By Sean Stanfield
Much like the Kings best player (of late), Deuce gets the night off so I’ll fill in and hope to serve up some perspective on what happened at Sleep Train Arena in a 97-92 loss for Keith Smart’s squad.
As noted above, Tyreke Evans—if you guessed correctly— did not take the floor on Friday. While the former first round pick and Rookie of the Year is not in jeopardy of losing his starting job due to injury—a bruised knee he suffered in Tuesday’s loss to the Timberwolves—it did give Keith Smart an opportunity to switch up the way he used his bench. The most noticeable difference was the early entry of Jimmer Fredette into the game.
Fredette—a player who offers much needed offensive ability—saw just over three minutes in the first quarter, but was the games leading scorer at the end of the period (tied with David West) with six points on 2-3 shooting from the field and 1-1 from the line. Jimmer looked decisive and aggressive in an increased role finishing with 12 points and three assists shooting 50 percent from the field in just over 12 minutes.
(2)PGP Point Guard Production:
Only Aaron Brooks & Fredette saw action in this game at the Point Guard position. Isaiah Thomas did not see the floor in the loss.
“You can’t tell a young player that ‘they’re not going to play tonight’,” said Smart. Citing that he wanted to make sure that Thomas was “mentally ready” to enter the game if called upon. Brooks and Fredette combined for 21 points on 9-18 shooting with four assists and four turnovers.
Rookie’s Test = David West
Thomas Robinson has shown that he’s not afraid to bang with the “big boys” of the NBA. The rookie from Kansas spent much of his night leaning against David West down low — in what finished as West’s highest point total on the season with 31 points and 11 rebounds. T-Rob did finish strong with seven points, seven rebounds and three blocks for the Kings in 25 minutes.
The Invisible Line:
The Kings improved in moving the ball and pushing the tempo—something Smart stressed to his team early and often. While the team continued to struggle with shots falling on fast breaks, they did improve in attempts from the line – finishing 22-25 overall with three trips to the stripe in the first half (as opposed to zero in the first half of the Minnesota game).
Throwback Jersey Night:
A player closely resembling Francisco Garcia took the floor early in the second quarter for the Kings dawning a “Garcia” jersey. Reports coming out of Sleep Train Arena claim that it was in fact Francisco Garcia! Number 32 appeared confident in his outside shot and even took a few nifty moves to the paint to score 12 points on 5-7 shooting for the Kings. Somewhere fans of the Cisco Kid are smiling.
Boogie Down (and out):
The Kings hit the road tomorrow to take on the Clippers (9-6) at Staples Center. We’ve seen the Kings “get up” for big games this year and it will take a big game from the “big fella” tomorrow night, especially if the Kings are again without Evans.
Cousins struggled from the floor (5-17 FG), but managed to shoot ninety percent from the line to add nine points for a total of 19 on the night. The Clippers will return to the floor Saturday after two days off following a win over the Timberwolves at home.
Deuce returns for the next Dish having probably gambled more by letting me fill in tonight than he did on his trip to South Shore. Thanks for reading and listening to 1140 The Fan.
Sean Stanfield is the Promotions & Marketing Director for 1140 The Fan – KHTK You can email Sean @ Sean.Stanfield@cbsradio.com