- Here We Build - The end of an era

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Re: - Here We Build - Good health doesn't last on lengthy roadtrip (34-29)

Postby Vespasian92 on Wed Aug 13, 2014 8:58 am

Lawson upends Kings in Sacramento
Nuggets: 105
Kings: 88

Denver Nuggets Top Performers
Ty Lawson: 27 PTS - 7 AST - 12/29 FG - 1/5 3PT FG - 2/2 FT
Evan Fournier: 20 PTS - 7 REB - 8/20 FG - 3/5 3PT FG
Danilo Gallinari: 17 PTS - 8 REB - 7/19 FG - 3/4 FT
Javale McGee: 11 PTS - 12 REB - 5/8 FG - 1/4 FT


Sacramento Kings Top Performers
Demarcus Cousins: 24 PTS - 8 REB - 12/18 FG - 0/3 FT
Reggie Jackson: 17 PTS - 7 REB - 6 AST - 7/14 FG - 1/4 3PT FG - 2/2 FT - 7 TO
Rudy Gay: 14 PTS - 6 REB - 4/13 FG - 2/5 3PT FG - 4/4 FT
Allen Crabbe: 10 PTS - 4/7 FG - 2/2 3PT FG - 15 MIN

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Ellis struggles in close loss to Kings
Kings: 104
Mavericks: 100

Sacramento Kings Top Performers
Rudy Gay: 28 PTS - 4 REB - 10/19 FG - 2/4 3PT FG - 6/8 FT
Demarcus Cousins: 15 PTS - 9 REB - 6 AST - 6/8 FG - 3/6 FT
Reggie Jackson: 15 PTS - 5 REB - 3 AST - 4/11 FG - 7/8 FT
Allen Crabbe: 14 PTS - 6 AST - 6/13 FG - 1/2 3PT FG - 1/1 FT - 17 MIN


Dallas Mavericks Top Performers
Monta Ellis: 21 PTS - 3 REB - 2 AST - 9/32 FG - 3/14 3PT FG
Devin Harris: 19 PTS - 8 AST - 8/18 FG - 2/7 3PT FG - 1/1 FT
Samuel Dalembert: 13 PTS - 9 REB - 4/6 FG - 5/5 FT
Dirk Nowitzki: DNP - Sprained Shoulder

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Kings D holds Bucks to 34% in easy victory
Kings: 100
Bucks: 89

Sacramento Kings Top Performers
Rudy Gay: 24 PTS - 10/15 FG - 3/6 3PT FG - 1/1 FT
Reggie Jackson: 18 PTS - 6 REB - 4 AST - 8/18 FG - 1/3 3PT FG - 1/2 FT
Demarcus Cousins: 16 PTS - 13 REB - 6 BLK (Career-High) - 6/16 FG - 4/4 FT
John Henson: 7 PTS - 13 REB - 5 AST - 2 BLK - 2/6 FG - 3/6 FT


Milwaukee Bucks Top Performers
O.J. Mayo: 18 PTS - 6/13 FG - 3/5 3PT FG - 3/4 FT
Ersan Illyasova: 14 PTS - 15 REB - 2/10 FG - 1/3 3PT FG - 9/11 FT
Brandon Knight: 14 PTS - 9 REB - 4 AST - 6/11 FG - 2/2 3PT FG - 0/3 FT
Giannis Antetokounmpo: 11 PTS - 4 REB - 3 AST - 3/9 FG - 5/6 FT

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Raptors win behind perimeter trio
Raptors: 109
Kings: 92

Toronto Raptors Top Performers
Demar Derozan: 22 PTS - 3 REB - 3 AST - 8/9 FG - 6/6 FT
Greivis Vasquez: 22 PTS - 3 REB - 5 AST - 8/15 FG - 2/4 3PT FG - 4/5 FT
Landry Fields: 20 PTS - 8 REB - 4 AST - 8/17 FG - 2/4 3PT FG - 2/4 FT
Jonas Valanciunas: 10 PTS - 9 REB - 4 BLK - 5/10 FG


Sacramento Kings Top Performers
Demarcus Cousins: 21 PTS - 5 REB - 3 AST - 8/18 FG - 5/5 FT
Ben McLemore: 18 PTS - 5 REB - 3 AST - 6/14 FG - 2/6 3PT FG - 4/4 FT
Rudy Gay: 17 PTS - 6 REB - 4 AST - 7/11 FG - 1/2 3PT FG - 2/2 FT
Reggie Jackson: 11 PTS - 4 REB - 4 AST - 3/7 FG - 1/2 3PT FG - 4/5 FT

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Healthy Lopez shines in Nets win
Nets: 116
Kings: 109

Brooklyn Nets Top Performers
Brook Lopez: 31 PTS - 5 REB - 5 STL - 10/16 FG - 11/13 FT
Kevin Garnett: 15 PTS - 13 REB - 3/9 FG - 9/10 FT
Deron Williams: 11 PTS - 3 REB - 2 AST - 3/10 FG - 1/3 3PT FG - 4/4 FT
Paul Pierce: 11 PTS - 4 REB - 6 AST - 3/4 FG - 1/2 3PT FG - 4/4 FT


Sacramento Kings Top Performers
Reggie Jackson: 35 PTS (Season-High) - 3 REB - 6 AST - 10/16 FG - 4/6 3PT FG - 11/11 FT
Ben McLemore: 22 PTS - 4 REB - 7/14 FG - 4/8 3PT FG - 4/6 FT
Demarcus Cousins: 11 PTS - 6 REB - 4/9 FG - 3/3 FT - 22 MIN - 6 FLS
Rudy Gay: 10 PTS - 16 REB - 2/11 FG - 6/6 FT

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NBA Notes:
Mavericks lose 6th straight, now 29-34 overall.
Bulls win 5th straight, now 35-28 overall.
Pistons win 5th straight, now 38-26 overall.
76ers win 5th straight, now 29-34 overall.

NBA Injury Updates:
Grizzlies F Zach Randolph out 2-4 weeks with Sprained Wrist.
Suns G Gerald Green out 1-2 weeks with Inner Ear Infection.
Kings G Allen Crabbe out 2-4 months with Broken Hip.

NBA Transactions:

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Crabbe to miss rest of season with hip injury

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The Sacramento Kings announced that guard Allen Crabbe will be out for at least the last two months of the NBA season with a Fractured Hip. Crabbe suffered the injury in the second half of the Kings' loss in Toronto to the Raptors on Saturday and sat out of Monday's game in Brooklyn while he was evaluated. Crabbe will travel back to Sacramento instead of accompanying the team on the rest of their 7-game roadtrip. The initial timetable for his return is 2-4 months. The Kings, who had enjoyed a healthy roster this season before Crabbe's injury, currently holds a playoff berth in the Western Conference. If they succeed in reaching the postseason, they will re-evaluate Crabbe at the end of the regular season for any possible playoff return.

Rookie guard Devin Hopkins was activated on the 12-man roster in place of Crabbe. Hopkins was acquired from Oklahoma City in the Isaiah Thomas trade and has not yet appeared for the Kings since the trade.
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Re: - Here We Build - Late season struggles arrive in Sacramento (36-35)

Postby Vespasian92 on Sun Aug 17, 2014 4:23 am

Kings end skid behind surprising boost
Kings: 116
Nuggets: 106

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In his first extended action with the Kings, rookie guard Devin Hopkins showcased his scoring prowess

Sacramento Kings Top Performers
Rudy Gay: 27 PTS - 6 REB -3 AST - 11/21 FG - 3/7 3PT FG - 2/2 FT
Demarcus Cousins: 23 PTS - 9 REB - 6/8 FG - 11/13 FT
Reggie Jackson: 18 PTS - 3 REB - 5 AST - 4 STL - 6/14 FG - 1/4 3PT FG - 5/6 FT
Devin Hopkins: 17 PTS - 2 REB - 4 AST - 5/9 FG - 2/3 3PT FG - 5/5 FT - 17 MIN


Denver Nuggets Top Performers
Ty Lawson: 38 PTS - 3 REB - 7 AST - 14/25 FG - 5/7 3PT FG - 5/6 FT
Danilo Gallinari: 25 PTS - 3 REB - 10/17 FG - 1/3 3PT FG - 4/6 FT
Evan Fournier: 15 PTS - 4 REB - 6 AST - 6/20 FG - 2/11 3PT FG
Javale McGee: 9 PTS - 12 REB - 3/6 FG - 3/7 FT

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Kings finally return home but fall to Wizards
Wizards: 117
Kings: 92

Washington Wizards Top Performers
Bradley Beal: 22 PTS - 7 AST - 9/16 FG - 3/3 3PT FG - 1/2 FT
John Wall: 17 PTS - 11 AST - 7/11 FG - 3/5 FT
Trevor Ariza: 15 PTS - 4 REB - 4 AST - 6/10 FG - 2/2 3PT FG - 1/1 FT
Andrew Bynum: 14 PTS - 5 REB - 7/13 FG


Sacramento Kings Top Performers
Rudy Gay: 23 PTS - 4 REB - 9/15 FG - 1/2 3PT FG - 4/4 FT
Ben McLemore: 21 PTS - 4 REB - 2 AST - 5/11 FG - 2/4 3PT FG - 9/10 FT
Reggie Jackson: 8 PTS - 3 REB - 7 AST - 2/7 FG - 4/4 FT
Demarcus Cousins: 7 PTS - 10 REB - 2/12 FG - 3/4 FT

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Cousins, Henson win inside as Kings top Spurs
Kings: 101
Spurs: 86

Sacramento Kings Top Performers
Demarcus Cousins: 16 PTS - 13 REB - 6/11 FG - 4/6 FT
John Henson: 16 PTS - 10 REB - 1 BLK - 7/9 FG - 2/4 FT
Rudy Gay: 16 PTS - 9 REB - 6/11 FG - 4/4 FT
Reggie Jackson: 10 PTS - 4 REB - 4 AST - 3/13 FG - 2/5 3PT FG - 2/2 FT


San Antonio Spurs Top Performers
Kawhi Leonard: 16 PTS - 8 REB - 5/11 FG - 1/5 3PT FG - 5/6 FT
Boris Diaw: 14 PTS - 9 REB - 4/11 FG - 1/2 3PT FG - 5/5 FT
Tony Parker: 14 PTS - 6 AST - 4/9 FG - 6/7 FT
Tim Duncan: 2 PTS - 2 REB - 1/5 FG - 8 MIN (Bruised Thigh)

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Kings collapse in disappointing loss to Bucks
Bucks: 111
Kings: 108

Milwaukee Bucks Top Performers
O.J. Mayo: 26 PTS - 3 REB - 3 AST - 10/18 FG - 2/5 3PT FG - 4/4 FT
Giannis Antetokounmpo: 20 PTS - 8 REB - 6/7 FG - 2/2 3PT FG - 6/7 FT
Gary Neal: 16 PTS - 6/8 FG - 2/3 3PT FG - 2/2 FT - 13 MIN
Alex Ejiofor: 16 PTS - 4 REB - 3 AST - 5/8 FG - 6/8 FT


Sacramento Kings Top Performers
Demarcus Cousins: 24 PTS - 4 REB - 11/16 FG - 2/2 FT
Ben McLemore: 23 PTS - 4 REB - 6 AST - 7/19 FG - 4/10 3PT FG - 5/6 FT
Reggie Jackson: 19 PTS - 8 REB - 6 AST - 6/11 FG - 2/5 3PT FG - 5/6 FT
Rudy Gay: 12 PTS - 7 REB - 3 AST - 4/10 FG - 4/6 FT

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Green leads Celtics to close win
Celtics: 91
Kings: 87

Boston Celtics Top Performers
Jeff Green: 33 PTS - 6 REB - 5 AST - 11/24 FG - 3/8 3PT FG - 8/10 FT
Vitor Faverani: 19 PTS - 12 REB - 5/11 FG - 9/10 FT
Avery Bradley: 13 PTS - 5 AST - 4 STL - 4/10 FG - 1/2 3PT FG - 4/6 FT
Rajon Rondo: DNP - Sore Foot


Sacramento Kings Top Performers
Demarcus Cousins: 18 PTS - 9 REB - 8/14 FG - 2/2 FT
Rudy Gay: 12 PTS - 5 REB - 5/10 FG - 2/2 FT
Ben McLemore: 11 PTS - 3/14 FG - 1/6 3PT FG - 4/4 FT
Reggie Jackson: 7 PTS - 5 REB - 9 AST - 3/11 FG - 1/5 3PT FG - 6 TO

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NBA Notes:
Bucks fire Clint Person, hire Mike Woodson as head coach.
Magic fire Allan O'Connor, hire Brett Brown as head coach.
Heat win 5th straight, now 53-18 overall.
Heat clinch playoff seed.
Thunder clinch playoff seed.
Knicks clinch playoff seed.

NBA Injury Updates:
Celtics G Rajon Rondo out 1-2 weeks with Sore Foot.
Nets C Brook Lopez out 4-6 weeks with Broken Hand.

NBA Transactions:
Last edited by Vespasian92 on Sat Aug 23, 2014 2:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: - Here We Build - Kings continue to face West's best (37-37)

Postby Vespasian92 on Tue Aug 19, 2014 6:37 am

Jackson outshined by Thomas in his return to OKC

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It comes as no surprise that Isaiah Thomas stands tall against anybody, including his former team


The shock from the Isaiah Thomas trade had finally started to die down in Sacramento before Saturday's game in Oklahoma City. The Kings have had their share of struggles as of late and might miss the steadying and inspiring play of Thomas. Reggie Jackson, coming off of a 3/11 shooting and 6 TO night against the Celtics, was hoping to have a bounceback game in his return to the team that drafted him. The Thunder also had a few players with added motivation as Isaiah Thomas and Carl Landry were facing the Kings for the first time since the deadline trade to the title-favorite.

Landry started for Oklahoma City in place of Serge Ibaka, who only played 9 minutes while rehabbing a hip injury. The Kings put up 34 points in the first quarter behind Rudy Gay's scoring and led by 4. As the second quarter began, it was obvious that a battle between the reserve point guards was brewing. Isaiah Thomas checked in for his first game action against his former team and Ray McCallum was aggressive in looking for his offense. McCallum made his first 4 shots, including a transition bucket after stealing the ball from Thomas. Isaiah came right back for the Thunder with a tough layup of his own and a kick-out pass to Jeremy Lamb for an open triple. A hard-fought 2nd quarter left the Kings in the lead at halftime.

