KingsFans.com Gameday 2013-2014 Edition Game 3 Sacramento Kings @ Golden State Warriors By Stephen Tetsu, Kingsfans.com Senior Non-Piksi Welp, there goes our chance at 82-0. Who’s ready to start the FIRE MALONE thread? What a hard fought game. Unfortunately at the end, the new darlings of the NBA came out on top. But hey, we played them better than the Warriors did so at least we have that going for us. Except we play the Warriors, who'll probably be pissed off and angry, tomorrow. Sweet baby Jimmer, things could get ugly. Then again, with these new era Kings, you never know. Led by an absolutely ridiculous performance by Isaiah Thomas, the Kings rallied from a double-digit deficit to briefly take the lead against a team favored by many to appear in the NBA Finals this season before CP3 and his BFFs in pinstripes finally put away Sacramento for good, leaving 17,317 fans both bewildered and beleaguered. Unlike the first game of the season and the majority of the preseason, the Kings defensive effort was not entirely there at points in the night, with several mental gaffs and errors coming up costly in the end. Furthermore, the night saw a bit of a regression in the game of Demarcus Cousins, with several mental miscues and emotional outbursts (though I'm still not quite sure about that technical) that proved detrimental to the team overall. That said, the man still put up an impressive statline of 24 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 blocks, and 3 steals in 35 minutes. If this is an offday for Boogie, the team's future is not as bleak as some would have you believe. As has been widely documented, our boys in black sorely missed any production from their starting small forward and power forward spot, something to keep an eye on in the coming days. Unlike the first game, the Kings received some production from Marcus Thornton in the form of well-timed three-pointers. For this team to have any success, they're going to need consistent production from anyone not named Demarcus and Isaiah. More thoughts on the game in a bit but first... A Brief Distraction Tommy Lee Jones, a talking dog, and the Kraken all in the same thirty second commercial. And did I forget to mention it's in Japanese? For some reason, Tommy Lee Jones is like the king of commercials in Japan and it's kind of awesome how each and every appearance gets more and more nonsensical. Anyways, back to more important matters. Stat Watch 2013 Observations Demarcus Cousins earned his first technical of the year in the most ridiculous fashion possible, being called for taunting after making a monster block on CP3 in the 4th. While he wasn’t exactly unemotional after the play, he wasn’t exactly Golden Tate waving at the St. Louis Rams either. If the refs had made those sorts of calls consistently over the past couple of decades, Dikembe Mutombo would have been ejected before halftime of every single game for wagging his finger every time he rejected a shot. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Sacramentan more disliked by the city of Sacramento than Matt Barnes. Even though he’s got it tattooed on his arm, the only way the alleged wifebeater would ever be “Sactown’s Finest” is if the entire Central Valley was wiped off the face of the Earth and every other person from the region was stricken down by a terrible plague. Even then, I’m pretty sure there are stray dogs more deserving of that title than Benedict Arnold. If Patrick Patterson won that starting power forward spot, he’s certainly been doing everything possible over the first two games of the season to give it back to JT. Touted as a good outside shooter, the stretch forward from Kentucky has thus failed to really contribute from beyond the arc. On the defensive end, P-Pat made it look like the rookie of the year version of Blake Griffin had return, surrendering a double-double before the half. While this doesn’t fall entirely on his shoulders, the fact that JT suddenly decided to start challenging shots around the rim also casts his game in a slightly less favorable light. While no one would ever confuse JT or Demarcus for Bill Russell out there, the two bigs have made a concerted effort to improve their defensive game and it’s showing, with both men averaging two blocks per game in this incredibly young NBA season. Couple this with Boogie’s ability to draw charges and interfere in the passing lanes and things in the paint might not be as dire as we thought they were. I know everyone is in love with Deandre Jordan and Blake Griffin but the Clippers frontcourt depth is a mess. I mean, if either of their starting bigs goes down, they’re screwed. Someone might want to check on Raef LaFrentz because there’s a good chance Byron Mullens is his reincarnation, parking himself out at the three point line as if he’s allergic to whatever paint we use to mark the floor. Meanwhile I don’t know what Ryan Hollins has on Donald Sterling but it must be pretty good because I don’t think I’ve ever seen him actually do anything on a basketball court. We saw some of this deficiency late in the game when Doc Rivers started playing Jamal Crawford(!) at the 4 with Blake Griffin as his sole bigman. If they’re planning on getting deep into the postseason, the Clips may want to look into getting another big or two (I hear that Chuck Hayes guy is available). The View From the Other Side A collection of comments on the game thread of a Clippers fansite (clipsnation.com) presented without commentary. 