baller likes this.
  4. Vladizzle

    Vladizzle Well-Known Member

    Pretty much agree with this exactly. We just sort of scrapped out a solid defensive win. Nothing wrong with those! Back to back also on the mind and road game, take it any day.
    King Baller and lwc like this.
  5. ESP47

    ESP47 Well-Known Member

    Fox had some bunnies that he couldn't get to land but he played some really good defense on Barea and had 10ast 2TO. Although a handful of those assists were just because his teammates were hitting their shots and less reliant on him making great plays. Either way he showed that he can give the team positive minutes even if his shot isn't falling.

    WCS with another good game. Showed some tenacity on the boards. Scored some buckets and played good defense for the most part.

    Skal gave us points on the board at a time they were hard to come by. Rebounded and played some of the best defense I've seen him play in a Kings uni. Still has trouble rotating in time but he played some pretty good man defense tonight and did a good job of covering mismatches.

    Hield's shot wasn't falling but he had the most important rebound of the game and made a few plays for his teammates. Good to see him not down in the Nick Young category of shots falling or zero impact.

    Jackson - Mateen. At least he boarded better tonight.

    Vets - Hill, obviously the player of the game and our best player when he's on. Randolph was pretty clutch at the end, taking advantage of the mismatch. Carter, just stick to 3's my man. Temple, keep on doing Temple like things. Koufos, not a good game from the big fella but he had some high end defensive plays in the 4th that contributed to the win.
  6. Nokidding

    Nokidding Member

    I think giving Zach a C is a bit low imo, yes he was rusty and if you look at his FG% he was "inefficient' BUT he gave us timely baskets and was causing havoc (throwing guys around on boards giving the team energy) on the inside as well as forcing the Mavericks into at least 2 defensive 3 second violations. His inside play along with the defense of Jackson/Temple (who also took Wes out as well) completely wore down Harrison Barnes who had a shocker. To me Zach's impact goes way beyond the box score he gives the team life anytime he does one of his rumbles.

    Hill was the MVP, Fox was terrific same as Z-Bo in terms of FG% but impact was huge. Good to see WCS back up a massive game with a workman's like game that was nearly 100% mistake free.
  7. Vladizzle

    Vladizzle Well-Known Member

    WCS has been a pleasant surprise, but he needs to watch the damn lobs! Happens all game 2 games in a row. Not all his fault, but I feel like he is athletic enough to try and deflect those..
    Nokidding likes this.
  8. kingdivac

    kingdivac Well-Known Member

    Since I watched most the game:

    Carter = C (his usual 3pters made)
    Cauley-Stein = B (foul trouble lowers grade a third)
    Fox = C+ (FG% poor - missed point blank shots, a horrible defensive non-help with Randolph)
    Hield = B- (Game saving play)
    Hill = A (Game Leader)
    Jackson = C+ (Some Good Rebounds but 2 open missed corner 3s)
    Koufos = C - (Good Block, but defensive mistakes - too much help leaving Nowitzki)
    Labissiere = B- (Some Needed offense)
    Randolph = B- (Poor First Quarter, better 2nd Half)
    Temple = B- (Some Needed 3s, consistent defense)

    Coaching: C (No Mason off the bench on a dry offensive game, no correcting Koufos on repeated defensive mistakes, need to experiment more with various player combinations throughout quarters).

    Team By Quarter:
    First - C-
    Second - C+
    Third - B
    Fourth - C

    Overall - C

    Synopsis:
    Kings escape their own fairly poor performance attributed first to greatly out-rebounding the Mavericks 57-36 and second to a poorer performance by the Mavericks . Wes Matthews went 0-7 (all missed 3s) and JJ Barea 4-14 missing several roll-out layups in a 5pt win. Kings defensive mistakes are correctable. Kings Offense needs more off the ball movement and shooting earlier in the shot clock. Joerger ought to give Mason some floor time for added offense and energy.
  9. dude12

    dude12 Well-Known Member

    Joerger did a good job with his rotation. With a back to back we will see a slightly different rotation since Zbo most likely can't play this much again.
  10. Siranthony

    Siranthony Well-Known Member

    Grades should be better I think. Last year we lose this game. We withstood they're push. That was the best thing I've seen a Kings team do in years. We are winning with defense. Excellent!
  11. ppine

    ppine Well-Known Member

    The Kings' are improving. Rebounding and defense have improved a lot. The intensity was good in the fourth quarter which is new. They gave up a lot fewer layups.