Another tight 12 minutes in the 3rd quarter left the Kings with hope of pulling off an upset against the West-leading Thunder despite a difficult shooting night from Reggie Jackson and foul trouble for Demarcus Cousins. In the 4th, Jackson found his stride as he dropped 8 straight points for Sacramento, extending their lead to 9. Scott Brooks came out of a timeout with Isaiah Thomas in a lineup next to Westbrook, Lamb, Durant, and Landry. The high-powered offensive unit caught fire for the Thunder with Thomas as the catalyst. Cousins picked up his 5th personal foul on the Thunder's first possession after the timeout when defending an Isaiah Thomas drive. With Cousins on the bench, Reggie Jackson tried to keep carrying the scoring load for his new team. The former Thunder guard sparred with the former Kings guard down the stretch, with Thomas emerging as the victor. Jackson's newfound offensive rhythm disappeared as Thomas put up 15 points and 4 assists in the final quarter. Thomas and Durant combined for 28 of the Thunder's 33 4th quarter points as they outscored the Kings by 15 in the remainder of the contest. Oklahoma City rode the momentum to beat the Kings by 6, leaving a happy Isaiah Thomas to mingle with his former teammates.

Reggie Jackson got a nice hand from the Thunder crowd in his return to Oklahoma City. Jackson spent the first 3 1/2 seasons with the Thunder backing up Russell Westbrook. The Boston College product seemed to press the action early on in an effort to impress, but settled down in the second half and put together a double-double in his return. Isaiah Thomas dominated his former team in his 19 minutes with 22 points and 6 assists. Carl Landry played 31 minutes in place of Serge Ibaka and corralled 7 rebounds on the night.

"Of course you want to play well and give everything you have against your former team, but that's how I play all the time. I have nothing but respect and appreciation for the Kings and the great fans in Sacramento. They treated me like family while I was there. They put me in a great situation here in Oklahoma City, but I still hope the Kings can make it to the postseason soon as well." - Thunder G Isaiah Thomas on his first meeting with the Kings since the trade

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Kings finish back-to-back against top two teams
Rockets: 132
Kings: 117

Houston Rockets Top Performers
Dwight Howard: 25 PTS - 14 REB - 9/13 FG - 7/9 3PT FG
Reggie Williams: 23 PTS - 3 REB - 4 AST - 10/18 FG - 3/6 3PT FG
Marcus Thornton: 15 PTS - 5 REB - 6/11 FG - 2/5 3PT FG - 1/1 FT - 19 MIN
James Harden: 14 PTS - 5/7 FG - 2/3 3PT FG - 2/2 FT - 11 MIN (Sprained Toe)
Kevin Love: 10 PTS - 12 REB - 4/13 FG - 1/5 3PT FG - 1/2 FT


Sacramento Kings Top Performers
Rudy Gay: 31 PTS - 6 REB - 11/21 FG - 2/3 3PT FG - 7/8 FT
Demarcus Cousins: 16 PTS - 13 REB - 4 AST - 4 STL - 7/10 FG - 2/2 FT
John Henson: 13 PTS - 5 REB - 3 BLK - 6/8 FG - 1/2 FT
Reggie Jackson: 9 PTS - 4 REB - 9 AST - 3/13 FG - 1/4 3PT FG - 2/2 FT

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Kings close difficult March with needed victory
Kings: 117
Mavericks: 112

Sacramento Kings Top Performers
Reggie Jackson: 30 PTS - 3 REB - 5 AST - 3 STL - 2 BLK - 8/20 FG - 2/4 3PT FG - 12/13 FT
Rudy Gay: 25 PTS - 5 REB - 8/14 FG - 2/6 3PT FG - 7/9 FT
Demarcus Cousins: 20 PTS - 9 REB - 5/8 FG - 10/11 FT
Ben McLemore: 13 PTS - 5 REB - 6 AST - 3/8 FG - 1/2 3PT FG - 6/6 FT


Dallas Mavericks Top Performers
Monta Ellis: 30 PTS - 4 REB - 8 AST - 11/19 FG - 5/8 3PT FG - 3/3 FT
Devin Harris: 26 PTS - 10 AST - 7/28 FG - 5/18 3PT FG - 7/8 FT
Alonzo Gee: 13 PTS - 2 REB - 5/13 FG - 3/4 FT - 21 MIN
Dirk Nowitzki: 12 PTS - 10 REB - 6/12 FG

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NBA Notes:
Pacers clinch playoff seed.
Pistons clinch playoff seed.
Clippers clinch playoff seed.
Rockets clinch playoff seed.

NBA Injury Updates:
Jazz F Gordon Hayward out 6-8 weeks with Broken Ankle.
Pacers F David West out 2-4 weeks with Sprained Knee.

NBA Transactions:
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Re: - Here We Build - March Summary

Postby Vespasian92 on Tue Aug 19, 2014 9:46 am

March Summary

Battle to the end

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In the Western Conference, the Thunder, Rockets, and Clippers are all riding high and coasting their way into the postseason. But after the first 3 or 4 spots in the conference, the rest of the playoff chase is wide open. The teams hoping to hold on to one of the lower 4 seeds are locked in tight battles with each other and cannot afford any letup. The 5th place Spurs and the 9th place Kings are within 1.5 games of each other, and one upset win or tough loss by any of the 5 teams could drastically change the standings. In particular, the 7th place Timberwolves, 8th place Grizzlies, and 9th place Kings are separated by just .5 a game. The Kings are fighting to end their decade-long playoff drought, the Wolves are hoping to get in again after ending a lengthy playoff drought of their own last year, while the Grizzlies are trying to halt their downward slide this season. Sacramento traded Isaiah Thomas at the deadline and have had a few struggles recently as Reggie Jackson continues to get acclimated as the Kings' starter at the point. The Timberwolves made the big trade of Kevin Love with an eye to the future and weren't expected to make the postseason this year, but are still hanging around. The Grizzlies traded Tony Allen for cap relief and seem to be paying a price for giving up such a big part of their hard-nosed defensive identity. All three have the potential to collapse in the final 3 weeks of the season, and who will be the team left out?


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Kings Month in Review

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So close, yet so far

The Kings find themselves within striking distance of the postseason and hope to end a playoff drought that has lasted since 2005-06. They are just 1/2 a game behind the 7th seed Timberwolves and are mathematically tied with the Grizzlies for the 8th seed, but would lose due to the tiebreaker with Memphis. They did hold the 7th and even 6th seed for some time earlier this season, but a 5-11 March dropped their standings and have people counting them out. They are being called a nice story this season, one of the young teams that shows some improvement until the pressure of unrealistic expectations makes them collapse. Few outside of Sacramento are taking them seriously to make the postseason after their recent struggles. Every game matters now in their bid to make the postseason, and as close as the Kings are, there is significant work to do down the stretch of the season in order to make it in. The two of the three key performers that have the most pressure to help the team reach the postseason are no surprise. Demarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay have carried the team all season, and also stepped up their game even more after the departure of Isaiah Thomas. But Reggie Jackson finds himself under the most scrutiny and pressure to produce some wins in the last 3 weeks of the year. Consistency has been an issue for Jackson since coming to Sacramento. Sometimes he will dominate with aggressive play in a Kings win, such as the 30 points he put up on Tuesday in Dallas. Yet he often risks significant damage to the team with recklessness and impatience, like shooting 3/11 and giving up 6 turnovers against Boston. Even on nights when Isaiah Thomas wasn't a dominant force, he could still control his game and find ways to contribute with a passable 12-5 night. Jackson feels the pressure to add enough control to his style when necessary, and the Kings need that control now in order to reach the playoffs.

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Re: - Here We Build - March Summary

Postby unitas9 on Wed Aug 20, 2014 5:05 am

Playoff push! Love these updates, tons of info well organized.
"One Goal-- Jack Walker's NBA Journey"


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http://forums.nba-live.com/viewtopic.php?f=73&t=94589
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Re: - Here We Build - Thunder, Rockets hinder Kings' postseason race (38-40)

Postby Vespasian92 on Sat Aug 23, 2014 3:21 pm

Kings pull out close win behind turnover advantage
Kings: 98
Lakers: 84

Sacramento Kings Top Performers
Reggie Jackson: 24 PTS - 5 REB - 5 AST - 7/15 FG - 5/6 3PT FG - 5/5 FT
Demarcus Cousins: 16 PTS - 13 REB - 6/19 FG - 4/4 FT
Rudy Gay: 12 PTS - 4 REB - 2 AST - 5/16 FG - 0/4 3PT FG - 2/3 FT
Derrick Williams: 10 PTS - 5 REB - 4 AST - 5/8 FG - 17 MIN


Los Angeles Lakers Top Performers
Jordan Hill: 17 PTS - 11 REB - 6/8 FG - 5/6 FT
Pau Gasol: 17 PTS - 9 REB - 3/9 FG - 11/14 FT
Rodney Stuckey: 16 PTS - 2 REB - 2 AST - 7/14 FG - 2/3 3PT FG
Kobe Bryant: 10 PTS - 13 REB - 7 AST - 4/12 FG - 2/2 FT

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Suns shoot 57 FTs against undisciplined Kings
Suns: 104
Kings: 90

Phoenix Suns Top Performers
Deshawn Overton: 18 PTS - 6 REB - 5/18 FG - 1/6 3PT FG - 7/9 FT
Archie Goodwin: 18 PTS - 5 REB - 6/11 FG - 1/2 3PT FG - 5/6 FT
Emeka Okafor: 16 PTS - 11 REB - 4/6 FG - 8/10 FT
Eric Bledsoe: 12 PTS - 6 REB - 6 AST - 3/8 FG - 6/6 FT


Sacramento Kings Top Performers
Demarcus Cousins: 18 PTS - 9 REB - 9/25 FG
Rudy Gay: 16 PTS - 8 REB - 5/11 FG - 2/4 3PT FG - 4/4 FT
John Henson: 14 PTS - 9 REB - 6/10 FG - 2/2 FT
Reggie Jackson: 11 PTS - 7 REB - 11 AST - 5/11 FG - 1/4 3PT FG

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Rockets rout Kings in fight for #2 seed
Rockets: 122
Kings: 87

Houston Rockets Top Performers
Dwight Howard: 22 PTS - 11 REB - 9/14 FG - 4/4 FT
Kevin Love: 20 PTS - 11 REB - 7/13 FG - 2/3 3PT FG - 4/4 FT
Kevin Martin: 15 PTS - 3 REB - 3 AST - 4/6 FG - 2/3 3PT FG - 5/6 FT
James Harden: 12 PTS - 5 REB - 6 AST - 4/10 FG - 1/5 3PT FG - 3/4 FT


Sacramento Kings Top Performers
Demarcus Cousins: 20 PTS - 9 REB - 9/13 FG - 2/3 FT
Rudy Gay: 20 PTS - 4 AST - 5/15 FG - 1/2 3PT FG - 9/11 FT
Ben McLemore: 15 PTS - 5 REB - 3 AST - 7/15 FG - 1/5 3PT FG
Reggie Jackson: 10 PTS - 7 AST - 4/9 FG - 2/2 FT

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Durant and Westbrook help Isaiah win return to SAC
Thunder: 119
Kings: 99

Oklahoma City Thunder Top Performers
Russell Westbrook: 26 PTS - 6 REB - 11 AST - 8/23 FG - 4/8 3PT FG - 6/7 FT
Kevin Durant: 22 PTS - 6 REB - 5 AST - 6/10 FG - 10/10 FT
Isaiah Thomas: 17 PTS - 7/15 FG - 3/3 FT - 16 MIN
Serge Ibaka: 15 PTS - 13 REB - 4/9 FG - 7/8 FT


Sacramento Kings Top Performers
Rudy Gay: 22 PTS - 8 REB - 7 AST - 7/13 FG - 2/5 3PT FG - 6/6 FT
Ben McLemore: 20 PTS - 9 AST (Career-High) - 8/10 FG - 2/2 3PT FG - 2/3 FT
Demarcus Cousins: 19 PTS - 7 REB - 9/17 FG - 1/2 FT
Reggie Jackson: 7 PTS - 2 REB - 4 AST - 2 STL - 2 BLK - 3 TO - 1/7 FG - 5/6 FT

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NBA Notes:
Magic beat Nets 101-89, end losing streak at 9.
Bulls clinch playoff seed.
Wizards clinch playoff seed.
Raptors clinch playoff seed.
Bobcats clinch playoff seed.
Nuggets clinch playoff seed.
Warriors clinch playoff seed.

NBA Injury Updates:
Raptors G Greivis Vasquez out 1-2 weeks with Sprained Shoulder.

NBA Transactions:
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Re: - Here We Build - Thunder, Rockets hinder Kings' postseason race (38-40)

Postby TGsoGood on Sun Aug 24, 2014 1:28 pm

This is one hell of a story thread!
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Re: - Here We Build - 10-year playoff drought ends with huge win in Minny (40-42)

Postby Vespasian92 on Mon Aug 25, 2014 11:47 am

Cousins leads complete team effort in must-win night

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When the stakes were high, Demarcus Cousins was one of many Kings to step up

In the midst of a chase to end their decade-long postseason drought, the tough schedule for the Kings in the final 6 games of the year won't make it easy. The Rockets and Thunder both made stops in Sacramento last week and handed the Kings a pair of costly losses. Fortunately for Sacramento however, the Memphis Grizzlies have lost 4 straight games as their 2-guard position has been slowed by injuries (Courtney Lee: Sprained Toe - Quincy Pondexter: Sore Knee). The Timberwolves also lost 2 of their last 3 games, leaving the Kings grasping the #8 seed by a thread. But tonight's game in Minnesota was a golden opportunity to jump the Timberwolves for the 7th seed, and one that the Kings couldn't afford to let slip away.

Rudy Gay and Demarcus Cousins were clearly going to need strong performances to claim a pivotal win, but some other guys needed to step up as well. Reggie Jackson has struggled with inconsistency since coming to the Kings, but came out with a performance on the positive end of the spectrum tonight. John Henson also found some consistency in Minnesota in terms of his shooting stroke and connected on the vast majority of his shots from midrange. Those four Kings each contributed at least a 16-7 performance, as well as combining for an outstanding 67% from the floor.

