KingsFans.com Gameday 2013-2014 Edition Game 4 Sacramento Kings v. Atlanta Hawks By Stephen Tetsu, Kingsfans.com Contributing Non-Piksi That was ugly and not the cute kind of ugly but the “you’re going to be leaving the bar alone no matter how good your game is” kind of ugly. To tell you the truth, I kinda zoned out sometime around the point where it started to look like we’d make a run only to have the Warriors come back and pants us. Well, at least we can at least come out of the night knowing that our jerseys look better than the slop the Warriors were (hopefully) forced to wear. Seriously, I enjoy wearing short sleeves as much as the next guy but there are places they should not be. One such location is the hardwood. I’m writing about the jerseys because the game itself was galdang hard to watch. A night after exerting themselves against a potential top three team, our players were spent and the Warriors were out to redeem themselves after a loss against the same team. Rotations were off, it looked like someone spiked the Gatorade with Ambien, Demarcus Cousins had no answer for Andrew Bogut. Summarily, it looked like 2012 all over again. As such, the sooner we stop talking about this atrocity, the better. Observations will accordingly be shorter than usual. Stat Watch 2013 John Salmons is shooting .227% on the season on over seven attempts per game. Add in his tendency to overdribble and his general lack of size or athleticism at this point in his career and it’s no small wonder we’ve had our struggles. Observations We may have lost but we also may have lost against two of the best teams in the NBA. Both the Clippers and the Warriors have thus far taken the league by storm with a blitz of three pointers and multi-guard line-ups. All this despite both teams having strong talent in their starting frontcourt. The ever-polarizing Jimmer Fredette made his season debut in the closing minutes of Saturday’s debacle and was adequate if not unspectacular which was sadly an improvement on the play of Marcus Thornton on the night. Then again, I’m pretty sure this was against the guys at the end of the Warriors bench and a couple dudes Marc Jackson pulled out of the stands to give his guys a rest. Patrick Patterson must really not want to start because he has done just about as much as the starting power forward of the team as I have, which is to say, nothing. If ⅗ of our starting lineup continue to fail to get anything done, it’s going to be a long season. The View From the Other Side No comments from the Warriors fansites today because it would be too painful. Barring another blowout loss, it will return after today’s game. Other Coverage Grade thread: http://kingsfans.com/threads/grades-v-warriors-11-02-2013.54075/ Jimmer grade thread: http://kingsfans.com/threads/jimmer-grades-vs-warriors-11-02-2013-or-jimmermaniacs-unite.54086 Stephen’s First Week of the Season Awards It’s super early in the season. Most teams have only played 1/40th of their season. But it’s not too early to make snap judgements. Thus, I present to you my league-wide awards based exclusively on how the first week of the season has gone. Hey, that sounds completely reasonable, right? Big Man of the Year Award: Spencer Hawes Boasting a blistering statline of 15.8 ppg, 10.5 rpg, 3 apg, 1.3 bpg (numbers significantly lowered by a poor showing against the Warriors on Monday) with a shooting percentage of 50 percent from beyond the arc (which we all know is Spencer’s favorite place to be) the Sixers big man has served as the Robin to Michael Carter-Williams’s Batman during his teams surprising start. Surely, Spencer will continue to dominate through the entire season. Plus he’s sporting a lazy person beard so at the very least he has that going for him. Spencer for president. Defensive Player of the Year: Ricky Rubio Rickey’s averaging 4 steals per game, which is obviously going to continue over the course of an 82 game season. Actual defensive capabilities be damned, this man is going to win this thing. My First Week of the Year Postseason Finals Prediction: Sixers vs. the Suns The series goes to seven games with MCW posting triple doubles in all of them. The Series ultimately ends with Miles Plumlee, whoever the hell that is, scoring a putback dunk with 2 seconds left to win the series for the Suns. Philadelphia fans riot in the streets. Meanwhile, both teams GMs suffer nervous breakdowns as a result of their failed plays for Wiggins. Dionte Christmas is named Finals MVP simply because his name is awesome. Stay tuned for further First Week of the Season End of the Year award analysis. Next time around: Not-Rookie of the Year Awards Time Normal awards time is taking sometime off because I’m still so demoralized by Saturday night. WTF Moment of the Game: The entire game Tonight’s Game Tonight brings a showdown with the mighty, mighty Atlanta Hawks, who, having lost Josh Smith to free agency, come in led by Al Horford and Jeff Teague. Sporting the same record as us, I feel fairly safe in saying that the Hawks are not as good as the Clippers or Warriors. That said, the Hawks do boast a strong collection of complementary pieces, thus far in the season headed by Kyle Korver, who has converted a ridiculous ⅔rds of his three point shots through three games. Inside, Atlanta is led by the two-time All-Star Al Horford, a natural power forward who has been stuck at center in Atlanta for the last half-decade because his team can’t be bothered to pick up anyone taller than 6’9” on their roster. While not among the splashiest of players in the league, Horford is a solid big man and certainly the best defender in the post for the Hawks, though considering the other big men on his team, that’s not saying much. These other big men? Atlanta’s marquee free agent signing for the season in former Utah Jazz tweener forward Paul Millsap and ancient relic Elton Brand, both men barely standing 6’8” and not necessarily known for their ability to shut down dudes in the post. If there ever was a night for the team to force feed the ball to Cuz down low, it would be tonight. If Horford gets in any form of foul trouble, the Hawks are in for a looooooong night. Their SF and SG are probably going to outplay our starters but you already knew that. On the PG front, the Hawks are led by former-Kingsfans.com favorite Jeff Teague and the man many have pegged as the next Rajon Rondo in Dennis Schroeder. Up against our tandem of Vasquez and IT, this could be an interesting matchup to watch. Matchups Demarcus versus short old people: Now’s Boogie’s time to shine. Our starters not named Demarcus versus not sucking: This is the NBA, guys. Time to produce. Malone versus a nervous breakdown: If our effort is lackluster once again, things could get ugly. Empty seats versus Kings fans: Will Kings fans be able fill them in respectable numbers? Predictions and Closure The homer in me says win and I’m going to trust it on this one. The Kings prevail 95-88 behind another strong night from Boogie. If any of you are not going to the game but want to, plenty of tickets are available. Why not buy one and show our men in purple some love on a Tuesday night? Go Kings.