    George Hill can play. Fox is electric. The Kings get a lot of rebounds from their guards and their defense is the best we have had in years. Jackson is probably in over his head, but he is talented and will be playing better 25 games from now. Zach is the guy to set the tone for the big men. He got beat by Barnes a few times, but what do you expect? He did not have quick feet 15 years ago. I love watching him play. Some of the intensity of Zach wears off on Willie which is what we need. Skal played better coming off the bench.

    Maybe the Kings' really are a B- team right now. But they have the right attitude. They play hard and they help each other. I like watching them play. They are solid and are working harder on the defensive end. Watching Fox play defense on Barea in the fourth practically had me jumping out of my seat. The Kings have some great atheletes. Some are too young and some are too old, but they play like they mean it.
  12. ESP47

    ESP47 Well-Known Member

    Great writeup Tetsujin! Great take on Jackson as well. I like how you used the old format too.

    The defensive lineup that had Hill, Fox and Temple had possibly the best perimeter defense I've seen from the Kings in years. It's obviously undersized and can only be used in certain situations but damn was it effective.

    My only gripe with Joerger is that if he's going to run Hill and Fox out there at the same time, let Fox play PG and Hill play SG since he's an elite shooter. Joerger was letting Hill handle the ball with Fox standing in the corner and that obviously doesn't play to the players strengths at all.
    VF21 likes this.
  13. Capt. Factorial

    Capt. Factorial Cantry Member Staff Member Contributor

    Yes, but he'd better be careful or the refs will call traveling.
  14. ockingsfan

    ockingsfan Well-Known Member

    ZBo looked a bit out of shape there. He needs to get into a lot better shape to run with the young guys all year. ;)

    I'm hoping the "good rebounding Willie" sticks around. If WCS can keep an average of 10 rebounds a game, we will be in very good shape at center! I think if he gets a solid stat line in rebounds, his offense will be more consistent.

    D'Arron needs to just concentrate on his mid-range game for now. He can pretty much get to any spot on the floor and if he get that mid-range jumper down, he is going to be deadly.

    I think Fox should perfect his mid-range game first, before he worries about that long range shot. A deadly mid-range game will ultimately open up his long range shot in the future. :)
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2017
  15. Kingster

    Kingster Well-Known Member

    Kayte - her wardrobe this year has been spectacular, especially compared to last year. Got a new wardrobe adviser, Kayte?

    Post-game analysis with Koz, Doug and Ham has been exemplary. I especially like the way they break down the good things that happened during the game, and then the bad things. Keep up the good work!

    Oh, as far as the game is concerned I pretty much agree with the grades above. I like the way Coach is rotating players and having the vets lead the way. Thank goodness for Hill. He's got to continue to stay healthy.
  16. Kingsfan23

    Kingsfan23 Well-Known Member

    Love Randolph’s confidence, speaking that the team could compete with anyone
  17. Russell Pimphustler

    Russell Pimphustler Active Member

    Last year, instead of going down by 12, we would have been down by 20 before we stopped the bleeding. I swear, every game last year we went down by at least 15 in the first quarter and had to fight uphill the rest of the game.
  18. pshn80

    pshn80 Well-Known Member

    Very encouraging play so far from a new yong team. They play motivated and use their youth to good advantage. Also I think they are just beginning to tap not the talent that is there. Tonight’s back-to-back will be another test especially in Denver.

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