The Kings' offense had no difficulties putting up points behind the strong efforts, but neither did the Timberwolves'. Chandler Parsons led the Wolves with 25 points on the night and consistently came through for Minnesota. He scored 13 in the 3rd quarter and had the Wolves up by 3 heading into the final 12 minutes.

A quick 4 Timberwolf points to open the 4th quarter saw the Kings fall behind by 7. Searching for a hero to keep their hopes for a win and maybe the playoffs alive, the Kings looked to feed the beast. Demarcus Cousins took over offensively in the paint, displaying his full repertoire of post moves or face-up drives. He scored 4 of his 7 field goals in the final quarter as well as earning 8 attempts from the charity stripe. Those fouls ended up on Nikola Pekovic who quickly found himself on the bench with 5 personals. The temporary loss of one of their two most consistent offensive options left Minnesota unable to step the tide of Cousins' offense. Sacramento ran their offense though Cousins in the final quarter and began demanding a double-team without Pekovic to body him up. The Kings' center then turned into the facilitator, finding Ben McLemore for an open triple and Rudy Gay on backdoor cuts to the rim. The Kings put up 38 points in the 4th behind their inside-out game and had the lead in the final 2 minutes. Cousins rebounded a Shved 3PT miss and was fouled intentionally by Pekovic, which was the Serbian's 6th. Cousins and Gay were accurate from the stripe in the last 60 seconds and gave the Kings the tough road win. Another critical part of the win for Sacramento was the oft-lacking control that Reggie Jackson displayed tonight. He dominated the possession game with 8 assists and 4 key steals while maintaining a spotless turnover column.

This win put the Kings 1/2 a game ahead of Minnesota for 7th and a full game ahead of the Pelicans and Grizzlies, who are tied for the 9th and 10th spots. Sacramento, New Orleans, and Memphis all have 3 games left, while Minnesota only has two. One win in the last 3 games for the Kings will almost guarantee them a postseason seed. In order for the Kings to win just once and still miss the playoffs, either the Pelicans or Grizzlies must win all three of their remaining games and the Timberwolves must win their last two. Tonight's win gave Sacramento the tiebreaker against Minnesota, so even if they finish with the same record the Kings would get seeding preference over the Timberwolves.

"These guys know what is at stake now. The progress we've made this season will be validated if we can hold on to a postseason berth. There's still 3 tough games ahead of us, but this was a must-win game against another team fighting for the seven and eight seeds and we pulled together for a strong team victory." - Kings Coach Mike Malone

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Curry drops 30 in easy win
Warriors: 119
Kings: 89

Golden State Warriors Top Performers
Stephen Curry: 30 PTS - 6 AST - 8/16 FG - 5/7 3PT FG - 9/10 FT
Marreese Speights: 21 PTS - 9 REB - 7/15 FG - 7/10 FT
Marshon Brooks: 16 PTS - 3/6 FG - 2/3 3PT FG - 8/10 FT - 14 MIN
Andrew Bogut: 12 PTS - 10 REB - 6/12 FG


Sacramento Kings Top Performers
Ben McLemore: 20 PTS - 4 REB - 7/19 FG - 2/7 3PT FG - 4/4 FT
Demarcus Cousins: 15 PTS - 9 REB - 5/11 FG - 5/10 FT
Reggie Jackson: 9 PTS - 4 REB - 5 AST - 3/10 FG - 1/6 3PT FG - 2/2 FT
Rudy Gay: 7 PTS - 9 REB - 2/9 FG - 1/3 3PT FG - 2/4 FT

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Kings secure playoff berth in home win
Kings: 105
Nuggets: 93

Sacramento Kings Top Performers
Rudy Gay: 23 PTS - 8 REB - 6/14 FG - 1/5 3PT FG - 10/12 FT
Ben McLemore: 23 PTS - 5 REB - 4 AST - 6/19 FG - 5/8 3PT FG - 6/6 FT
Reggie Jackson: 18 PTS - 5 AST - 5/11 FG - 2/3 3PT FG - 6/6 FT
Demarcus Cousins: 16 PTS - 6 REB - 4 STL - 6/16 FG - 4/6 FT


Denver Nuggets Top Performers
Danilo Gallinari: 23 PTS - 8/13 FG - 3/5 3PT FG - 4/4 FT
Evan Fournier: 15 PTS - 4 REB - 5 AST - 5/9 FG - 3/3 3PT FG - 2/5 FT
Ty Lawson: 15 PTS - 6 REB - 7 AST - 4/12 FG - 1/5 3PT FG - 6/6 FT
Kenneth Faried: 9 PTS - 12 REB - 3/9 FG - 1/1 3PT FG - 2/2 FT

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Clips secure #2 seed with narrow victory
Clippers: 84
Kings: 83

Los Angeles Clippers Top Performers
Jameer Nelson: 13 PTS - 2 REB - 2 AST - 6/11 FG - 1/4 3PT FG - 15 MIN
J.J. Reddick: 11 PTS - 4 REB - 3/12 FG - 1/3 3PT FG - 4/5 FT
Chris Paul: 11 PTS - 7 REB - 8 AST - 4 STL - 5/13 FG - 1/5 3PT FG
Deandre Jordan: 10 PTS - 10 REB - 4/7 FG - 2/4 FT


Sacramento Kings Top Performers
Ben McLemore: 26 PTS - 9 REB - 6/13 FG - 2/5 3PT FG - 12/13 FT
Rudy Gay: 16 PTS - 6 REB - 5/13 FG - 3/5 3PT FG - 3/4 FT
Demarcus Cousins: 8 PTS - 7 REB - 4/13 FG - 0/5 FT - 6 TO
Reggie Jackson: 5 PTS - 8 REB - 5 AST - 2/7 FG - 1/4 3PT FG

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NBA Notes:
Spurs clinch playoff seed.
Pelicans clinch playoff seed.
Kings clinch playoff seed.

NBA Injury Updates:

NBA Transactions:
Last edited by Vespasian92 on Mon Aug 25, 2014 6:00 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: - Here We Build - 10-year playoff drought ends with huge win in Minny (40-42)

Postby Vespasian92 on Mon Aug 25, 2014 11:50 am

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For the latest Kings
news, blogs, interviews,
and highlights.

Kings secure first playoff appearance since 2006
The new era in Kings ownership and management makes a step forward in their second season

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When the final buzzer sounded in Monday's 105-93 victory over the Nuggets, Sacramento fans eagerly looked to the out-of-town scoreboard or pulled out their smartphones to check the progress of the Timberwolves-Suns contest. Another excited cheer emerged from Kings' fans everywhere as they realized the Suns had pulled out a 2-point win in Minnesota. The Timberwolves loss had guaranteed a postseason berth for a Kings franchise that was starving for a return to respectability. Nobody is expecting them to hoist the O'Brien trophy in the California capitol this year, much less beat the Thunder in the first round. But reaching the playoffs validates the faith that Kings fans have put in the new trio in charge of the team: Vivek Ranadive, Pete D'Alessandro, and Michael Malone.

The last time Sacramento had been a witness to playoff basketball was in the 2005-06 season, when the team was trying to find a transition from the now-aging squad that had put together 5-straight 50-win seasons since 2000. Chris Webber, Vlade Divac, and Doug Christie had all moved on, leaving Brad Miller, Mike Bibby and Kevin Martin to lead a group of fresh faces. Halfway through that season, Peja Stojakovic was traded for Ron Artest. Relatively new Kings Kenny Thomas, Bonzi Wells, and Shareef Abdur-Rahim needed to step up and all played at least 27 minutes a night next to the nucleus of Miller, Martin, Bibby, and Stojakovic/Artest. That team didn't collapse, but neither did they recreate the chemistry of the previous Kings' squads. They managed to hold on to an 8th seed before bowing out to the Spurs in the first round. The following season, the Kings' win total dropped from 44 to 33 without Rick Adelman on the bench and missed the postseason for the first time in 9 seasons. It also started the 10-year drought that lasted until Monday's exciting night.

Those 10 years saw six different coaches try their hand at righting the ship, a horrific 17-win season, and countless examples of ownership losing faith in the team and the city, culminated by relocation attempts to Anaheim and Seattle. Ultimately though, it was that relocation threat that provided the opportunity for a fresh start in Sacramento. The new regime in Sacramento quickly set to work in resetting the roster and identifying the existing pieces to keep. A much-improved and matured Demarcus Cousins was given a multi-year extension and ultimately given a competent partner on the wing in Rudy Gay. The Kings may not have an abundance of superstar talent, but the pieces they have are fitting together quicker than many expected. John Henson has had an outstanding season in his defense-first role next to Cousins, Ben McLemore has improved after a bumpy rookie year, and hard-working reserves like Quincy Acy found a niche with the Kings. Reggie Jackson has shown flashes of being an athletic and versatile lead guard after coming to the Kings in return for Isaiah Thomas. The additional value from the Thomas trade adds substance to the Kings' asset stockpile going forward.

Unlike their last postseason appearance in 2006, this season's Kings are trending upwards instead of trying to halt a decline. The pain from a decade of difficult situations has started to fall away, and the hope for a return to competitive basketball keeps growing in Sacramento. This season's playoffs likely won't see a series victory, but slaying the lottery demon and making the postseason is arguably a larger victory for the Kings. The real question is if this year's momentum will continue and become the start of something positive in Sacramento.
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Re: - Here We Build - 2014-15 Season Awards and Playoff Preview

Postby Vespasian92 on Wed Aug 27, 2014 11:30 am

2014-15 NBA Player Awards

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NBA Playoff Preview

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Western Conference Preview

(1) Oklahoma City Thunder vs. (8) Sacramento Kings

K. Durant: 23.8 PPG - 8.6 RPG - 5.5 APG - D. Cousins: 19.2 PPG - 10.5 RPG - 2.4 APG

1-8 matchups rarely result in close series, and this one probably isn't going to be an exception. The Kings are a feel-good story this season, riding a matured Demarcus Cousins and revitalized Rudy Gay to their first playoff appearance in a decade. But the defending champs coming into the postseason with even more depth than last year, thanks in large part to the Kings. Oklahoma City acquired Isaiah Thomas and Carl Landry from Sacramento in exchange for Reggie Jackson and a future pick. Thomas gives Oklahoma City a competent scorer off the bench who can create offense without Durant or Westbrook. The Kings are still a young team trying to develop their core, with Rudy Gay, Travis Outlaw, and Reggie Jackson (who has a ring from last year with OKC) being the only current players on the roster with playoff experience. A young squad gaining their first postseason experience against the defending champions will probably be lucky to avoid a sweep or push it to more than 5 games.


(2) Los Angeles Clippers vs. (7) New Orleans Pelicans

B. Griffin: 18.0 PPG - 8.7 RPG - A. Davis: 17.2 PPG - 9.2 RPG - 1.5 SPG - 1.7 BPG

Both the Clippers and Pelicans were hot down the stretch of the season and promise to provide an entertaining series. The Clippers ran away from the Rockets to secure the #2 seed in the West while the Pelicans won their last 3 games of the season to overcome the slipping Grizzlies and Timberwolves to reach the postseason. Newly appointed DPOY Anthony Davis and a 18.7 PPG - 7.6 APG season from Jrue Holiday have the Pelicans as a legitimate threat to upset the Clippers if L.A. doesn't rise to the challenge.


(3) Houston Rockets vs. (6) San Antonio Spurs

J. Harden: 17.5 PPG - 5.5 RPG - 5.3 APG - T. Parker: 17.2 PPG - 9.2 RPG - 1.5 SPG - 1.7 BPG

The Rockets assembled their Big 3 at the trade deadline by acquiring Kevin Love from the Timberwolves to go with Dwight Howard and James Harden. They slipped to the 3rd seed after sitting in 2nd for most of the season, but are still considered the biggest threat to a return Finals trip for the Thunder. Conversely, the Spurs' era is being declared over by many as they fell to the #6 seed this year. Tim Duncan had arguably his worst statistical year ever, posting career lows in points, rebounds, minutes, blocks, and games played. At 38, few believe that he will return to his previous form. The Spurs may look to make a significant move this offseason to give Tony Parker and a developing Kawhi Leonard help in a new era.


(4) Golden State Warriors vs. (5) Denver Nuggets

S. Curry: 21.1 PPG - 6.1 APG - T. Lawson: 19.1 PPG - 6.8 APG

The Warriors reclaimed home court in the first round after being the #6 seed last year. A strong team performance has them as a dark horse to be a threat to a team like the Rockets or even Oklahoma City later on, assuming they can escape from the first round. The Nuggets made a large jump this season and could put up a good fight behind Ty Lawson and a healthy Danilo Gallinari. An intense PG battle will likely decide this first round matchup, which could go either way.


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Eastern Conference Preview

(1) Miami Heat vs. (8) Washington Wizards

L. James: 24.9 PPG - 9.1 RPG - 5.8 APG - J. Wall: 15.9 PPG - 7.2 APG

The clear favorites in the East, Miami likely won't have much trouble with an upstart Washington team. The Wizards had a 7th seed last season but still bowed out to the Bulls. They get another tough matchup here against Lebron and the Heat and will be hard-pressed to gain anything besides more experience in this series.


(2) New York Knicks vs. (7) Toronto Raptors

C. Anthony: 23.9 PPG - 7.0 RPG - D. Derozan: 18.9 PPG - 5.4 RPG - 2.8 APG

Playing in a weak conference helps, but the Knicks deserve some credit for bouncing back after a an ugly 5-game loss in the first round in 2014. Carmelo opted in for one season to give the Knicks a chance to prove they are a legitimate contender, and this year's record might make Melo reconsider New York as a long-term situation that he can win in. The Raptors snuck back into the postseason behind young talent in Derozan, Valanciunas, and Ross. Kyle Lowry signed with the Bulls last offseason, leaving Greivis Vasquez as the starter, who performaned admirably. Lowry was essentially traded to Chicago for Carlos Boozer, who ended up with Toronto after being amnestied by the Bulls to create the space to sign Lowry and Nikola Mirotic. Boozer and Valanciunas have given Toronto competent low-post scoring and will be key if they want to upset the Knicks.


