Anyone know what to expect from our Suns in this one? I suppose it depends how talented the Kings are and how bad we want to win. If Steve Nash is correct, then we might assume that a 70-80% effort against a less talented team could still result in a victory.
By the looks of things, the Suns may have an edge in talent in this one. But the Kings have Rookie of the Month for December, Tyreke Evans. At 20 ppg., Evans is a virtual shoe-in for rookie of the year, especially if Ron Artest has something to say about it. Of course Artest was recovering from a "fall" at home, so he could be speaking in a vicodin haze (or other). Nonetheless, he was quite impressed with Evans and had this to say about youngster:
"Most guys get big checks, are franchise players, but they don't want to take the shot. (Tyreke Evans) wanted to take it against one of the three greatest players in the history of the game. That shows he wants to be a great player. Twenty years old, for a guy to want to be in that position, that's a great sign for the future."
The Kings are currently on a 3 game slide, losing to the likes of the 76ers, the Mavericks, and the Lakers on New Years Day. After leading by more than 20 in the game, it took a Kobe Bryant game winning bucket to pull out the victory, thus overshadowing a monster game by Spencer Hawes (30/11/5), and good showings from Omri Casspi and Beno Udrih. We also should acknowledge that Tyreke Evans did NOT play in the game.
The Kings are light up front with a defensively regressing Spencer Hawes, the talented youngster Jason Thompson, and the rebounding adverse Andres Nocioni. Of course, the Suns aren't exactly known for their front court defense, so perhaps we have a wash in that category.
In the first and latest meeting between the two squads, the Suns were coming off their infamous Knick and Cavalier debacles. Facing a back to back matchup versus the Lakers, the game versus the Kings was considered by many as a "must win." The Suns put in a strong effort, bolstered by 32 Steve Nash points and 21 Amare Stoudemire rebounds to beat the Kings 115-107. If you watched that game, you realized that the Suns let the Kings hang around too long. Without some extraordinary performances, the Suns could have easily let that one slip away.
Sacramento Kings Statistics
KEYS TO VICTORY VERSUS THE KINGS:
- Rebound. The Suns were destroyed by the Grizzlies 49-36 on the boards. The Kings out-rebounded the Suns 48-43 in their last meeting. Sure Amare had 21, but Kenny Thomas had 18. Hit the boards Channing, hit the boards Amare, hit the boards J-Rich, Steve, Dudz, Fropez, Amundson!
- SLOW Evans. Notice I didn't say STOP him, because I don't think it's possible. Throw some different looks at him, try to confuse the youngster, etc. Oh and if he goes for 35 I don't mind, as long as Hawes, Udrih, Nocioni and Thompson don't drop in 20 a piece.
- Attack the Paint. OK, MAX, do your thing. You were on your way to 50 the other night against Boston before you got into foul trouble.
- Focus/Effort. Enough said.
- Channing Frye and Jason Richardson. Check these stats out:
- In 21 victories this season, Channing Frye is 62-129 (48%) from behind the arc. In 13 losses, Frye is 22-66 (33%). Further, in 21 victories, Frye has grabbed 129 rebounds. In 13 losses, 75.
- Jason Richardson shoots 46% from 3 point range in 19 victories. In 12 Suns losses this year, he shoots 18% from behind the arc.
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azcentral.com blogs - Bruce Cooper Blog - BruceCooper - Time For Suns To Make A Deal
Wow- Even Bruce Cooper plays the trade machine game. "The Portland Trailblazers are desparate for some big man help after losing their two centers (Greg Oden and Joel Przbilla) for the year. Maybe the Blazers would consider a Robin Lopez and Goran Dragic trade for Jarryd Bayless and a first round pick"
Suns vs. Kings means Slovenia's Dragic, Udrih reunite
There have been seven Slovenians in the NBA, although there currently are five - Udrih, Dragic, Vujacic, Toronto's Rasho Nesterovic and Philadelphia's Primoz Brezec , a mighty contingent for a nation of 2 million people. The Valley has 3.8 million people and four NBA players.
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As Westphal sees it, they have to limit turnovers for that to happen. They fixed the problem for a short while in early to mid-December, but are back to the charity effort again (15.6 per game in the last nine games). On the season, the Kings are tied for 24th in turnovers per game (15.5).
Kings' Evans grows up with help of 'Team Tyreke' - Sacramento Sports - Kings, 49ers, Raiders, High School Sports | Sacramento Bee
Imagine if Amare had this kind of support system growing up...