Discussion in 'Kings Rap' started by Capt. Factorial, Nov 27, 2017.
Now, I know Willie and Bogdan might not have had the greatest game, but be kind on them, folks...
Anything lower than an A+++++ for both is blasphemy...
I initially compared Frank Mason to Jameer Nelson but he's actually way quicker than Nelson ever was. Definitely has striking similarities to IT. Don't think he can ever reach the heights IT has but he looks damn good for a rook who just recently cracked the rotation.
Hey now, be nice.....
Regarding your point though... I do see similarities to IT however there are key differences. Mason is more of a tank, but not quite the shooter. Mason also appears to be a better defender and not a complete sieve. Yes, he may never put up the PPG that Thomas does, but that doesn't mean he can't be as effective taking defense and rebounding into the equation.
Frank also shares the rock!
Mason runs the team really well. Bogdan adds some magic. Willie is the high flyer. All three get A's tonight Garrett played really good D on Klay all night long, another A.
We have no way of knowing how high Mason can go. Is there any reason to think he has peaked already?
I get the comparisons to IT, and there are some similarities. But here's two places where there is NO similarity: Mason plays tough defense and Mason is a willing passer.
Joerger earns an A for his end of game rotations. Stuck with Mason, Bogs and Willie, who were all rolling.
I think some draft gurus underestimated Frank's athleticism. He's built like a tank, but he has no problems shifting his body after the first step. You actually see some explosion when he goes up too. With Mason, I wasn't sure if he could consistently finish at the rim. It's still up in the air, but he's showing that he has no problem getting there. I also questioned his PG skills, but he's showing that it's there.
Sample size is too small, but he's played great.
In Vlade, We Trust.
Starting to see the talent shine through folks and an ever so slight inkling of what could be a playoff team down the line.
Bogdan is such a nice fit next to Fox and Mason. Great as a secondary playmaker/ball-handler, very unselfish, can space the floor,constantly makes high level plays. He's the best passer on the team right now.
Willie is just #good right now, on both ends of the court. He's been revitalized as a rim runner and its not really him doing anything all that special; it's like he finally realized he's probably the most athletic/quick 7'0 in the NBA and is just forcing defenders to try and slow him down when he attacks the rim. He's not overthinking it on the offensive either; gets the ball and makes his move. He's been unreal the last 5 games:
Thats legit all-star caliber play folks. Very few bigs in the NBA are capable of putting up those numbers. Lets hope he keeps it up.
Wow! Amazing how much better the environment is on here after the Kings have put together a nice little 6 game stretch. That’s all I have to say about that. I haven’t got to watch last night’s game yet, 5:00 AM wake up calls come pretty early here in the Eastern Time zone, so I have to DVR late games and watch them the next day. But I did wake up a few times and check in with game tracker, the last time with Kings up by 2 with 2 seconds left on the clock (by game tracker). OMG! They are going to win it, and they did! Can’t wait to get home this evening and watch the game.
Been taking a “sabbatical” from this site for the last several games because of all the negativity (probably the last 6, hmmmmm, is that a coincidence that they played better during those games?). But I haven’t missed watching a game, even watched some live.
Been a lot of positives during the last 6 games. Some observations:
Frank Mason is a very mature player and may be the best PG on the team right now. Yeah, he had kind of a bad game against the Clippers, but – Rookie, to be expected. I believe he can truly play in the NBA, maybe not as a starter (don’t rule that out), but certainly as a key guy off the bench.
I really like Bogdanovic, he’s a ball player. He’s not the fastest or quickest, but he is fundamentally sound. He is a proven shooter, and even though he may not have shot as well as we would have liked, yet, he doesn’t take very many bad shots. His passing and ball movement skills are excellent. He looks to have a very high BB IQ.