(3) Indiana Pacers vs. (6) Charlotte Hornets

P. George: 20.7 PPG - 6.9 RPG - 4.5 APG - 1.8 SPG - K. Walker: 20.0 PPG - 6.7 APG

The Pacers are out to prove that they can be a legitimate threat in the East after falling short last year with a bad 1st round exit. They return with the same core squad minus Lance Stephenson, but are still likely to oust the Hornets relatively easily. Charlotte is a team on the rise, with their young star Kemba Walker and addition of Al Jefferson last season providing a quality duo. In the Eastern Conference they could be a team that becomes a postseason staple in a few years, but still need more to avoid becoming a constant 1st round casualty.


(4) Detroit Pistons vs. (5) Chicago Bulls

Stephen Curry: 21.1 PPG - 6.1 APG - Derrick Rose: 23.8 PPG - 5.4 RPG - 5.6 APG

A worthy winner of his COY award, Mo Cheeks has somehow found a way do to the supposedly impossible: allow Andre Drummond, Greg Monroe, and Josh Smith to successfully share a frontcourt as starters. Having a much-improved Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and 6th MOY candidate Jonas Jerebko to space the floor helps matters as well. The Pistons can play a physical and athletic game with their frontcourt trio, and the deadline addition of Tony Allen gives them another asset in developing a strong and defensively-competent squad. A healthy Derrick Rose played his highest number of games since the 2010-11 season for Chicago. Joakim Noah and a 1st team All-Defense member Jimmy Butler anchored a strong season for the Bulls defense. New Bulls Kyle Lowry and Nikola Mirotic played important roles for Chicago, who have a legitimate 7 or 8 players who can handle significant roles on a quality team. This 4-5 matchup brings the most excitement to an Eastern Conference 1st round that will likely have multiple 4 or 5 game series.
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Re: - Here We Build - 1st Round Playoffs: Games 1 & 2

Postby Vespasian92 on Thu Aug 28, 2014 10:53 am

Perimeter trio combines for 81 as Thunder take game 1
Thunder: 119
Kings: 99

In the first round Thunder-Kings series, Oklahoma City played host to Game 1. A young Kings team had to find a way to control their excitement, as the vast majority of the team was playing in their first career playoff game. Sacramento actually did an excellent job of executing offensively, especially in the first half. Former Thunder G Reggie Jackson built upon some of the momemtum of positive performances at the end of the regular season with a strong Game 1 effort. Jackson led the Kings with 25 points to go with 9 assists. The Kings kept the game close and trailed the defending champs by just 4 at halftime. The third quarter actually saw Sacramento take a 5 point lead at one point and threaten to steal game 1 from a heavily favored Thunder squad. But in the 4th, the superstar advantage of the Thunder kicked in. Durant and Westbrook scored 24 of Oklahoma City's 34 4th quarter points, with Jeremy Lamb scoring another 6. The Thunder outscored the Kings by 9 and cruised in the final quarter to the 1-0 series lead.

Westbrook took advantage of a Kings defense that sagged off and dared him to shoot from the perimeter by making 4 shots from downtown. The Kings' offense that had kept the game close for the majority of the contest sputtered in the 4th, and their mediocre defense continued to fail at the other end. Durant, Westbrook, and Lamb combined for 81 points in game 1, posting a perfect percentage from the charity stripe and connecting on 10 3PT FGs. As mentioned, Reggie Jackson had a strong performance against his former team and led Sacramento in the losing effort. Despite having a significantly reduced role towards the end of the season, Jason Thompson played 13 minutes in Coach Malone's desire for consistent effort and had an 11-5 performance in that time.

Oklahoma City Thunder Top Performers
Russell Westbrook: 28 PTS - 11 AST - 10/16 FG - 4/6 3PT FG - 4/4 FT
Kevin Durant: 28 PTS - 4 REB - 6 AST - 11/20 FG - 3/6 3PT FG - 3/3 FT
Jeremy Lamb: 25 PTS - 4 REB - 4 AST - 10/22 FG - 3/8 3PT FG - 2/2 FT
Stephen Adams: 10 PTS - 11 REB - 5/7 FG


Sacramento Kings Top Performers
Reggie Jackson: 25 PTS - 5 REB - 9 AST - 9/18 FG - 2/4 3PT FG - 5/6 FT
Rudy Gay: 19 PTS - 5 REB - 7/10 FG - 2/2 3PT FG - 3/3 FT
Demarcus Cousins: 13 PTS - 8 REB - 5/11 FG - 3/6 FT
Jason Thompson: 11 PTS - 5 REB - 5/9 FG - 1/3 FT - 13 MIN

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In Game 2, Durant and Westbrook again dominate
Everybody knows that Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook will carry the majority of the scoring load for the Thunder, but not many were expecting them to carry as much as they did in game 2, especially the Kings. Nobody else scored in double figures or took more than 7 shots, but ultimately it didn't matter. Oklahoma City is the perfect team to expose the Kings' biggest weakness of a lack of perimeter stoppers, or even one. Rudy Gay is arguably their best defender, but the years of his engaged defensive effort and 4 straight 1.5 SPG seasons in Memphis have disappeared. A worse defensive supporting cast than Tony Allen and Marc Gasol certainly don't help either. Without anybody available to stop them on a consistent basis, Durant and Westbrook torched the Kings once again and carried the Thunder to a game 2 win.

Demarcus Cousins bounced back from a forgettable game 1 performance with 20 points tonight, but still did not dominate enough to secure a Kings win. The Kings will be happy to return to Sacramento despite now trailing 0-2. Kings fans will have their first chance in a decade to recreate a playoff atmosphere akin to that in the early 2000s.
Thunder: 100
Kings: 89

Oklahoma City Thunder Top Performers
Kevin Durant: 32 PTS - 11 REB - 6 AST - 4 STL - 12/27 FG - 2/9 3PT FG - 6/6 FT
Russell Westbrook: 30 PTS - 10 REB - 9 AST - 11/23 FG - 3/5 3PT FG - 5/6 FT
Carl Landry: 8 PTS - 2 REB - 4/7 FG - 14 MIN
Serge Ibaka: 6 PTS - 6 REB - 3/7 FG


Sacramento Kings Top Performers
Demarcus Cousins: 20 PTS - 7 REB - 8/19 FG - 4/5 FT
Rudy Gay: 17 PTS - 6 REB - 7/16 FG - 3/8 3PT FG
John Henson: 14 PTS - 10 REB - 2 BLK - 7/10 FG
Reggie Jackson: 12 PTS - 4 REB - 3 AST - 3/8 FG - 2/6 3PT FG - 4/5 FT

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Western Conference Playoffs
Thunder lead Kings 2-0.
Clippers / Pelicans tied 1-1.
Rockets lead Spurs 2-0.
Warriors lead Nuggets 2-0.

Eastern Conference Playoffs
Heat / Wizards tied 1-1.
Knicks lead Raptors 2-0.
Pacers / Bobcats tied 1-1.
Bulls lead Pistons 2-0.
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Re: - Here We Build - Thunder end Kings' postseason in 5 games

Postby Vespasian92 on Fri Aug 29, 2014 4:11 pm

Kings offense stalls as they fall to 0-3
Thunder: 104
Kings: 95

With their 1st round series returning to Sacramento, the Kings had their first home playoff game since 2006 and hoped for a similar home atmosphere as they had a decade ago. Conversely, the Thunder took the first two games relatively easily and wanted to take a stranglehold of the series with a 3-0 lead. Despite the sold-out crowd and excited atmosphere in Sacramento, the Kings struggled to bring much energy early on.

The usual suspects of Cousins and Gay could not find any rhythm offensively and missed 6 of their first 7 combined attempts. The Kings struggled offensively without their production and only put up 39 points in the first half. The Thunder took advantage and jumped on the Kings easily, taking an 11-point advantage by halftime. Without any surprise stars or disappointing performers, Oklahoma City simply went about their business and executed on both end of the floor on a consistent basis. Their top 7 rotation players all scored at least 9 points, led by Westbrook's 27.

The Thunder had a 16-point lead early in the 3rd quarter and were beginning to rotate their starters out when the Kings finally showed some life offensively. Ben McLemore turned up his aggressiveness and started showing something of a go-to mentality that he was criticized for lacking in college. The former Jayhawk found the range from downtown and made 5 3PT FGs in the later half of the 3rd. Behind McLemore's perimeter barrage, the Kings cut the lead to 5 and summoned Westbrook and Durant back into the game. Sacramento kept the game within reach for most of the 4th quarter but wasn't able to get any closer than the 5-point margin they had in the 3rd. Oklahoma City held on relatively easily and coasted to the win and the 3-0 lead. It was a disappointing outing for the first home playoff game in quite some time, and Sacramento fans will have just one more chance to hope for a win and avoid the sweep in game 4.

Oklahoma City Thunder Top Performers
Russell Westbrook: 27 PTS - 3 REB - 6 AST - 8/14 FG - 3/4 3PT FG - 8/10 FT
Serge Ibaka: 16 PTS - 7 REB - 7/20 FG - 2/2 FT
Kevin Durant: 13 PTS - 8 REB - 9 AST - 4/10 FG - 1/5 3PT FG - 4/6 FT
Jeremy Lamb: 11 PTS - 6 REB - 3 AST - 5/9 FG - 1/4 3PT FG


Sacramento Kings Top Performers
Ben McLemore: 27 PTS - 7 REB - 9/14 FG - 7/9 3PT FG - 2/2 FT
Demarcus Cousins: 12 PTS - 5 REB - 3/14 FG - 6/9
Rudy Gay: 11 PTS - 4 REB - 3/9 FG - 1/3 3PT FG - 4/4 FT
John Henson: 9 PTS - 5 REB - 2 STL - 4 BLK - 1/7 FG - 7/8 FT

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Kings take game 4 behind outstanding defensive effort

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All three parts of the Kings' frontcourt made an impact before the Sacramento fans

The downfall of the Kings in the first three games of their playoff series against the Thunder has been poor defensive performances against the star duo of Durant and Westbrook. The Kings made the postseason behind their offensive ability and their depth, with defense never being considered their strength. Even a defensive-minded coach like Michael Malone can only do so much without the personnel necessary to be a strong defensive team. After Durant and Westbrook torched the Kings in games 1 and 2, Coach Malone was unwilling to allow a repeat performance before the Sacramento fans.

After witnessing a loss in their first playoff game since 2006, Sacramento again came out in force to show support for their Kings despite the team down 0-3 in relatively embarrassing fashion. Behind the support of a passionate crowd, the Kings team that stepped onto the floor for game 3 was a different one than what showed up in the first 3 contests. The entire team showed the kind of intensity and passion that is required to play engaged defense. Coach Malone's gameplan against the Thunder stars was executed to perfection. The Kings trapped and hedged Westbrook into the corners and sent help to Durant anytime he touched the ball. Giving up open shots to anybody else as the expense, the Kings limited Westbrook and Durant to a combined 12/35 from the floor. The Kings were more than willing to let the Thunder role-players decide the contest by outscoring the usually-strong Kings offense.

Under normal circumstances, that gameplan wouldn't have worked quite as well as it did out tonight. But the noise and atmosphere in Sacramento might have contributed to the fact that the majority of the Thunder team shot so poorly. Isaiah Thomas and Serge Ibaka both missed many attempts on the night despite getting excellent looks off of Durant and Westbrook double-teams. With the star duo harassed by double teams and the next two offensive options hoisting bricks, the defending champs looked about as bad as we have seen them in a long time.

That crowd fed off of the Thunder misses, and then the Kings fed off the crowd. Sacramento held the Thunder to 18 points or less in each of the first three quarters and had ran away with a playoff win against the defending champs by the start of the 4th. Demarcus Cousins showed moments of the interior dominance he is capable of after three orgettable performances in the series. Cousins abused Stephen Adams early in the game and kept his confidence up all night. He showed it all tonight, shooting 7/11 from the floor, earning 15 attempts from the charity stripe, and even making a 3PT FG. Add Ben McLemore's 20 points and John Henson's 4 blocks and we had a Kings team that put on their best performance of the season at the best time.

Nobody should expect the Thunder to get blown out again, but the domination that the Kings displayed tonight was something that Sacramento deserved to see after the pain and countless losses over the past decade. They avoided being swept before the home crowd and gave Kings fans a positive exclamation point on the positive season they put together. Sacramento may not get another chance to come out and support this postseason as a vengeful Thunder team will host game 5 in Oklahoma City. A win where the building blocks like Cousins perform well, where key players like Henson embrace their roles, and where the fans were never at a loss for something to cheer about is a perfect ending to the Kings season even if they don't return from Oklahoma.

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Thunder mop up in game 5 to oust Sacramento
Thunder: 113
Kings: 105

After avoiding the sweep with a dominant night in game 4, the Kings headed to OKC to try and make the series interesting. Most expected a sweep or 5-game series, but the Kings had a chance to force a game 6 and give Sacramento another chance to witness playoff basketball. Conversely, the Thunder were embarrassed by an inferior team and were going to try and make a statement and finish the series in emphatic fashion. In what has been the norm this series, the Thunder easily took control of the game at some point and cruised to a win. Oklahoma City never blew the game open but never really had it in doubt. KD dominated offensively after a pair of sub-par performances in games 3 and 4. Reggie Jackson had a strong night against his former team but wasn't able to carry the Kings back into the game. Cousins' 20-10 performance and Rudy Gay's all-around effort couldn't overcome Durant's dominance and 14 points from both Adams and Lamb. Durant dropped 38 points to go with 13 boards as OKC held a 7-point advantage in the 4th and led until the end.

The Thunder could celebrate the first step of their journey towards a repeat on their home floor. They arguably have an even better team this year and are considered by most as the favorites, at least to come out of the West. They get the chance to rest and await either the Warriors or Nuggets. Golden State leads 3-2 despite losing game 5 at home. The Thunder's greatest threats of Houston and L.A. find themselves in the other seeding bracket than OKC, and also are in closer 1st round series than expected. Even if they both survive, the Rockets and Clippers would face each other in the conference semifinals before likely meeting OKC in the WCF.

The Kings quietly bow out in 5 games, which most expected when the series began. Sacramento made positive steps forward this season but are still a young team trying to build on what they have. Just getting back to the postseason is more than was expected of them, and a 1st round against the defending champs is exactly the kind of test that young teams struggle with. A team without defensive stalwarts will have difficulty against superstars, of which the Thunder boasted two. The Kings must have a positive offseason and address some needs to keep their positive momentum, starting by dealing with Rudy Gay's free agency. They hope a postseason appearance is enough to help convince Gay that they can build a consistent postseason team with him on board.

