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Two In A Row. Is It Possible?

the kings are becoming one of my favorite teams to watch. they've been hot lately, especially at home where they have a great crowd (even better than portland's), so i don't expect us to win tonight

I completely backtracked on my prediction in the radio show tonight. Oh well, I guess I guaranteed I'd be right in one medium.

If you missed it, you can listen here. You can also subscribe through iTunes.

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mike reply to Brian on Dec 30 at 21:32
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thanks i usually listen to them at work the day after you record them

OK, Willie is 99% out, according to Kate Fagan, which I guess could mean only his defensive game is available (get it?)

Anyway, same starting lineup:

Iverson
Lou
Iguodala
Thad
Dalembert

I believe Evans is playing, should know in a minute or two. I'm on the fence now about this one, interested to see how the starters come out after the tip.

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Ryan F reply to Brian on Dec 30 at 22:26
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nice

Shit, Evans isn't playing. Was looking forward to AI9 on him.

I guess that moves Iguodala onto Casspi.

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Rich reply to Brian on Dec 30 at 22:08
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It gives us a better chance to win, but I am kind of mad Evans isn't playing. I saw him play in high school and he always had that NBA game, well, except for the jumper. That will develop though and it's not hurting him too bad right now.

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mike reply to Brian on Dec 30 at 22:09
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crap i'm kind of bummed about that. forgot he didn't play the other night either.

And we're off.

Lou gunning early.

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EruThePhenom on Dec 30 at 22:13
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Iverson should have a nice game today too

iverson's mid-range jumper has been money since he's come back. wonder if he's been working on that the last couple years.

Iverson on Casspi to start. Lou is having trouble staying in front of Beno, I shit you not.

Very sloppy start.

10-2 w/ a free throw coming. Ugly, fast.

Lou still gunning...

Fuck, that was a dunk. Stonehands Dalembert.

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Rich reply to Brian on Dec 30 at 22:21
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Yes it was, and he wasn't even ready for it.

Think Westphal likes the matchup of anyone on Iverson?

I wonder if Jordan is looking longingly at Willie...

Get Lou or AI off the floor. AI on Greene is terrible.

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EruThePhenom on Dec 30 at 22:19
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Brand and speights should come in now, damn were playing really bad

Down 10, I assume Brand is coming in here. Spot them 10, then bring Brand in, blame Brand when you lose. Eddie Jordan's coaching philosophy in a nutshell.

It's impossible because Eddie Jordan is a moron. If there were ever a night to throw out a big lineup. What a stubborn ass

the Brockness Monster, huh?

No change? Stubborn ass

Same lineup.

The horrible thing is we're getting lucky, these guys have missed some easy ones

Man, Green has had point-blank looks four straight times down the floor.

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EruThePhenom on Dec 30 at 22:24
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Iverson looks like Greene's son or nephew

Brand in for Sammy. Anyone have any idea why?

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Jesse reply to Brian on Dec 30 at 22:26
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Because Sammy is sucking on offense. Guess who likes offense.

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Ryan F reply to Brian on Dec 30 at 22:28
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Sammy was scoreless. why else?

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EruThePhenom on Dec 30 at 22:25
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LOL Brand with a little running with the ball

Yeah, that was a walk. Oh well, makes up for the two whistles they didn't blow last time down the floor when he got hacked.

I think Carney was signaling traveling when he came back to the bench :)

Jordan is probably complaining to the refs that they didn't blow the whistle on Brand's walk.

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Ryan F reply to EruThePhenom on Dec 30 at 22:27
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Don't want to lose the upper hand

EB with a baby J.

Sick lineup Jordan has in there now.

Alright, Jrue got his first one to go, usually a good sign.

I like the 10 footer for Jrue.

I REALLLY like the left hand finish.

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EruThePhenom on Dec 30 at 22:30
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Nice mid range jump shot by Jrue and then the penetration

Jrue and EB have to take the initiative for this lineup.

Smith is such a stiff.