Willie is starting to show why he was a #6 pick. The skills and athleticism are there. A lot of it is mental, getting motivated, but some of the lack of motivation might be letting how poorly the team has played at times affect him. Bogs and Mason have really “freed Willie” with the P&R, but that has been there a lot of games, just not executed well by Hill or Fox. Defensively, the team defense has been terrible at times and I think Willie has let that affect his effort. When you keep getting hung out to dry, it can diminish your motivation (if you let it get to you). Willie needs to work through those issues and give his best effort no matter how poorly his team mates are performing. However, Willie is who he is, and motivation may continue to be a problem sometimes and is something I think the coaching staff and team mates can help him with. There are things that they can do to make sure he is properly motivated. He is a good guy and wants to perform well and be a good team mate, they can encourage him to meet those goals. Everybody says he is a 3rd year player, like he has been starting and getting a lot of minutes the whole 3 years (really 2 years and 20 games), but really, I don’t think Willie’s NBA career started until after the DMC trade, basically the last 25 games of last year. So, in some ways, he is almost like a rookie, too, at the very least an inexperienced young player.
I can see the potential in Skal, but he still has a way to go. I think a lot of people fall in love with the beautiful shot he has, but ignore some of his other short comings. But I am very high on him. Been some complaints about his minutes, but I think Joerger is bringing him along just fine. Somebody made the comment that at times he looks like a lost puppy out there and I would have to agree with that, but I am starting to see gradual improvement.
Fox has a very high ceiling, but he has to develop a consistent jump shot. I know he is working on it and we probably won’t see a whole lot of improvement until next year. His performance has been down a little bit in the last few games, but that is to be expected (rookie), scouting reports are out there, now. Plus, he is 19 years old, has played in 20 games in a little more than a month, which is about 2/3 of a college schedule, and he might be wearing down just a little bit. It takes time to adjust to the NBA schedule. As for his PG skills, I believe he can learn more from Mason and even Bogdanovic than Hill about running an offense.
Buddy has started to show the outstanding shooting skills (although streaky) that he was traded for. He has shown to be an excellent rebounding guard. He has also shown significant improvement in his defense. Obviously, he has been working hard on it.
I believe the Kings have a very bright future with this core of young guys. But there will be some more bad stretches of games. King’s fans are going to need patience. Hopefully, as time goes on, the bad stretches will be shorter and fewer, and the good stretches will be longer and more often. I still think the team is a couple years away from being truly competitive and a lot will depend on drafts and possible trades and free agent signings.
WCS - A - Ever since people started complaining about his wannabe Porzingis like offense, he's suddenly turned into the guy we all thought he could be. Catching lobs and just taking high percentage shots in general. I feel like he used to shoot more elbow jumpers per game than he has in the last 5 games total. Not only was he on the receiving end but he was also dishing them out himself. Add in a couple of monster blocks and it's an easy A for WCS.
Bogie - A - This was really a B game for Bogie but making the game winning shot on a 1 on 1 drive against Draymond and sinking two clutch free throws bumps this one up to an A.
Mason - A - I like to grade based on the players current abilities so if we are 50 games into the season and Frank is still playing this well, this grade may drop a tiny bit but for now with the way Frank has been playing, this is an easy A for him. I've been advocating this guy to shoot the 3 more often all season and he's up to 53%(!!!) from 3. He also got in the paint and disrupted the defense when we needed it most late in the game. Had a beautiful reverse layup just barely roll out near the end of the game that would have been sweet as hell. Great game for the "Bulldog".
Hill - B+ - He didn't run the offense very well at all but he hit his shots all night long. Also played his usual solid defense which happened to be against much bigger players last night. This guy is as deadly as any Kings player has been from 3 so I hope he just keeps shooting them.
Temple - B+ - Finally got his stroke back and played his usual pesky defense. He did a lot of good and some bad in this game but overall this was a very positive game for a vet like Temple. Got fouled by Casspi on a 3 that kept us in the game late when it was looking like the Kings were just on the edge of possibly folding.
Carter - B+ - For the old man, this was about as good as he could play. After a forgettable first half, Carter came to play in the second. Using his vet savviness on both offense and defense as well as giving us all a couple of Vinsanity moments on a beautiful layup and breakaway dunk. After he was pulled in the 4th, you could see him on the bench covered head to toe in ice.
Fox - B - I'd rather this game be a C- for Fox but with the way he's been playing lately, it's a B. Gave us a little of everything, showed a couple of really nice passes but never really put a stamp on the game the way Mason did. Played excellent on man defense as he normally does but got caught behind some screens at other moments. All in all he's been making some steady improvements so hopefully he keeps it up.