Oklahoma City Thunder Top Performers
Kevin Durant: 38 PTS - 13 REB - 6 AST - 12/24 FG - 3/7 3PT FG - 11/11 FT
Russell Westbrook: 15 PTS - 7 AST - 4/9 FG - 1/3 3PT FG - 6/6 FT
Stephen Adams: 14 PTS - 6 REB - 5/12 FG - 4/6 FT
Jeremy Lamb: 14 PTS - 6 REB - 4 AST - 4/10 FG - 1/4 3PT FG - 5/6 FT


Sacramento Kings Top Performers
Reggie Jackson: 26 PTS - 5 REB - 7 AST - 12/18 FG - 2/2 3PT FG
Demarcus Cousins: 20 PTS - 10 REB - 8/15 FG - 4/6 FT
Rudy Gay: 14 PTS - 7 REB - 6 AST - 6/12 FG - 1/3 3PT FG - 1/3 FT
Ben McLemore: 13 PTS - 4 REB - 3/15 FG - 0/5 3PT FG - 7/11 FT

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Western Conference Playoffs
Thunder defeat Kings 4-1.
Warriors defeat Nuggets 4-2.
Rockets defeat Spurs 4-2.
Clippers defeat Pelicans 4-2.

Eastern Conference Playoffs
Heat defeat Wizards 4-3.
Bulls defeat Pistons 4-2.
Pacers defeat Hornets 4-2.
Raptors defeat Knicks 4-3.
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Re: - Here We Build - 2015 NBA Finals, Retirements, Draft Lottery

Postby Vespasian92 on Sun Aug 31, 2014 3:34 am

In consecutive Finals, Thunder top Heat to claim title

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Just one season removed from their first NBA championship, the Oklahoma City Thunder returned this season with another strong roster and found themselves as one of the favorites to repeat. An easy 1st round series against Sacramento and another 5-game rout in the second round against the Warriors had them sitting in the WCF without breaking a sweat. The revamped Rockets met them there after enduring a more difficult path against the Spurs and Clippers. The conference finals looked like a close series in the first two games and had the Thunder facing a legitimate test until game 3. Dwight Howard left game 3 with a shoulder injury that appeared very similar to the Labrum issues he suffered while with the Lakers. Without Howard's defense and rebounding to anchor the team and cover up for offense-first players like Harden and Kevin Love, the Rockets couldn't put up the same effort that their a healthy Big 3 could have. Oklahoma City won game 3 and also ran away with games 5 and 6 to win the series 3-2. The Rockets put together their Big 3 at the trade deadline and were considered the largest Western threat to the Thunder, and having injuries derail their deep run is obviously a disappointing outcome.

Miami looked like a fatigued and tired team in their first round series against the Wizards, who pressed Lebron and Co. to 7 games. It not for Chris Bosh's 28-12 performance in game 7, the Heat would likely be crucified for their 1st round departure after making 3 consecutive Finals in the previous seasons. But after their wake-up call against Washington, the Heat seemed to recover their momentum and focus. They swept the Bulls (who had Derrick Rose in and out of the lineup due to lingering injuries) and then cruised past Indiana in 5 games.

A Thunder squad that kept their confidence and momentum all the way to the Finals squared off against a Heat team that recovered from a terrible series in potent fashion. It also marked a rematch of last year's finals, which the Thunder won in 6 games. But this year seemed to be even less of a challenge for OKC, considering their increased depth vs. a Heat team with some aging core pieces like Dwayne Wade. Wade was dealing with some Plantar Fasciitis in this postseason and has been banged-up all season. He played the lowest MPG total of his career this season and clearly is not the same player he once was.

In Oklahoma City, the Thunder claimed games 1 and 2 thanks to poor shooting from Chris Bosh (combined 9/27) and a general lack of production from Wade. Lance Stephenson struggled to take advantage of the opportunities when Wade was off the floor and shot a horrific 3-18 in the first two games. Many were reminded of Lebron's Cleveland teams when he had to carry so much of the load without consistent support.

Lebron did carry enough in game 3 however, as his 37-11 night gave Miami their first win in the series. But once again, the lack of support was concerning. Wade, Bosh, and Stephenson only combined for 26 points in game 3. The Thunder lost game 3 by just 5 points, while games 1 and 2 were double-digit victories. Oklahoma City came out focused in game 4 looking for a stranglehold. KD dropped 28 and also received a lot of help. Westbrook had 19 points and 8 assists, Isaiah Thomas led the bench with an efficient 14 and 7, while Jeremy Lamb showed the confidence from his breakout season with 25 points. Conversely, the Heat didn't have any 20-point scorers in game 4 and lost at home by 13. At that point, the Thunder all but won the title, up 3-1 with two home games left. Oklahoma City hosted game 5 in which Westbrook scored 31 as the Thunder clinched back-to-back titles in easy fashion on their home court.

The Thunder firmed cemented their position to be title favorites as long as their core remains intact, and might hear the dynasty labels soon if their core and Finals appearances stay in OKC. But despite the outstanding season and even better postseason run by Oklahoma City, many of the headlines will be on Miami's disastrous Finals performance. They were pushed to 7 games in the first round by a #8 seed, and then had 3 of their top 4 players post very inconsistent performances in the Finals. The Heat's Big 3 of Lebron, Wade, and Bosh can all opt out and test free agency, and the disappointing end to their postseason might make those decisions a little harder, especially for Lebron.

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Player retirements and HOF inductees

N. Mohammad. S. Battier, K. Garnett, C. Billups, J. Terry, M. Ginobli, F. Garcia, V. Carter


Hall of Fame inductees

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NBA Draft Lottery

Suns win 1st pick, Celtics jump into top 3

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Re: - Here We Build - Season in Review 2014-15

Postby Vespasian92 on Sun Aug 31, 2014 2:31 pm

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Kings Season in Review 2014-15

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Kings Coach Michael Malone deserves much of the credit for the improvements the Kings made last season


W-L: 40-42 (33-49 in 2013-14)

Best Performances:
Points: R. Gay: 38 PTS vs. BKN
Rebounds: D. Cousins: 21 REB vs. GS
Assists: I. Thomas: 14 AST vs. UTA
Blocks: D. Cousins: 6 BLK vs. MIL

D. Cousins - 22 PTS, 21 REB, 5 AST, 5 STL, 5 BLK vs. GS - 28 PTS, 19 REB vs. MIA
R. Gay - 38 PTS, 8 REB vs. BKN
R. Jackson - 35 PTS, 6 AST vs. BKN
B. McLemore - 28 PTS, 4 REB, 4 AST, 4 STL vs. IND - 20 PTS, 9 AST, 8/10 FG vs. OKC
Q. Acy - 23 PTS, 10 REB, 10/14 FG vs. LAC
J. Henson - 12 PTS, 20 REB vs. ATL - 14 PTS, 5 BLK, 6/9 FG vs. DET
A. Crabbe - 30 PTS, 5/9 3PT FG vs. GS
D. Williams - 29 PTS, 11/15 FG vs. ORL
R. McCallum - 17 PTS, 6 AST vs. LAL


The 2013-14 season saw the Kings begin their new era under new owner Vivek Ranadadive and new management including GM Pete D'Alessandro and coach Michael Malone. The team underwent significant roster turnover, which began by executing a sign-and-trade with the Pelicans of Tyreke Evans for PG Greivis Vasquez. Multiple trades throughout the season saw a host of players including Vasquez, Patrick Patterson, Chuck Hayes, Marcus Thornton, Jimmer Fredette, and more sent out of Sacramento. In a trade that crucified the Kings in the media, they acquired slumping volume scorer Rudy Gay from Toronto. Gay regained his confidence in Sacramento and entered last season as a leader for the Kings next to Demarcus Cousins and Isaiah Thomas.

That trio performed very well for the Kings last season, each putting up at least 18 points a game for most of the year. Sacramento was playing .500 basketball on a consistent basis and seemed to be a threat for the postseason. At least they did until the trade deadline when they shocked Kings' fans by trading Isaiah Thomas. Thomas was in the midst of a career year and had made a large jump in his playmaking ability before heading to the defending champion Thunder. In exchange for Thomas and Carl Landry, the Kings' return was headlined by Reggie Jackson. The Kings were high on Jackson's athleticism and aggressiveness from the lead guard position in today's NBA game and instantly gave him the keys to the team. The results were initially mixed for the Boston College product as his inconsistency and turnovers cost Sacramento wins in their playoff chase. But eventually Jackson found a rhythm with his new team, especially in the final month of the year. In what was essentially a playoff-clinching win in Minnesota, Jackson capped off his improvement with an 18 point, 8 assists, and 4 steal performance. Add the fact that he never turned the ball over that night and shot 70% from the floor, and Jackson showed his teammates and Kings' fans what he could bring as a leader of the team.

Thanks to the consistent production from Cousins and Gay to go with Jackson's late-season improvement, the Kings snapped their miserable postseason drought with a #8 seed and an appearance in the first round. Ironically, their opponent was the defending champion Thunder, who brought former Kings Isaiah Thomas and Carl Landry with them. The outstanding and yet still young core of the Thunder had their eyes set on a repeat and made quick work of the Kings overall in the series. Except for game 4, Oklahoma City easily cruised past the Kings and won the series 4-1. But despite the double-digit losses and the 5-game exit, the Kings had a lot to celebrate. Aside from their much-improved season record and the end of their playoff drought, their game 4 performance at home was a special night. Sacramento put everything together that night and dominated all 48 minutes. The Kings have a decent young core of their own and every Kings that stepped on the floor reminded everybody what they have the potential to become. The Sacramento fans deserved a playoff win so desperately, and to do it in a manner that left them excited and hopeful for the entire game was a huge positive for the Kings as a franchise.

Realistically, very few would consider the Kings' season anything besides a rousing success. Their trade of Isaiah Thomas is even starting to look better considering Jackson's improved play, not to mention additional assets like Bismack Biyombo, Devin Hopkins, and a 1st round pick in the upcoming draft. But this offseason must also be successful in order for the Kings to maintain their upward momentum. Rudy Gay is a free agent and will at least listen to other offers. Gay has repeatedly has very positive things to say about Coach Michael Malone and also witnessed the incredible atmosphere and fan support by securing a postseason appearance, so the Kings are encouraged by their chances to retain their star wing. Along with Gay's free agency, addressing the defensive holes on the roster should be another priority this offseason for a Kings' team hopefully on the rise.

Demarcus Cousins: Cousins had a much-improved season statistically in 2013-14 and posted very similar numbers once again. His scoring and rebounding dropped slightly, but by less than 1 a game. His assists rose, while everything else was fairly equal. His role as the leader and primary option was questioned by many, but Cousins performed admirably enough. His maturity and leadership mentality made many positive strides, but the question of if he can be the #1 option on a contending team still very much remains.

Rudy Gay: Gay improved his efficiency in 2013-14 after the trade to Sacramento, and that efficiency remained high last year while improving his scoring overall. He scored over 18 points a night while shooting 47% from the floor. As he showed in Memphis, Gay has the ability to play off of a dominant post player very well. Cousins replicated much of what made Rudy successful with Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol, as he can both score inside and is an underrated passer. His overall contributions go deeper than his 18, 5, and 3 and is probably a must-resign for the Kings. Rudy is the best small forward to come to Sacramento in a long time and if he does walk, it will be very difficult for Sacramento to replace him.

Reggie Jackson: As mentioned, Jackson came from Oklahoma City in exchange for Isaiah Thomas and had a bumpy adjustment period with his new team. His playstyle and per-36 stats reflect reasonably to Eric Bledsoe, which is the tier of lead guard that the Kings are hoping Jackson develops into. He displayed that ability more frequently down the stretch of the season and in the playoffs with over 6.5 assists a night in the last month of the season. Maintaining that passing ability and playing under control will go a long ways toward securing his spot as the starting PG of the future.

John Henson: Henson was acquired from Milwaukee last offseason in exchange for the #9 pick in the draft. Henson was expected to fit in next to Demarcus Cousins and provide the length, athleticism, and shot-blocking that Cousins lacks. In that role, the UNC product performed to perfection. Henson secured over 8 boards and blocked 1.8 shots per game, while not forcing anything offensively. He shot over 50% from the field and gradually displayed more confidence in his midrange jumpshot. His ability to space the floor for Cousins can still improve, but his first season in Sacramento was a solid one and he fit his role resoundingly well.

Ben McLemore: After an uneven rookie year, Ben McLemore did perform better in his sophomore season with small improvements in almost all statistical categories. But those improvements were relatively small, and he actually performed worse in arguably the most important area. His 3PT percentage dropped from 36% down to 33%. Everybody knew his athletic abilities would translate to the NBA, but he was expected to be a lights-out shooter as well. His shooting form is excellent but maybe McLemore won't be the kind of shooter and double threat that some first thought. He did make some very solid improvements defensively, which was a welcome sight to coach Malone, who gave McLemore over 34 minutes a night, which was the most on the team besides Jackson's smaller sample size.

Derrick Williams: Acquired from Minnesota in exchange for Luc Mbah a Moute in 2013-14, D-Thrill brought athleticism off the Kings' bench. The trouble is that he didn't bring much else consistently. The knocks on him as a tweener without a consistent jumper and a player who requires the ball to be productive showed up regularly last year. He did muster a respectable 36% from behind the arc due to much better shot selection and a low number of 3PT attempts yet his jumpshot still lacked the polish and consistent results required from someone playing the small forward. It is become clearer that his best position is the power forward spot, especially in today's NBA with small-ball and a focus on athleticism. At the 4 he would probably be considered at least an average shooter. The trouble is that the Kings are very high on Henson as well as Quincy Acy at the 4. Derrick is understandably relatively well-liked by fans due to his athletic ability, but he will be a free agent along with Gay and many would argue that his $6M could be better spent on other needs.

Ray McCallum: Very quietly, RayMac had an excellent season. If not for his sub-40% shooting, his year would have been even better. He was a consistent player off the bench, which was sometimes missing for Sacramento. His defensive abilites are excellent for a young player thanks in large part to being a coach's son. The late-season loss of Allen Crabbe also hurt McCallum, who was frequently without consistent shooting in the rest of the bench unit. His need to create for the bench drove his shooting percentages down, but he has kept improving his game and could make a case for a larger role next season if he can improve his shot selection.