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Alvin reply to Rich on Dec 30 at 22:33
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I shall call him Jason Stiff from now on, until he mans up.

Nice feed by Jrue to EB.

What happened on that turnover, was it a bad pass by Smith?

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DeanH reply to Brian on Dec 30 at 22:34
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Yes

Don't you love the free throw shooting with this team? And Jason Smith is so un coordinated!

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EruThePhenom on Dec 30 at 22:35
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Damn Brockman has one hell of a nose

Kenny Thomas?!?

Smith is pretty good, huh?

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DeanH reply to Brian on Dec 30 at 22:37
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Has he always been this bad? Or is this the improvement EJ has had on his game?

A little of both. He was bad, but he's gotten worse.

17-28 after one.

Wonderful rotations by Jordan.

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Rich reply to Brian on Dec 30 at 22:39
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Jrue-Carney-Kapono-Smith-Brand.

What a ridiculous lineup.

3 turnovers for a PF in 4 minutes. Awesome.

They don't even take commercials in between quarters in Sacto, apparently.

Sergio Rodriguez blows by Lou. Awesome.

Get Iverson back in there so we can stop running this shit offense please.

Layups and dunks, brutal.

I love the overhelping. Donte Greene is looking like a point forward because the team refuses to make him actually score the ball off drives.

amazing! speights has tied his season (maybe career high) for assists in this game with two assists.

Again, EB holding the fort and keeping the team within striking distance.

EB has a mismatch. Wonder if that thought has gone through Eddie Jordan's head.

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EruThePhenom on Dec 30 at 22:49
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Brand is playing like a different player from the start of the season when he was down on the block he wouldn't go up strong, he would just punt fake

Called finding your rhythm. You know, the thing Jordan talks about when he mentions being patient with AI or Lou or anybody else but Brand...

Westphal is a smart coach.

Just think, Westphal was Sac's consolation prize; they actually wanted EJ

Talk about a lucky break, huh? Stefanski should get a bonus from the Maloofs, or at least a comped suite at their casino.

lol. Its like, you could have a below .500 coach your franchise previously fired or a coach who actually reached the Finals before, and they actually preferred the loser?

Get Thad in for AI or Lou. It's like he doesn't care about winning.

Matchup zone. Saving Iverson's legs.

Pretty, pretty drive and dish by AI9 to Brand.

Too bad AI9 doesn't make plays off the dribble, or we could really use him in the back court, huh?

Holy shit what a dunk!

I think his knee is better :)

I think Speights has three blocks this quarter. Make that four. He looks pissed after getting burned a couple times right after coming onto the floor.

Roughly 8 minutes in the first half for Sammy. No foul trouble either.

Kapono in for defense.

AI9- 6 assists, ZERO turns. That is what I call efficient.

"That's your opinion." - Eddie Jordan.

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Rich reply to Brian on Dec 30 at 23:08
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I don't get why Jordan even complains about making plays off the dribble. He just wants his team to take 20 footers anyway. No need to make a play for that.

Try this:

AI9's last 6 quarters = 15 assists, no TOs

But he can't make plays right?

I think at least 10 of those assists were for dunks or layups too. Not just BS passes around the perimeter.

Exactly. Doesn't even include easy shots that weren't converted or were stopped by fouls

Much better second quarter. Tied 50-50 at the half.

What do you guys think, do they pull this one out?

I think the fact that this is even a debate when facing a sub .500 team missing its top 2 players is yet another reminder of how much Jordan sucks...

That said, depends on whether or not Greene learns to hit easy hooks while Jordan insists on him being guarded by a grade-school kid

What do you think the Vegas 2nd half line is? -5 Sacto probably.

That's what I'd set it at.

I am still stunned at Jordan's failure to understand matchups on either end. Defensively, he's obviously inept, but how can an alleged offensive guru ignore offensive mismatches?

They ran a Screen/Roll with Dre/Brand in the 2nd that produced a dunk. In fact, SAC defensed it so poorly that there were only three possibilities: Brand Dunk, Dala Dunk, or a possible And-1 foul by SAC. Yet, they never ran that play again for the rest of the half.