ZBo - B- - Was a little "chucky" last night but overall had a ZBo like game. Scored tough inside, dropped a few nice passes and got torched on defense by anyone under 280lbs.
Skal - B- - Continues to kind of be in the dog house whether he plays well or not. Came out and scored pretty well against Draymond. Made his usual mistakes but I thought he played well overall which was encouraging. Made it known that he did not want Zaza to score at all by blocking a couple of his shots and just barely getting a goal tending call on another. I like when he's active like that and wish he could gave been in the game when Jordan Bell went a little crazy on us in the few minutes he played.
Hield - C - Didn't get a chance to shine after his huge game the other night. Seemed like his ankle was bugging him a bit in the second half so his minutes were cut short.
Koufos - Inc - Offense never got going but he played his usual solid defense. Didn't get a ton of minutes with the Warriors going small.
Joerger - B+ - They've been playing less high post ball, more PnR and have upped the pace a bit lately. He's been letting Bogie and Mason create more. Now he just needs to figure out how to wake up Hill's play making abilities and get Fox out of his funk. I've been on his you know what most the season but I feel like his in game coaching has been better for the last week or so. Also since the offense has gone away from the high post a little more, the guards shooting percentages have gone up quite a bit. I think Hill was the only one over 40% a week or so ago and now there's a handful of guys that are over and still climbing.
Also playing spectacular defense. Defensively this is the Willie we drafted, able to switch 1-5, freakishly quick, protecting rim. Can't wait to see how he and Harry Giles look like together. Giles also moves very well, very long and has great hands. Should be deflection city.
Frank has really active feet on defense. I think that combined with his strength is going to allow him to be pretty solid on defense despite his height.
Willie looks way, way tougher this year. I mean, you're not going to confuse him with Ronald World Peace, but he's banging a lot more and a lot harder. Now this is coming from someone who thought he made Andrea Bargnani look like Ben Wallace so the bar is pretty low, but it's pretty night and day.
Uh oh only 3 games behind the 8th seed
The Grizzlies, Clippers, and Thunder all pooing themselves suddenly makes the bottom half of the west a wide open race. The Jazz have almost as many issues as we do on offense and their defensive centerpiece is probably out until Christmas. The Clippers are a mediocre team at best and now possibly without Blake for an extended period are probably now just bad. And the Thunder superteam is looking more like the horrific Dwight/Kobe/Nash superteam than 2017 Warriors at the moment. Heck, the Nuggets have been perturbing at times and the big man supernova in NOLA is at constant risk of being torpedoed by the worst/weirdest supporting cast in the league.
If there ever was a year to make a random blind spirit for the 8th slot, it would probably be this season. (Not that I recommend it.) Let the Lakers or Suns try to sneak into the playoffs while we further stuff our pockets with one more high lotto pick (Ayton/Doncic/Bagley/Porter) to make a more sustained run at success next year and beyond.
WCS - A
Mason - A
Bogdan - A
Carter - A-
Zbo - B-
Hill - B
Skal - B-
Temple - B
Fox - B
Hield - C+
Excuse me but if you don't think Isaiah is a willing passer you don't know what you are talking about.
Isaiah is brilliant at drawing in the defense and kicking to the open man. This was part of what was infuriating about him leaving us.
The failed GM failed to recognize his gravity, that is, his ability to tilt the floor to him and demand attention to the benefit of teammates.
There is NO doubt the guy likes (loves) to get his, and that is because he is damn near unstoppable.
Yet his scoring efficiency justifies the frequency of his shot attempts.
If Isaiah was NOT 57% TS over his career (until his blistering 62% TS last year, posting one of the BEST offensive seasons EVER for a PG) perhaps you could draw the reasonable conclusion the guy is too ball dominant and needs more of sharing-is-caring mindset.
The fact is Isaiah has been remarkably consistent as scorer while finding his teammates in a fairly optimal ratio. He has improved from his days as Kings.
His assist rate with the Celtics was 33% (from around 25% his first few years). For a Top 20 scorer, this is a spectacular.
Ball hogs don't post a 33% assist rate. So let's just put this nonsense aside implying that Isaiah is an unwilling passer.