Quincy Acy: A favorite of both the fans and coach Malone, Quincy has settled into a good role in Sacramento. He came back from last offseason with a relatively consistent 3pt shot to go with his hustle and angry dunks. He brings the perfect package for a bench player of versatility, energy, and defensive focus. His role and playing time are probably right where they should be, but don't expect anybody to come in and take his minutes easily.

Jason Thompson: It is no secret that the relationship between Thompson and the Kings have deteriorated in the past few seasons. JT posted his lowest MPG total of his career last season by a wide margin, and lost most of his playing time to the combination of Henson, Acy, Landry, and Biyombo. His largest value was as the only player on the roster who could consistently play center aside from Cousins, but he lost that distinction when Bismack Biyombo was acquired from Charlotte in the 3-team deal of Isaiah Thomas. He was reportedly on the trade block for most of 2013-14 as well as last season. Despite a pair of solid performances in the postseason when his consistency was desired, Thompson is at the bottom of the frontcourt rotation and would likely welcome a move, especially if the fit between him and the Kings is beyond repair.

Bismack Biyombo: He came to the Kings from Charlotte in the Isaiah Thomas trade as Kendrick Perkins went to the Hornets. Instead of taking Perkins' expiring deal, the Kings essentially flipped him for the youth of Biyombo. The former #7 overall pick in 2011, ironically made by the Kings, remains a raw prospect who has not developed offensive moves or a consistent free throw stroke. His only skill is as an athletic rim-protection, but it is something that the Kings liked enough to expand the Thomas trade in order to land him. It remains unclear if he will be a long-term piece for the Kings or used as a trade chip for another team who wants to gamble on his potential.

Allen Crabbe: Crabbe performed excellently for most of the year as a reliable spot-up option off the bench. For the first month or two of the season, Crabbe averaged 15 minutes a night thanks to his consistency and McLemore's early season struggles. He was a consistent 40% shooter from downtown before a hip injury sidelined him for the last 2 months of the season. He also missed the Kings' playoff series against the Thunder. Like most of the Kings' reserves, his spot on the roster is not set in stone despite how much the Kings' FO and coaches like him simply because his primary skill can be replaced by most perimeter specialists.

Devin Hopkins: A throw-in of the Thomas deal, Hopkins is an undersized combo guard who has a flashy style. He has mediocre defensive skills and questionable shot selection, but loves to create off the dribble and shake defenders with a solid handle. Yet despite his isolation and shot-creation skills, his 36% and 28% shooting marks and his undersized frame make it a hard sell to keep him long-term, much less to give him a larger role.

Travis Outlaw: Outlaw received DNPs for a decent amount of the season, especially down the stretch of the year. He only played in 60 games and averaged just 5.4 minutes in those appearances. Despite Williams' shortcomings, he was far ahead of Outlaw in the rotation and received the vast majority of the backup minutes behind Rudy Gay. Outlaw's $3M contract expires this offseason and it is very unlikely that he will be a Kings next year.

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Re: - Here We Build - Lebron opts out, Malone gets extension

Postby Vespasian92 on Mon Sep 01, 2014 8:30 am

Lebron opts out, will consider leaving Miami

After the disappointing Finals performance for his Miami Heat, Lebron James opted out of his $22M player option and will test free agency. The Heat lost to the Thunder in 5 games in the NBA Finals. James performed well in the series despite his team's poor showing. Lebron will be an unrestricted free agent and can sign any offer with any team. The era of the Heat's Big 3 of James, Wade, and Bosh may be over, as Chris Bosh also exercised his early termination option and will be a free agent as well. In 2010, Bosh left the Raptors to join Lebron in the move to South Beach. Both are expected to receive plenty of attention and offers on the open market. The poor performance and lack of team chemistry in the Finals might prompt James and Bosh to consider leaving the Heat.

Dwayne Wade accepted his player option that will pay him $21.5M in 2015-16, and is scheduled to be a free agent next offseason if he does not sign an extension with Miami. Wade has played his entire career with the Heat, winning two titles with James and Bosh to go with one more in 2006.

Other notable players to exercise options to remain with their current teams include Kevin Love, Al Jefferson, and Roy Hibbert.
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Michael Malone earns 3-year contract extension

Following the 40-win season and postseason berth for his Sacramento Kings, Coach Michael Malone was rewarded with a 3-year contract extension to remain the head coach through the 2017-18 season. Malone is also very popular with and supported by the players, including Demarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay. The longtime assistant in New Orleans, Cleveland, and Golden State brought his defensive focus to Sacramento to try and improve a Kings' team that was lacking in defensive discipline and personnel. The Kings have gone 73-91 in two seasons under Malone.

In other coaching news, assistant coach Brendan Malone stepped down from his position on the Kings' bench. Brendan Malone spend almost 20 years as a coach in college and has been an assistant in the NBA since 1986, including in Orlando under Stan Van Gundy from 2007-2012. He spent time as a head coach in 1995 with Toronto and in 2005 in Cleveland. He joined his son's coaching staff in Sacramento for Michael's first head coaching opportunity in the NBA.

In light of his Brendan Malone's departure, the Kings have hired Ime Udoka as an assistant on Michael Malone's staff. Udoka played overseas, in the NBA, and in the NBADL in an 11-year span from 2000-2011. He spent time on the Spurs' coaching staff under Greg Popovich since 2012. He also played for the Kings in the 2009-10 season.
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Re: - Here We Build - 2015 NBA Draft

Postby Vespasian92 on Tue Sep 02, 2014 2:17 pm

2015 NBA Draft

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Every spring, the NBA draft offers new hope for the struggling teams who missed the playoffs as they seek a franchise-changer in the lottery. Playoff squads can add a valuable role-player in the end of the first round to help support their establish core of players. But history shows that future stars can be found like gems deep into the second round. Busts and steals always exist in every draft, and teams must depend on their scouts' information to make the correct selections. Stay tuned for analysis of all 14 lottery selections, information on all 60 draft selections, and which teams won and lost in the draft this year.

1: Phoenix Suns - Douglas Taylor - PG, Michigan
Even with Bledsoe and Dragic on board, the Suns went ahead and selected the BPA in a draft that is considered very weak by many analysts. Taylor was widely considered the best talent in the draft and Phoenix opted to get the most value from the pick. It was rumored that the Suns were considering trading out of the #1 overall spot to address other roster needs, and the odds are still good that Taylor won't be playing in Phoenix next year.


2: Milwaukee Bucks - Carl Stephenson - SG, Washington
For a team that drafted Alex Ejiofor #1 overall last year, the Bucks didn't see a significant return on their pick until late in the year. The Bucks found more success when he was insterted at the 4 next to Antetokounmpo and Sanders. With that high-potential lineup in mind, Milwaukee landed the complimentary scorer to go with Ejiofor's athletic length and Sanders' defense. Stephenson has a good handle and likes to attack the rim, and could be a very good scorer in the NBA if he continues to polish his jumper.


3: Boston Celtics - Darnell Griffin - PG, North Carolina
Dealing with the reality that Rajon Rondo may consider walking in FA, the Celtics landed #3 in what was considered a 4-man draft. Griffin is a confident lead guard with all-around skills, and his high character is something that made him a consideration for the #1 spot over the supposedly superior Taylor. Griffin can grow with Sullinger, Olynyk, and Bradley if the Celtits to indeed lose Rondo.


4: Orlando Magic - Mikael Andersson - SG, Sweden
Orlando's selection is a signifcant head-scratcher for many reasons. Andersson is a consistent shooter from the 2 spot, but the Magic have enough shooting guards right now, including last year's 1st round selection Carlton Pearson. Pearson and Andersson are similar players, and Aaron Afflalo also gets time for the Magic. Victor Oladipo may be moved to the point full-time, but the Magic traded for Darren Collison at the deadline last season and supposedly are interested in resigning him as well. Adding to the confusion is that in a 4-player draft, the Magic opted against picked the remaining top talent of Duane Wiley. A trade might be in the works for Orlando, otherwise the selection is a questionable one.


5: Cleveland Cavaliers - Duane Wiley - SF, Kentucky
Thanks to the Magic, Cleveland got a steal at #5 with Wiley. He is an athletic slasher from the small forward spot and had the most talent of anyone left on the board. He fills their biggest roster need and gives the Cavs an athletic trio with Irving and Waiters.


6: Atlanta Hawks - Marshall Alexander - SG, Kentucky
Much like the Magic, the Hawks chose a duplicate player at a position of strength. Kyle Korver, John Jenkins, and last year's pick Peja Toroman all man the 2-guard spot in Atlanta. Alexander is more of a combo guard and a slasher than the other three, yet it would still be safe to assume that somebody may be on their way out.


7: Boston Celtics - Quincy Goodrich - SF, Georgia
With Griffin on board as potentially the PG of the future, the Celtics added another young talent with Quincy Goodrich from Georgia. He is a versatile wing who already has an all-around game with polish. He can play behind Jeff Green in a 7-8 man rotation, or join Griffin, Bradley, Olynyk, and Sullinger if Boston decides to rebuild with that starting 5.


8: Dallas Mavericks - Desmond Warner - SF, Arizona
The Mavericks found a steal last year at 16 by taking Lucious Storey, who showed he is already a lockdown defender from the 3 spot. They bolster their bench and wing position with Desmond Warner from Arizona, who brings athleticism and more solid defensive ability to Dallas. His shooting still needs work and a year or two to develop his all-around skills, but is a decent selection in this weak draft.


9: Portland Trailblazers - Travis Mobley - PF, Georgetown
After a difficult season that was plagued by injuries, the Trailblazers hoped to support Aldridge and Lillard by taking Travis Mobley. Mobley can play either the PF or C positions and Portland hopes he can play next to Aldridge frequently. He is very smart defensively and can guard the opponent's best bigman and leave LMA free to focus offensively.


10: Philadelphia 76ers - Tim McMillan - PF, Xavier (OH)
Philly keeps searching for a frontcourt partner for Nerlens Noel. They still have Thaddeus Young and selected Tyrus Shelton very high last year, but look again this year with McMillan. Shelton's post moves are a good compliment, but leaves something to be desired defensively and on the glass. McMillan will be an upgrade over both Young and Shelton defensively and is a smart player all-around, but will still need to improve his midrange jumper to stand out.


11: Phoenix Suns - Francis Watson - PF, VCU
With the second of their two lottery picks, Phoenix took a player they were supposedly targeting with this selection all along. Watson is a gritty and determined rebounder from a smaller school and is NBA ready with his hustle and physicality. He shows potential in his shooting and is more athletic than he is given credit for. He is also just 20 and has room to develop his game further.


12: Memphis Grizzlies - Andrew Price - SG, Miami (OH)
After ending the season in a tailspin, the Grizzlies missed out on the postseason and may need to make some changes. Even after trading Tony Allen in favor of the better shooting Courtney Lee and Quincy Pondexter, they still struggled offensively without much 3pt shooting. Price can help with that need if he stays in Memphis, as rumors are suggesting the Grizzlies are considering a draft-day trade.


13: Utah Jazz - Jamar N'diaye - C, Duke
The Jazz are a team on the rise, with a quality young core that has every position covered. With the ability to make something of a gamble, they selected Jamar N'Diaye at 13. The native of Congo played at Duke and has an NBA-ready body and is a physical defender. Enes Kanter is a solid enough bigman, but they also have Rudy Gobert and now N'Diaye up front. They have the depth and the time to see if any of the three can develop into a star compliment for Derrick Favors.


14: Minnesota Timberwolves - Julian Richmond - PF, Syracuse
Despite having three 1st round picks thanks to the return on Kevin Love, just one was barely a lottery pick. At 14th overall they selected Julian Richmond from Syracuse. At 6'9" 225, he often played as an undersized C in Syracuse's zone and showcased his impressive athleticism and shot blocking ability. He also has a passable jumpshot to go with his defense, and will likely be a PF at the NBA level.


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Draft-Day Trade Updates


Phoenix Suns trade: Douglas Taylor (#1 overall), Emeka Okafor
Memphis Grizzlies trade: Ed Davis, Courtney Lee, Andrew Price (#12 overall), 2016 2nd Round Draft Selection

Looking for a change and for more talent, the Grizzlies agreed to acquire #1 overall pick Douglas Taylor from the Suns in exchange for a package including Courtney Lee, Ed Davis, and #12 overall pick Andrew Price. Both the Suns and Grizzlies have established players at point guard in Eric Bledsoe and Mike Conley, but the Suns also have Goran Dragic on board. Instead of having one of Taylor or Dragic left out of the regular rotation, the Suns sent him to Memphis in exchange for answers to their other needs. Phoenix was lacking at shooting guard last season and resorted to letting Archie Goodwin start 72 games. Lee gives them a veteran guard who is a defensive upgrade and can help them make the postseason jump. Ed Davis also heads to Phoenix where he can join with rookie Francis Watson to give the Suns more physical options up front than the Morris twins. They also dumped the multi-year contract of an aging Emeka Okafor in the deal.

Memphis adds Taylor as a potential star for them in the future, and adds some excitement and youth to their team after a disappointing result last season. Conley will still be the starter and is certainly not in any risk of being replaced. If anything, the Grizzlies may play them together in the backcourt and opt for an offensive-minded lineup. The grindhouse ideal in Memphis may be changing towards an offensive-minded philosophy considering the addition of a young offensive talent in the backcourt and last season's jettisoning of Tony Allen.


Sacramento Kings trade: Bismack Biyombo, 2015 1st Round Draft Selection (#30 overall), 2016 2nd Round Draft Selection (via CHA)
Toronto Raptors trade: 2015 1st Round Draft Selection (#19 overall)

With concerns that their prime draft target would not fall to them at #30, the Kings made a deal with the Toronto Raptors to move up to 19th overall. They gave up Bismack Biyombo and a 2015 2nd round pick that they acquired from Charlotte in the Isaiah Thomas trade. The 30th overall pick initially belonged to the Thunder and was also a return in the Thomas trade.

Biyombo is actually a decent pickup for the Raptors, who were without a defensive presence or a backup center for Jonas Valanciunas with Chuck Hayes' desire to move in FA. The Raptors have able scorers in Boozer, Patterson, and Valanciunas and can utilize an athletic rim-protector like Biyombo in many lineup combinations.