I guess he got pissed that Brand got a dunk off of Iguodala's playmaking huh?

Incredible.

Wait, is brand starting the third?

nope

AI/Lou to start the half. I mean, can't they split time unless the Kings go small?

"Guys have earned their spot in the starting lineup. It's a sensitive subject." - EJ, the day before he benched Brand the first time.

Iverson's J looks so much better than it did before he left.

Bad outlet by Sammy there, 3pt play on the end of it too.

Bad shot by Lou, made it though

Good follow by Thad. He's been quiet tonight though. I hope this doesn't become a trend with AI in the lineup.

I think it has more to do with Thad not getting any minutes. Jordan refuses to play him at the three.

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Rich reply to Brian on Dec 30 at 23:34
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That's what I mean. I thought AI would hurt Thad by his style of play, but the main thing is that it cuts into his minutes.

Yeah, Jordan must play AI3/Lou in the back court.

Man, Thad has had a couple of bad games in a row since he entered Jordan's doghouse. He's rebounding tonight, though.

There's the first three for SAC, I believe. They start hitting those, this gets ugly fast.

Iggy should've fed Brand there in the post. Kicked it across the floor to AI9 instead.

Ivey instead of Jrue. Jrue's done for the game, I assume.

Brand/Speights is devastating offensively.

Nice move by Thompson there. Why they weren't going to that when Thad was guarding him is beyond me.

3 for AI9.

EB got out of the lane on that play. Even if he didn't, it only would have been a fast 3 seconds that he was in there. That was absolute BS.

Over-passing.

Silly lineup here: Brand, AI9, RC, RI, AI3

0 FTA for AI9, again. Don't like that one bit.

EB on the blocks. count it.

This is a stupid lineup. AI is pulling out all of his tricks to score it in this game.

Someone explain to me why, with that lineup, Brand was out guarding Beno beyond the three-point line? WTF?

You have four smalls on the floor and Jordan is up off the bench yelling at Brand to get out to the three-point line to guard him? I just don't fucking get it. There wasn't even a pick set, nothing to throw off the defense and force a switch.

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Rich reply to Brian on Dec 30 at 23:51
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EB bailing his coach's ass out again by playing good D as well.

Three-point lead heading into the fourth, and my head is about to explode.

Rodney Carney! Man.

EB out of the double to Carney for three.

3 x 4 for Carney. Nice.

Up 8 w/ the & 1.

Put them away early?

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Rich reply to Brian on Dec 30 at 23:58
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Thad to the line to shoot two as well. Looking pretty good...

Why are we switching everything now. 3rd possession in a row with Brand on Rodriguez. Crazy, but it's extended the lead.

No idea. Good D by Brand on that last one.

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Rich reply to Brian on Dec 31 at 0:00
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Looking at the game, it might be because it's Sergio Rodriguez. Not quite Deron Williams by any stretch.

5 on Brand. Primoz here?

Big game for Carney, huh?

WTF is Ivey doing on those P&Rs? He's 20 feet under the screen. Stupid.

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Rich reply to Brian on Dec 31 at 0:05
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I know and he's not even getting under in an efficient manner. All hell could break loose on the play.

2 bad defensive possessions in a row. A shockingly good timeout by Jordan. Very little Speights in the 2nd half tonight.

Wow, Lou has been freakin huge tonight. Three after a very good, hard foul. 20 for him on the night.

That was the left knee that got hit on that P and R. AI's the biggest warrior I've ever seen play though...

Iverson hasn't forgotten how to get to the line.

Funny that Jordan is going w/ the starting lineup here, they were -7 in their action to this point.

OMG I think Jordan loves Iggy now. A 20 foot jumper would be the one to do it.

:)

I was just thinking Jordan must have a semi on the bench right now. Jumpers falling all over the place.

So why did Ivey get those 10 minutes in the second half instead of Jrue?

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Rich reply to Brian on Dec 31 at 0:16
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I guess because he played well last game. IDK though.


