7 takeaways from Kings vs. Warriors inside the shark tank
Thursday night’s preseason game between the Sacramento Kings and Golden State Warriors had the atmosphere and intensity of a mid-January tilt between division foes.
There was a lot to take away from the Kings’ 105-96 loss, but here are a few things that really jumped out at me watching from the second row behind the scorer’s table.
COUSINS BALLED OUT
DeMarcus Cousins was a monster both inside and outside. He helped run the floor in transition, knocked down a couple of threes and finished with a team-high 20 points on 8-of-11 shooting. He looks ready to go from a basketball standpoint.
WAY TOO MANY TURNOVERS
The Kings turned the ball over 21 times. While the game was ultra competitive it was also pretty sloppy for both teams. The Kings had a lot of turnovers in the final minutes – Jordan Farmar and Lamar Patterson combined for five turnovers in 18 minutes during the second half.
WHO LOOKED GOOD BESIDES BOOGIE
Matt Barnes was his usual badass self in 21 minutes off the bench – including when his hard foul in the third quarter sparked some barking between Cousins and multiple Warriors. Barnes scored 12 points and hauled in eight rebounds. He took 12 shots, which might be a few too many, but he was good in transition and knocked down a couple of clutch shots.
Ty Lawson was extremely active and it turns out that Cousins’ expletive-filled description of his speed earlier in the week is pretty accurate. Lawson knocked down 3-of-4 from the field with a three and a pair of steals. It will be interesting to see what he does in the first eight regular season games without Darren Collison.
Garrett Temple was excellent running the point and playing defense against the West’s most lethal scorers. He scored 13 off the bench, hit 3-of-4 from downtown, grabbed five rebounds and dished out five. If you’re a Kings fan, you should feel good about the team’s depth and versatility at the two guard spots.
WHO DIDN’T LOOK GOOD
It was a rough outing for Rudy Gay, who just looked all out of sorts. He was wild in transition and ended up with three turnovers. He missed an open dunk after catching a lob in open space. Gay finished with three points on 1-of-7 shooting in 13 minutes.
THE BARK TOUGHER THAN THE BITE
In the third quarter, Cousins got out of his seat on the bench and walked out onto the court to give Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Kevin Durant a piece of his mind.
It was a hard foul at the rim by Matt Barnes that started the whole thing. The situation didn’t look good for Boogie who was doing a lot of finger pointing and calling out to the Warriors trio. Cousins was also mouthing off to fans 10-12 rows up behind the Kings bench.
Meanwhile, the Warriors bench was glaring Cousins’ way shaking their heads. Toward the end of the quarter during a pair of Kings free throws I could hear Green yell down to Cousins, “why you gotta be like that?”
While Durant stood next to him with arms crossed and a mean mug, Cousins flashes a smile back and while I couldn’t hear what he said, it was clearly something to lighten the mood. The stare-down from Durant and the chirping from Green turned into some laughing and more head shaking between the three Olympic Gold Medal teammates from the Rio Games.
TIP YOUR CAP TO THE DUBS
In typical Golden State Warrior fashion, they hit all the big shots they needed to pull away with the win. None bigger than the back-to-back threes by Ian Clark and Patrick McCaw, which gave the Dubs a four-point lead with under two minutes to play. I had a chance to see McCaw play at UNLV a handful of times and he hit those same type of shots there too.
Unlike Leo, I’m not willing to lay money down on the Kings making the playoffs. They certainly look like they will win more games than last year though. The team looked more energized under the direction of new head coach Dave Joerger.
I’d like to see Willie Cauley-Stein be more aggressive on the offensive end. He was one of a few Kings that had a very timid approach in Thursday’s game and he’s too big of a beast to be shy. The Kings will not make the playoffs if Rudy Gay plays anything like he did on Thursday.