Charlotte Hornets trade: Carrick Felix
Cleveland Cavaliers trade: 2015 2nd Round Draft Selection (#35 overall), 2016 2nd Round Draft Selection

A minor deal gives the Hornets a 2nd round pick next year after trading theirs away to Sacramento at the deadline. Carrick Felix returns to Cleveland where he was drafted after being traded to Charlotte along with Henry Sims in exchange for Jeffrey Taylor and James Southerland. Charlotte also received the 35th pick in this year's draft in exchange for Felix.


Dallas Mavericks trade: Jose Calderon
Denver Nuggets trade: 2015 1st Round Draft Selection (#23 overall)

A minor deal gives the Hornets a 2nd round pick next year after trading theirs away to Sacramento at the deadline. Carrick Felix returns to Cleveland where he was drafted after being traded to Charlotte along with Henry Sims in exchange for Jeffrey Taylor and James Southerland. Charlotte also received the 35th pick in this year's draft in exchange for Felix.



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Re: - Here We Build - 2015 Free Agency, Updated Rosters

Postby Vespasian92 on Thu Sep 04, 2014 7:53 am

NBA Free Agency Headlines


Lebron joins Kobe in L.A.
The biggest news this offseason was the potential dismantling of the Miami Heat's Big 3. Lebron James and Chris Bosh both opted out of their contracts after the Heat's disappointing performance in the Finals against the Thunder. Lebron was the only consistent performer in the series and did not receive enough support from Bosh, Wade, or Lance Stephenson. Possibly fearing a return to the Cleveland-era teams without support, Lebron left South Beach in favor of sunny Hollywood and a 3yr/$68.33M contract. The Lakers' large-market advantage paid off to help woo Lebron who will join Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol in the Purple and Gold. Some question how two alpha-males of Kobe and Lebron will mesh, but James answered similar questions when he joined Wade and Bosh in Miami. It will be an interesting and exciting season in Lakerland to say the least.


Miami retains Bosh, adds Millsap and Chandler
When Lebron James and Chris Bosh opted out of their contracts with the Heat, things could have ended very poorly in Miami. They might have ended up with an aging Dwayne Wade and no superstar help next to him, but managed to survive Lebron's departure as well as could be expected. Chris Bosh was retained with a 3 year contract worth $39.18M. With the cap space left, the Heat added Paul Millsap to play in the frontcourt next to Bosh. Millsap and Bosh provide Miami with arguably the best shooting frontcourt duo in the league to space the floor for a hopefully healthy Dwayne Wade. The Heat also added forwards Wilson Chandler, Tyler Hansbrough, and Derrick Williams in addition to bigmen Samuel Dalembert and Timofey Mozgov. The Eastern Conference got even weaker with Lebron's departure to L.A., so the Heat may still find themselves as a quality choice to make the conference finals.


Knicks sign Rubio to place with Melo
Carmelo Anthony opted in to a player option last offseason, giving the Knicks one season and an offseason to build a contender around him. Melo was convinced well enough this summer by the Knicks' pricey offer to resign for 3 years and over $60M, including a player option for a $22M 4th year. The Knicks also made a solid move in building around Anthony by signing Ricky Rubio to upgrade their PG position. Rubio brings superior passing and defense for New York around Anthony's shooting and offensive prowess. Tim Hardaway Jr. has made a huge leap forward in his development and is ready to step into a larger role. The Knicks also signed guards Lou Williams and Alexey Shved.


Rondo stays in Boston with 4 year deal
Despite the rebuilding state of the Celtics and the free agent offers from teams closer to a championship, Rajon Rondo remained in Boston by signing a 4yr/$57.85M deal. The young core of Sullinger, Olynyk, and Bradley have had multiple seasons to develop and support the veteran leadership of Rondo and Jeff Green. The Celtics hope those 5 players can carry them back to the postseason sooner rather than later.


Dirk resigns in Dallas as a Mav for life
Dirk Nowtizki has resigned with the Mavericks and will remain in Dallas until the age of 40. The 37-year-old received a 3-year deal worth $23.5M and will likely be a Maverick for life. Nowitzki has spent his entire 18-year career thus far in Dallas.


Frontcourt duo resigns in Memphis
After a disappointing end to the season, the Grizzlies kept their core together by resigning both Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph. Both received 4-year deals to remain with the Grizzlies along with Mike Conley and recently acquired #1 overall pick Douglas Taylor.


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Kings keep Rudy for 5 years

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The Sacramento Kings announced an agreement with F Rudy Gay on a 5-year contract extension worth $54.5M. The Kings retain their star wing to compliment Demarcus Cousins and the rest of their retooled roster. Gay's initial $10M salary in 2015-16 was the first move in the Kings' free agency efforts, who had over $24M in cap space to use. Gay, 29, was acquired by the Kings from the Raptors midway through the 2013-14 season. The 5-year deal will keep Rudy in Sacramento until the age of 34. Gay's signing is significant in that it is a commitment to the Kings for the remainder of his prime years in the NBA. In a smaller market like Sacramento, the Kings often need to overpay in free agency to retain their own players, much less sign players from other teams. But Rudy's deal is a fair value for now. Gay's contract will begin at $10M in 2014-15 and escalate to $11.8M in year 5. In his first full season in Sacramento last season, Gay averaged 18.1 PPG, 5.2 RPG, and 3.1 APG while shooting over 47% from the field and 40% from three. The Kings were aggressive in free agency in an effort to improve the team and maintain the momentum of their recent playoff appearance.

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Kings pry away restricted free agent Iman Shumpert

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The Sacramento Kings signed restricted free agent G Iman Shumpert to a 2yr/$12.15M offer sheet which includes a $6.47M team option for a 3rd season. The Knicks guard played all 82 games in New York last season with averages 13.4 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 3.5 APG, and 1.4 SPG in 34.6 MPG. Thanks to being a restricted free agent, New York had the right to match the offer sheet and retain a young talent like Shumpert. Yet due to the rising stardom of Tim Hardaway Jr., the cheaper additions of Lou Williams and Alexey Shved, and the cap space required for their offers to Carmelo Anthony and Ricky Rubio, the Knicks declined to match the Kings' offer and were forced to let the quality guard walk.

Shumpert comes to Sacramento as a defensive force on the perimeter that the Kings clearly lacked last season and especially in the playoffs. The Georgia Tech product brings quality two-way play that the Kings can utilize frequently with his defensive ability, 3PT range spotting up, and athleticism to run the floor or make backdoor cuts in the half-court. For such a versatile player, the main and possibly only obvious downside to Shumpert is his durability as he played 59 games in his rookie year and then only 45 in 2012-13. But two healthy seasons headlined by his full 82-game campaign last year put those concerns to rest well enough for the Kings to make their offer. Shumpert reportedly got the promise of a starting role from the Kings to provide his defensive ability against the talented wings in the NBA. Starting Shumpert at the 2 would mean a demotion for Ben McLemore who is expected to assume a 6th man role off the Kings bench next to fellow 2013 draftee Ray McCallum. Their friendship and good chemistry leaves them as the favorites to provide consistent bench scoring. The Kings may also utilize 3-guard lineups with two of Shumpert, McLemore, and Allen Crabbe on the wings at the same time.

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Mbah a Moute returns to Sactown

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In the wake of their signings of Rudy Gay and Iman Shumpert, the Sacramento Kings further bolstered their depth with the addition of defensive specialist Luc Mbah a Moute. Mbah a Moute signed a 2yr/$6.75M contract with a team option for a 3rd season. The Cameroon Prince comes to the Kings for his second stint with the team after playing half of the 2013-14 season in Sacramento. He was traded to Minnesota in exchange for Derrick Williams midway through the season. He dealt with a few minor injuries and never found his traction in Minnesota, and played just 60 games overall that season. In 2014-15, Mbah a Moute was again traded, this time to Cleveland for Nate Wolters. Entering free agency seeking a fresh start and a consistent role, Mbah a Moute accepted the Kings' multi-year offer to bolster their perimeter defense next to fellow free agent signing Iman Shumpert. In a smaller role than his first stint with the Kings, Mbah a Moute will back-up Rudy Gay at the small forward spot and will primarily receive minutes in games against superstars like Lebron James, who the Kings will now see four time a season with the Lakers.

Derrick Williams, who ironically was acquired by Sacramento in exchange for Mbah a Moute in 2013, was not retained by the Kings in free agency and instead signed with the Miami Heat.

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2015-2016 Opening Day Rosters


Philadelphia 76ers

Additions: Tim McMillan (R)
Resigned: None
Notable Departures: None
Starting 5: M. Carter-Williams - T. Wroten - L. Deng -T. Young - N. Noel


Charlotte Hornets

Additions: Gilbert Andrews (R)
Resigned: Kemba Walker
Notable Departures: Carrick Felix
Starting 5: K. Walker - G. Henderson - M. Kidd-Gilchrist - C. Zeller - A. Jefferson


Milwaukee Bucks

Additions: Carl Stephenson (R)
Resigned: Brandon Knight
Notable Departures: None
Starting 5: B. Knight - O.J. Mayo - Giannis Antetokounmpo - Ersan Illyasova - Larry Sanders


Chicago Bulls

Additions: Pierre Trichet (R)
Resigned: Kirk Hinrich - Trevor Booker
Notable Departures: Nazr Mohammad (Retirement)
Starting 5: D. Rose - J. Butler - N. Mirotic - T. Gibson - J. Noah


Cleveland Cavaliers

Additions: Duane Wiley (R) - Carrick Felix
Resigned: None
Notable Departures: None
Starting 5: K. Irving - D. Waiters - D. Wiley - A. Bennett - T. Thompson


Boston Celtics

Additions: Darnell Griffin (R) - Quincy Goodrich (R) - Thomas Brand (R) - Gerard Singletary (R)
Resigned: Rajon Rondo
Notable Departures: Brandon Bass
Starting 5: R. Rondo - A. Bradley - J. Green - K. Olynyk - J. Sullinger


Los Angeles Clippers

Additions: Jonas Jerebko - Mo Williams - Kenneth Barrow (R)
Resigned: Jameer Nelson
Notable Departures: None
Starting 5: C. Paul - J.J. Redick - J. Dudley - B. Griffin - D. Jordan


Memphis Grizzlies

Additions: Douglas Taylor (R)
Resigned: None
Notable Departures: Courtney Lee - Ed Davis
Starting 5: M. Conley - Q. Pondexter - T. Prince - Z. Randolph - M. Gasol


Atlanta Hawks

Additions: Shawn Marion - Landry Fields - Amare Stoudemire - Marshall Alexander (R)
Resigned: None
Notable Departures: Paul Millsap
Starting 5: J. Teague - J. Jenkins - S. Marion - A. Stoudemire - A. Horford


Miami Heat

Additions: Paul Millsap - Derrick Williams - Wilson Chandler - Tyler Hansbrough - Samuel Dalembert - Timofey Mozgov
Resigned: Chris Bosh - Norris Cole
Notable Departures: Lebron James - Chris Andersen - Shane Battier (Retirement)
Starting 5: M. Chalmers - D. Wade - W. Chandler - P. Millsap - C. Bosh


Utah Jazz

Additions: Jamar N'Diaye (R)
Resigned: Alec Burks
Notable Departures: None
Starting 5: T. Burke - A. Burks - G. Hayward - D. Favors - E. Kanter


Sacramento Kings

Additions: Iman Shumpert - Luc Mbah a Moute - Vladimir Sankovic (R) - Trent Lewis (R)
Resigned: Rudy Gay
Notable Departures: Derrick Williams - Bismack Biyombo
Starting 5: R. Jackson - I. Shumpert - R. Gay - J. Henson - D. Cousins


New York Knicks

Additions: Ricky Rubio - Lou Williams - Alexey Shved - Luke Babbit
Resigned: Carmelo Anthony
Notable Departures: Iman Shumpert - Amare Stoudemire - Andrea Bargnani
Starting 5: R. Rubio - J.R. Smith - L. Babbit - C. Anthony -T. Chandler


Los Angeles Lakers

Additions: Lebron James
Resigned: None
Notable Departures: Jermaine O'Neal
Starting 5: J. Farmar - K. Bryant - L. James - P. Gasol - J. Hill


Orlando Magic

Additions: Byron Mullens - Elton Brand - Mikael Andersson (R)
Resigned: Tobias Harris - Nikola Vucevic - Darren Collison
Notable Departures: None
Starting 5: D. Collison - V. Oladipo - T. Harris - G. Davis - N. Vucevic


Dallas Mavericks

Additions: Desmond Warner (R) - Junzhe Chow (R) - Kevin Washington (R)
Resigned: Dirk Nowitzki
Notable Departures: Vince Carter (Retirement) - Samuel Dalembert - Jose Calderon
Starting 5: D. Harris - M. Ellis - L. Storey - D. Nowitzki - A. Varejao


Brooklyn Nets

Additions: Brandon Bass - Earl Clark - Chris Andersen - Harvey Nicholson (R)
Resigned: None
Notable Departures: Kevin Garnett (Retirement) - Chauncey Billups (Retirement)
Starting 5: D. Williams - J. Johnson - P. Pierce - B. Bass - B. Lopez


Denver Nuggets

Additions: Jose Calderon - Carson Bonner (R)
Resigned: Kenneth Faried
Notable Departures: Wilson Chandler - Timofey Mozgov - Randy Fove
Starting 5: T. Lawson - E. Fournier - D. Gallinari - K. Faried - J. McGee


Indiana Pacers

Additions: Wesley Matthews - Orlando Johnson
Resigned: Luis Scola - C.J. Watson
Notable Departures: None
Starting 5: G. Hill - P. George - D. Granger - D. West - R. Hibbert


New Orleans Pelicans

Additions: Bojan Bogdanovic
Resigned: Al-Farouq Aminu - Omer Asik - Julyan Stone
Notable Departures: None
Starting 5: J. Holiday - E. Gordon - T. Evans - A. Davis - O. Asik


Detroit Pistons

Additions: Kendrick Perkins - Royce White - C.J. Leslie - Gerardo Diaz (R)
Resigned: None
Notable Departures: None
Starting 5: B. Jennings - K. Caldwell-Pope - J. Smith - G. Monroe - A. Drummond