I am still a HUGE fan of his, cannot wait for his return to the Cavs, see him team up with LeBron and wreck havoc on the NBA and destroy the Warriors in the NBA Finals like we DESTROYED them last night.
There's one more important point on this:
When you are only 5'9" like Mason or IT or DSJ (6'0) you don't have the same passing angles as a guy like De'Aaron Fox or John Wall or even Lonzo Bust. These latter guys can see over the top and make passes the little PGs cannot always make. Therefore it is NOT a lack of willingness it is a matter of feasibility.
Now onto the comparison to Mason.
When I was scouting Mason, the first thing I thought was Isaiah. The difference in my mind was (and is) Mason stronger, Isaiah faster. But both guys can go into the teeth of the defense and bounce off. They can create separation through their lower center of gravity to turn the corner. They can get where they want to go when they want to go there.
This aforementioned quality is why I was ripping on Lonzo Bust and one of the reasons he projects no better than Austin Rivers level. (They were guarding each other last night and it was not shocking to me the similarity in their physique and playing mannerisms). To be a star PG you have to be able to go in among the tall timber with fearless abandon, take the contact, shoot with touch, drop off or lob up to teammates. Isaiah AND Frank both possess these glowing attributes. Lonzo Bust does not.
Frank may be the better perimeter shooter than Isaiah. Isaiah is money when he gets hot. Frank with 50% from the arc at Kansas, and 53% so far with us (9-17 ) seems like he is always hot.
De'Aaron had bit of a bounce back game after his struggles vs the Clippers despite his modest numbers (6-4-4-2) and sideline view in the crunch. He was getting penetration and dropping off or kicking at. As he develops I expect he will be doing this non-stop and causing migraines to the opponent. One difference between Fox and Mason (and Isaiah) is that in addition to the blazing speed, Fox has sight angles that will allow him to make passes these guys cannot make.
The Kings point differential after last nights dominant performance is down to -10.4 from -13.8 less than two weeks back. Incremental progress, baby! We will be under 10 points with a strong game tonight.
As I stated at the time, the Blazer win after the 46-point debacle was the potential inflection point for this team, with extreme adversity guiding the proper path forward, precipitating the new backcourt, the move of Willie to the bench with Koufos and Boggy, and the emergence of Frank.
They say change occurs when the pain of remaining the same exceeds the pain of change. Well, the pain induced by the loss in Atlanta was precursor to the necessary change this team needed. Since then we are 3-3 following our 3-11 start with a point differential commensurate with a 65-70 loss season. The team is showing positive signs. I think Vlade will be getting a better nights sleep than insomnia inducing play earlier in the month .
Winning with 110 points despite only 5 from Buddy Buckets is a good sign. That is a Spurs-esque.
Joerger limited Buddy minutes to only 15 because he needed his best defender on Klay and it worked. Temple got 30 minutes to chase and harass him. It took Klay 20 shots to get 21 points and keeping him put of his groove precipitated his miss in the closing seconds to give the Warriors the lead.
The other two guys I want to mention are Boggy and Willie:
Willie is finally doing what I frankly thought he would NEVER do. And that is he is holding his position in the key with enough force and presence to make plays. He is staking his territory! He is saying I belong here! I belong in the league!
If you are going to swat Draymond when he drives the lane (as he did) or catch the lob or roll and rise and slam (as he did) you have to be strong in the prime real estate. And this is what Willie is finally doing. He is not budging and ceding ground as readily.
How much of this as to do with increased strength, maturity, experience, improved mindset, or teammates that look to get him involved with easy set-ups is a matter of debate, but ultimately irrelevant. What matters is that it is occurring, better late than never!
I have given Willie a hard time in contrast to Myles Turner, since they came in the same draft class, but another who bears contrast is Nerlens Noel, a former Kentucky product too, and former 6th pick too, who if memory serves turned DOWN the Mavs 4 year 70 million offer and signed the QO instead to become an UFA. He may be regretting that!
Noel is 8 months younger but been in the league longer due to one-and-done and KU versus Willie's three collegiate seasons. Willie and Noel project as similar type players, high risers, opportunistic scorers, capable defenders. Right now their respective seasons are on divergent paths with Noel getting DNP-CDs. Noel has been benched while Willie makes incremental progress.