Wow. AI9 with another sterling 15 point game. I can't even talk about how much he affects the game. His line is crazy.

They better not give that TO to Iguodala. Hit Dalembert right in the hands.

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Rich reply to Brian on Dec 31 at 0:17
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No, Sammy got that one as he should have.

4:01 Andre Iguodala bad pass

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Rich reply to Brian on Dec 31 at 0:26
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I rewound the tape. There's no TO at 4:01. He inbounds the ball to AI, that's all. I saw that too, it must be off.

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Rich reply to Rich on Dec 31 at 0:29
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NVM, yeah it was a few seconds earlier. Sammy should have caught that though.

Yup, they gave Iguodala the turnover. Oh well, he was at 18 assists, zero turnovers in the past two games before that.

Another dagger 20 footer from Iggy. Oh man, I bet anything EJ's post game might even refer to AI9 as "his star."

Brand finishing at the line. Fitting because he held them together after the rough start. He was excellent again in only 27 minutes tonight.

Thad with the finish on the oop from Ivey. Sweet play.

Alright, back-to-back wins for the first time since early November, I think.

116-106.

Thanks for taking part, guys. Not sure when I'll get to the wrap.

only 3.5 out of the 8 spot!

Only on an Eddie Jordan team could a fan consider giving up 30-pt fourth quarter to a team down their 2 best offensive players as a sign of progress.

Man, even when he wins he pisses me off.

AI9's line- 39 minutes. 7-10 FG 1-2 from 3, 4-4 FT, 7 boards, NINE assists, 1 steal, 1 block, AND ONE B.S. TO (Sammy should have had the pass).

With all apologies to Lou, who was excellent, this is your player of the game.

Lou was good on O, but a nightmare on D.

Dre wins, imo

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eddies' heady's on Dec 31 at 0:45
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Amazing what knocking down some shots and making your fair share of threes can do. Just an all around scrappy effort from everyone sans J Smith. Even early in the first quarter with the sloppy play, they were exerting good energy and hustling.

The Jordan era lives on. It's only 51 more games to go in this season with him as the head man. Well coached and good/different combinations on the floor tonight. But the effort and shot-making takes the cake.

I'm holding firm that it's still mostly the players. Because they sure seem to be coming around with that somehow hard-to-find pride and finally-found beating-heart. The intensity, all-out hustle, and especially the communication has sustained itself for two straight games - may be the first time all year that was displayed by the guys.

Injuries are hopefully a thing of the past and the many close losses are starting to turn the other way now. Two good finishes and close-outs in a row. Back-to-back will be tough tomorrow night and keeping their two bigs off the glass. Equal them on the boards and someone/anyone contain Baron's creation and it should be three in a row.

Yep, shooting 52.5% from the field and 56.3% from three is usually enough to out-score a sub-.500 team without their two best players. Kudos, Eddie Jordan. Especially loved the Jrue, Lou, Kapono, Smith, Brand lineup midway through the first quarter. Stroke of genius.

Baron shot 2-15 tonight from the floor against the Blazers in a close loss. That means there will be a distinct chance he will be annoyed tomorrow night, and finding himself on national TV being guarded by one of EJ's "oompa-loompas" from the tip could mean serious trouble

Few thoughts:

- When Iggy plays within himself (doesn't take a lot of 3s/lazy long jumpers and try to do everything himself on the offensive end) like he did tonight, he is one of the better all-around forwards in the game. Unfortunately, he just doesn't do this often enough.

- Carney had his highlight game of the year tonight. Made more buckets (5) and 3s (4) than he had in the previous month. If Carney could actually shoot with any kind of real consistency, he would actually be a very useful bench player in the NBA.

- I guess winning is better than constant losing (which can be poisonous to a team with so many younger players) but this was one of the rare road wins the 76ers should have taken against a team missing their 2 best offensive scorers.

Is it me or as Young's progress actually regressed a bit so far this season even though his overall stat line is pretty similar to last year?


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