Toronto Raptors

Additions: Bismack Biyombo - Mirko Semenko (R)
Resigned: Greivis Vasquez - Jimmer Fredette
Notable Departures:
Starting 5: G. Vasquez - D. Derozan - T. Ross - C. Boozer - J. Valanciunas


Houston Rockets

Additions: Jeremy Lin - Caron Butler
Resigned: Marcus Thornton - Patrick Beverly
Notable Departures: Francisco Garcia (Retirement)
Starting 5: J. Lin - J. Harden - C. Butler - K. Love - D. Howard


San Antonio Spurs

Additions: Andrea Bargnani
Resigned: Kawhi Leonard - Danny Green - Anthony Randolph - Darnell Swift (R)
Notable Departures: Manu Ginobli (Retirement)
Starting 5: T. Parker - D. Green - K. Leonard - A. Bargnani - T. Duncan


Phoenix Suns

Additions: Courtney Lee - Ed Davis - Francis Watson (R) - A.J. Price (R) - Devon Lewis (R)
Resigned: Markieff Morris
Notable Departures: Emeka Okafor - Douglas Taylor (#1 Overall Pick)
Starting 5: E. Bledsoe - C. Lee - D. Overton - E. Davis - A. Len


Oklahoma City Thunder

Additions: Arthur May (R)
Resigned: Thabo Sefolosha
Notable Departures: Nick Collison
Starting 5: R. Westbrook - J. Lamb - K. Durant - S. Ibaka - S. Adams


Minnesota Timberwolves

Additions: Julian Richmond (R) - Zach Walsh (R) - Jamal Bishop (R)
Resigned: Chandler Parsons
Notable Departures: Ricky Rubio
Starting 5: N. Wolters - C. Brewer - C. Parsons - T. Jones - N. Pekovic


Portland Trailblazers

Additions: Travis Mobley (R) - James Watson (R)
Resigned: Joel Freeland
Notable Departures: Wesley Matthews
Starting 5: D. Lillard - C.J. McCollum - N. Batum - L. Aldridge - M. Leonard


Golden State Warriors

Additions: Dorell Harris
Resigned: Klay Thompson - Marshon Brooks
Notable Departures: None
Starting 5: S. Curry - K. Thompson - A. Igoudala - D. Lee - A. Bogut


Washington Wizards

Additions: Tyler Jacobsen (R) - Joshua Graves (R)
Resigned: Chris Singleton - Glen Rice Jr.
Notable Departures: None
Starting 5: J. Wall - B. Beal - O. Porter - Nene - A. Bynum
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Re: - Here We Build - 2015 Rookie Introductions

Postby Vespasian92 on Fri Sep 05, 2014 9:44 am

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2015 Rookie Introductions

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Vladimir Sankovic: Most European prospects sign a contract to play internationally instead of coming to the US to play in the NBA. When they are eligible for the NBA draft, they usually have their rights selected in the second round and most never come to the league. But Vladimir Sankovic didn't fit the usual pattern. The 22-year-old Serbian national made it known that he wanted to be drafted and come over to play in the NBA immediately. His 6-9, 230 pound frame made him an intriguing prospect, but average athleticism and sub-par defensive abilities ultimately would make him an average international talent overall. Usually he would have lasted until the second round. But his intention to come play for whomever drafted him pushed his draft stock into the first 30 selections.

Kings owner Vivek Ranadive made news as the first Indian-born owner in the NBA and shared his vision of "NBA 3.0" as a global game. With an owner with an international interest and the franchise that was the longtime NBA home for two of the better international players in recent history in Vlade Divac and Peja Stojakovic, the Kings seemed like a good landing spot for Sankovic. It became clear that the interest was mutual, as the Kings traded with the Raptors to move up from pick #30 to pick #19 to target the Serbian forward. Needing better perimeter shooting and having few plans to retain forward Derrick Williams, the Kings had Vladimir as an easy choice on their draft board. Sankovic comes to the Kings and will probably get consistent time with the minutes Williams will leave behind. Many consider the Serbian a tweener lacking the speed to defend 3s and the size to guard 4s. But, like most international prospects, he has excellent shooting ability. With Rudy Gay on board for 5 years and the signing of Luc Mbah a Moute, the Kings can afford to wait on Sankovic and see if he develops into the offensive force that his shooting suggests. He will wear #17 with the Kings after donning #34 in his previous play in Europe.

Trent Lewis: Center was obviously the last of the Kings' worries considering Demarcus Cousins' presence on the roster, but Sacramento chose to select another bigman with their second round pick acquired from Milwaukee. Coming from a single season at Ohio State, Trent Lewis is a high-upside center with a good shooting stroke for someone of his size. Standing 7-1 and weighing in at 255, he already has legitimate size for an NBA center. He displayed impressive shooting ability in college and was a threat from the college 3PT line. His consistency may not extend to the NBA three right away, but he is a threat in the pick-and-roll with his ability to step back and shoot the ball. His face-up game, pick-and-pop ability, and a solid touch on fadeaways out of the post make Lewis a solid project to gamble on. Despite his length and size, he was only average in terms of defense and rebounding at Ohio State. If he can improve these areas, he may easily find himself with a consistent NBA role. The Kings traded Bismack Biyombo on draft day, but still have Jason Thompson to play behind Demarcus Cousins. Lewis will have at least one season to develop before the Kings decide whether to give him the primary backup role or not. He will wear the same #45 for the Kings that he wore in college.
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Re: - Here We Build - 2015-16 Season Review

Postby Vespasian92 on Fri Sep 05, 2014 9:44 am

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Sacramento Kings 2015-16 Season Preview


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Despite the trade rumors and tumultuous relationship in recent years, Jason Thompson and the Kings seem to have mended fences


2014-15 Season: 40-42
Notable Additions: Iman Shumpert, Luc Mbah a Moute, Vladimir Sankovic (R), Trent Lewis (R)
Notable Departures: Derrick Williams, Bismack Biyombo

Last season was clearly a positive one for the Kings thanks to the death of their decade-long playoff drought. A first-round exit did little to dampen the high hopes, but did bring to light the biggest needs for the current Sacramento squad. Demarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay were consistently dominant in the Kings' 40 win season, and received additional help this offseason with the addition of Iman Shumpert to go with Reggie Jackson, Ben McLemore, and John Henson. A strong offseason has Sacramento receiving positive reviews and projections as a potential playoff team once again, but the Western Conference is as tough as ever and the Kings will need to answer some important questions in order to return to the postseason.

Do the additions of Shumpert and Mbah a Moute solve the defensive issues?
The Kings' 5-game exit in the playoffs to the Thunder was marked by big performances from the offensive stars of Durant and Westbrook. The utter lack of perimeter defenders for Sacramento was very evident. They added John Henson last offseason to provide some rim protection and length next to Demarcus Cousins, but he could not cover up all the mistakes that the perimeter defense made. The ability of Cousins and Gay to create offense frees the Kings to add defense-first players around them, which they did with Henson. This offseason saw them bring back Luc Mbah a Moute for his second stint with the team. But their most notable addition was Iman Shumpert. Shumprt is a two-way player, but will be called upon to be the defensive stopper for the starting unit. It's not hard to imagine that Shumpert and MaM will make Sacramento better, but will the team's defense improve enough to the level that a consistent playoff team needs? The real risk is if Luc Mbah a Moute continues to struggle with injuries and will be unavailable to provide his defense against the star forwards like Lebron and KD. Shumpert had Tyson Chandler behind him in New York, who is clearly a better defensive anchor than Henson is. Shumpert may not be able to gamble in passing lanes as much as he did with the Knicks, and his steals are a large part of the reason why he is considered a strong defender. The addition of individual defenders is good but the Kings will need their entire defensive scheme to improve in order to make the step forward on that end of the floor.

Can Reggie Jackson be a legitimate starting PG for a playoff team?
It seems like the Kings were asking this question about Isaiah Thomas not too long ago. Yet barely as soon as he had answered it, he was traded to Oklahoma City in exchange for Jackson. Jackson initially struggled with the Kings to find a balance between his own offense and trying to set-up teammates. Yet in the last month of the season and in their playoff series, Jackson found a rhythm and averaged over 6.5 assists. Cousins and Gay will still need a high number of attempts, and the new addition of Shumpert may call for more shots with the starting 5 than Ben McLemore deserved. Reggie Jackson will need to continue to improve his own shot selection and have the court vision to identify players like Gay, Shumpert, and McLemore when they cut to the basket or spot up on the perimeter. Jackson averaged a well-rounded 14.2 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 5.8 APG, and 1.5 SPG in his 29 games with the Kings last season, and he would need to post at least similar numbers, if not increases in his assists, to be considered a success.

Have the Kings and Jason Thompson found common ground?
Jason Thompson has been a regular rotation player in Sacramento for years and is a model of consistent production, but was falling further down the rotation in the past two seasons. Last season was his lowest of his career, averaging less than 10 minutes a night. Bismack Biyombo was brought over in the Isaiah Thomas trade and had an excellent opportunity to secure a role on a young Kings team. Thompson was expected to be traded instead of the rim-protecting center, but it was Biyombo who found himself shipped out when the Kings moved up in the draft. The Kings find themselves without any backup center to Cousins besides rookie Trent Lewis, who is probably not prepared for a larger NBA role yet. Thompson seems to be wanted once again in Sacramento, and reports suggest that both sides have changed their opinions. Thompson wanted more touches offensively, while the Kings wanted him to focus on consistent rebounding and improved defense. Yet JT did put in some work last season in his defense and averaged .6 BPG in those 9.9 MPG. Carl Landry is no longer on the team, which now puts Thompson as arguably the most capable post scorer after Cousins. With his better rim protection and a job opening for interior scoring on the Kings' bench, the Rider product suddenly seems to factor into the plan.

Do the Kings finally have depth or more mismatched parts?
The big addition of Iman Shumpert may do more than just improve the Kings' defense. Ben McLemore moves to the bench to play with his friend and fellow 2013 draftee Ray McCallum. The usual 7 on the pine will also include Quincy Acy, a refocused Jason Thompson, Luc Mbah a Moute, Allen Crabbe, and rookie Vladimir Sankovic. All seem to have a consistent role to fill, but it is unclear how they will mesh. Now with McLemore taking the backup minutes at the 2 and likely spot time at the 3, Allen Crabbe seems likely to be left out of the rotation despite his 40% mark from downtown last year. With a increased focus on defense, will Sankovic's shooting be enough to garner floor time over Mbah a Moute considering the vastly contrasting defensive abilities? Carl Landry was sometimes unfairly judged due to his relatively large contract, but he did bring consistent scoring off the bench when he was in Sacramento. With him no longer in the picture, Thompson will need to convert at an efficient rate to support Ray McCallum. McCallum shot below 40% from the floor last season, and might have similar struggles again this year without anybody else on the bench who can create a shot. McLemore, Sankovic, Crabbe, and Acy can all make shots, especially from three. But they play best when someone creates for them, and that pressure falls on McCallum. If McCallum performs well and Thompson responds with a strong season, then the Kings' bench looks strong. But it could fall apart if those two struggle. This question is one that is difficult to answer until the team steps on the floor.
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Re: - Here We Build - 2015-16 Season Review

Postby Martti. on Mon Sep 08, 2014 1:23 am

Shumpert's a big signing, he's pretty good in 2K. Wow, I've missed a lot of stuff. Not sure why you pulled the trigger on the Thomas deal, not really surprising OKC beat you.
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Re: - Here We Build - The end of an era

Postby Vespasian92 on Wed Sep 10, 2014 1:16 pm

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The end of the new era


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Demarcus Cousins, Rudy Gay, and the Sacramento Kings have all benefited from the relationship built in the last two seasons


In a brief two seasons, the Sacramento Kings have undergone changes in almost every conceivable area. New owners, new coaches, new players, new success and a new arena is on the horizon, all in a new era. The rudderless franchise that was a laughingstock of mismanagement and a prime example of what not to do is no more. Nobody is calling them the model franchise but the long climb out of the basement is one that Kings fans were pleading for. The product on the floor improved immensely behind a maturing Demarcus Cousins, an efficient Rudy Gay, and hard-working role players like John Henson and Quincy Acy who fit into the team's strategy. The mindless rebuild that the Kings were embarking on for a decade finally seems to be over. There is a plan in Sacramento.

Additions like an Iman Shumpert symbolize the changing mindset in Sactown. Call it the honeymoon era, call it the rebuild era, or call it the trash-dumping era. It is over now. The entire roster has been overhauled and now roster moves are aimed at winning. Shumpert is the kind of free agent signing that a non-contending small-market like Sacramento can barely dream of landing. The Lebrons and Carmelo Anthonys of the NBA certainly aren't coming to Sacramento, and a player of Shumpert's level is a top-shelf signing for the Kings. These kinds of moves show that winning is now important, that money can and will be spent to improve the team, and that the continuous support of a fanbase like Sacramento's deserves the same kind of constant effort from those in charge of the team. This Kings team is no longer a rebuild or reclamation project. This season marks the beginning of yet another new era, marked by the quest for a championship contender and a place at the top of the NBA. In Sacramento they built, now can they reign?
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Re: - Here We Build - The end of an era

Postby Vespasian92 on Wed Sep 10, 2014 1:23 pm

Well guys, unfortunately I will have to end this association here. In addition to my college courses and considering my transfer options, I recently got a great new job that will take away much of my time to keep this going. I'm a little disappointed because I really liked my team now with Shumpert and my rookies. I'm happy with making this last for two full seasons though. Hopefully once I settle into a routine I can get back into a quality story thread.

I had a lot of fun with this as my first or second successful attempt at a thread. Keeping a thread made my association much more enjoyable too. Thanks for all the feedback and comments. Maybe once some things settle down for me and with all the new features coming in 2k15, I'll start "Here we Reign", as the title already writes itself :)
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Re: - Here We Build - The end of an era

Postby Kevin on Wed Sep 10, 2014 9:40 pm

Sad. I hope you comeback soon, though. :D
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Re: - Here We Build - The end of an era

Postby TGsoGood on Wed Sep 10, 2014 11:49 pm

This was a classic story thread! I will try to recreate you team and post the roster file in the downloads section here if you would like.
Of course I would need your association file. If you could attach that file in this thread that would be great, if not that is OK too.
But this was truly a great thread. Great writing and informative plus great screenshots.
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