The point is the broader perspective is warranted to draw make more objective assessments.
Thank you Omri for fouling the three point shooter (Temple) to enable us to get the 4 point possession when were down 4 points with 2:00.
Thank you Boggy for calmly eviscerating the DPOY on the final play!
Draymond thought he had him sized up.
But you cannot size up the Leader of the Horde. He is sizing up you!
DPOY got sized up and dressed down and left flailing at air and the Trophy Police are coming to seize your property!
Mason has alot of Bobby J in him... incredible gem in the draft
And I think that all true Kings fans (like most, if not all, on Kingsfans.com) completely understand that. It's the dudes and dudettes on the outside who seem to want to push the "panic button" for us, because we have so much faith in the current core. So much faith that they fail to realize that our faith lies not in our present, but rather in our future. The media is always way too darn quick to paint negativity on a fan base because that fan base is excited, that fan base shows signs of faith, that fan base supports their current roster 100%. What the media fails to understand is, that while that fan base does display all of the above, it's because of what the fan base sees in the foreseeable future that drives the excitement, the faith, and the support. We, the TRUE Sacramento Kings fans, know that all this is doing for us is setting us up for the future. We are not in a WIN NOW mentality. We are in a REBUILDING state. Only we truly know that. The outsiders are just living a pipe dream...
Mason can also shoot the three better right now than Isaiah could at any point in his career.
The good thing is the way the league is going, you can't have too many outstanding point guards.
The Kings have 4 really good guards right now. This was Frank Mason's coming out party. He played like the player of the year, finally. Bogdan is starting to play with that eastern Euro toughness. His take of Green at the end was unbelievable. You can see them starting to care about each other and play like a team. Some great passes by Bogdan. Hill is much improved on offense playing the 2. Fox strikes fear into the opposition. This is a huge bright spot.
Willie made the Warriors pay for going small. He gets off the floor like a mad man. The rebounding and defense are better.
The Kings offense is waking up in a big way. Their defense has stepped up two notches and their rebounding at least one.
There was a lot to like last night, and if they can do it to GS in Oakland, they can do it to anyone Confidence is building by the week.
Kings have won 67% of games where WCS scored 19 or above. Just sayin'.
Nice to see the cocky Warriors think they could just coast past the Kings at home and get beat. It really makes you realize that without Durant and Curry the W's are looking a little light on talent.
Willie was also able to show that he can hang defensively with teams when they go small. Beautiful thing to see!
Also, I was really isolating my focus on Bogdan without the ball. He's much stronger than I think people believe. There was one rebound on a free throw where he just walked Draymond under the hoop. Then there was another play where he got posted up by someone, I can't remember who, but it was a bigger player and he didn't budge. I think Vlade's right, they can run some of the same switches with him because he can handle some PF's in the post.
I have to thank everyone for keeping up with the Kings and sharing your thoughts and everything. I just moved out of the area/state and haven't been able to watch anything but the highlights and box scores. It's nice to read some details and get some sort of Kings fix. Thanks guys and gals!
Glorious game. I will claim my props now for stating we would win.
Every warrior fan within earshot of me at the game knows who Frank Mason is if they didn't before.
Team basketball was alive and well.
We have a solid squad with lots of good pieces. Nab/develop a star and we are set
This game illustrates for me how good of a job Vlade Divac has done in filling the roster with NBA Talent. I believe there are now 10 legitimate NBA players on our roster. For several seasons I have not been able to say that. That was part of the reason I thought Mike Malone was such a good coach is that because just a few seasons removed from his tenure, a majority of the players on that roster are not even in the league anymore!
I think this season has shown Vlade that he can now focus on trying to find a future superstar in the draft or offseason, as opposed to simply getting a roster with actual NBA players. Having so many young guys with legitimate talent creates opportunities for trades, motivation to play hard or lose your spot, and competitive practices.
It is hard to improve as a team when at practice you have Jason Thompson vs. Ryan Hollins and Ben McLemore vs. Ray McCallum. Now we have matchups like Frank vs. Fox and Bogdan vs. Buddy pushing each other So, kudos to Vlade Divac