CK Press Box Report – Sacramento Kings 102, Phoenix Suns 96

Quotes of the Game

Keith Smart on DeMarcus Cousins‘ outting:

I think this man is a unique individual.  You don’t find too many guys that love to rebound, but can also shoot from a distance.  He’s a unique guy.  You don’t find that many guys that can do some of things that he does.  I told him last year, if you want to shoot threes, you have to get in and work on them.  Now, he can put the ball on the floor when a guy drives at him, but he can still do what he needs to do.  What he needs to do is work on his post game.  I told him I don’t want him hanging out too much up on perimeter shooting jump shots, because in game number 35 on the road somewhere, you won’t be able to find that jump shot.  He needs to work on the downstairs, working below the foul line, and still be able to be effective there.  On the road, we may need you there then we need you at the top of the floor.

James Johnson on his defensive effort:

That’s what I do.  I’m a basketball player, but I know where I’m supposed to be on the defensive end.  I used a lot of training camp for review and it paid off.

Thomas Robinson on his performance:

It was cool – I thought I played with a lot of energy on the defensive end.  I think that was just my main focus tonight, just to guard them and try to be a good defender.  That was pretty much it.  The offensive part – I hit shots, I got to the free throw line – but mainly my whole focus was to try to be a defensive stopper.

Notes and Analysis

  • James Johnson was better than advertised in his Kings debut tonight.  The versatile wing played very well next to Thomas Robinson and Chuck Hayes.  He finished the game with nine points, seven rebounds and led the Kings with three blocked shots.
  • Jimmer looked good. I’m not sure what the plan is for his playing time this season, but he seemed more comfortable in his NBA skin.
  • The Kings played very selflessly this evening.  In the first quarter, Isaiah Thomas was overheard saying, “Hey, we’re being too unselfish.”  While there were a few suspect shots thrown up, the Kings avoided playing hero ball for most of the evening.
  • DeMarcus Cousins is definitely the “go-to guy” right now.  The big man took a few too many 3-pointers (one of three for the evening), but finished with a healthy 21 points and nine rebounds in just 26 minutes against Marcin Gortat.
  • Thomas Robinson is active on the glass. In fact, the Kings have a very strong rebounding team when you factor in Cousins, Jason Thompson, Chuck Hayes and even Johnson.  It will be interesting to see how Robinson’s game translates to the pro game.  He really likes the perimeter jumper.
  • Stat of the Night:  The Kings recorded seven blocked shots.  They averaged just 4.8 blocks per game last season.  Coach Smart noted how pleased he was with their help-side defense tonight.

James Ham

Additional reaction – At the buzzer: Sacramento Kings 102, Phoenix Suns 96

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