7:06 PM “"Sleep Train Arena" ridiculous! I bet us clipsnation fans can each contribute a few bucks to rename it “Clipsnation Area”” 7:54 PM “Why Doesn't Sac Just Renovate the Existing Place? The place is intimate and LOUD……. Like the old Sports Arena………” 8:47 PM “I just realized the kings are annoying! hate vasquez… cousins and thorton have stupid faces… and it looks like thomas is becoming a clipper killer” 8:51 PM “What will Hollins do next? This is unbelievably bad.” 8:54 PM “These refs are idiots. Again Barnes getting a flagrant because of his “reputation”” 9:00 PM "This crowd is crazy. One of the hardest places to play for sure. You can feel all the craziness just with the fans." 9:26 PM "Demarcus Cousins doing Demarcus Cousins things. Kind of reminds me of Al Jefferson and his hanging on the rim play." 9:42 PM "The Kings can be good with a few more years of maturity and growth. They have good players." Other Coverage Soon to be updated In Other News... The Kings Instagram season kick-off video countdown is the gift that keeps on giving. Be it the wonderful acting skills of Jerry Reynolds or the metatextual elegance of John Salmons’s smile quota, there’s pretty much something in those 30 different clips for everybody (Unless you don’t like the Kings, in which case- WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU READING THIS FOR?) Some things I pulled from the video, in no particular order: Mike Malone would appear to be a tough S.O.B. Remind me never to pee him off. As anyone who’s seen one of their Zoom Imaging commercials would know, Grant and Jerry are pretty bad at acting. Then again, their performances are still better than Shaq in Kazaam. Jason Williams’s elbow passes aren’t nearly as cool now that he’s just some retired dude as opposed to when he was everyone’s favorite floppy-haired out-of-control rookie. Stay smooth, White Chocolate. Seeing Hank Turner dunk as an old dude is just kinda sad rather than impressive. JT is a better actor than Grant and Jerry but only barely. It looked like the dude from Mumbai was wearing a Bulls jersey under that shirt. Good stuff. I anticipate they’ll top this next year with a sixty day countdown featuring Mateen Cleaves waving a towel and dancing while the manager of the carwash at which he works flips out among other great callbacks to our glorious history (I wonder what Pervis Ellison is up to these days). Awards Time Tony Delk Memorial: After having to convince myself not to give the TDM to John Salmons, I found it considerably difficult to figure out anyone on the Clippers deserving of this fine distinction. I could not come up with anyone plus it's really late at night, I've been writing for three hours, and I'm really cranky. Shareef Abdur-Rahim Award: John Salmons Oh Johnny Johnny Johnny. What are we to do with you? While his play has been declining at best over the past several seasons, it appears to have completely fallen off a cliff this year. While not contributing at the offensive end at all, it’s been his defensive miscues that have been the most frustrating part of the Stanky Fish’s game this season. On Friday night, there were several times in the third quarter where Salmons inexplicably left Chris Dudley (a solid three-point shooter) wide open beyond the arc so he could randomly park himself in the key. We may be witnessing the end of a career right before our eyes, folks. Mikki Moore Award: Ryan Hollins I know I’ve harped on this before but the man simply is not impressive by any means. Here’s his statline for the night: 8 minute played, 1 rebound, 1 blocked shot, 5 fouls, 3 turnovers. Even by Ryan Hollins standards, thats downright awful. I don’t know what his contract is like but I’m guessing it’s somewhere in the ballpark of what we wound up paying Mikki. WTF Moment of the Game: Demarcus blocks Chris Paul’s shot, is immediately called for the technical foul. Since I was at the game, I don’t know what exactly Demarcus did or said but I’m pretty sure it was all that worse from the majority of the talk that goes on during the course of a basketball game. A complete momentum killer, this single moment changed the entire outcome of the game. Thank you, refs. Tonight’s Game Oh boy! I hope they wear the sleeved jerseys today! Seriously, the only thing worse than having to wear stupid sleeves on your basketball uniform is having to wear them with shorts that were probably just hand-me-downs from the Indiana Pacers old duds. Led by the trifecta of Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and David Lee, the Golden State Warriors are another of the press darling club, much of the national media jumping wholly on the bandwagon with the signing of Iguodala. I wish I had more to say but it's a night after a game and I've been writing this for a couple of hours (it's 4:43 AM in Sacramento as I type these words) and I really need some sleep. Matchups matchup corner is taking the night off because Stephen is too tired to write. It shall return in the next gamethread. Predictions and Closure I think it's time for the first really bad game of the season. The Warriors are at home and ready to avenge a particularly loss. Will it get to Kenny Natt level of bad? Probably not but I'm thinking 124-101 as the final score. Until next time. I'll see y'all at ArcoOracle coliseum. And with that, it's time for me to finally hit the hay. Not Piksi PPS: I'll update/complete some sections when I wake up from my much needed slumber.