Kings Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Sacramento Kings and the NBA.

October 7, 2010
Was the Rookie of the Year at Arco Thursday night?

Clippers Kings Basketball.jpgThursday night was my first time seeing Blake Griffin in person since last year's summer league. And he was nothing short of spectacular.

He dunked over two Kings for a putback dunk. He didn't miss a field goal in scoring 18 points and grabbing 13 rebounds. He did all of this in the first half.

Griffin missed all of last season with a knee injury so he's eligible to win Rookie of the Year this season.

The No. 1 overall pick in the 2009 Draft is skilled and a superb athlete. He's playing next to an All-Star center in Chris Kaman, so his life will be a little bit easier in the paint.

John Wall gets plenty of attention as this season's favorite to be Rookie of the Year. But I wouldn't count out Griffin.

His presence makes the Western Conference a little tougher for the Kings to move up in this season. And he'll probably play with even more fire, considering he was the favorite to win ROY last season before his injury.

*The Kings looked worn out Thursday in losing 120-88 to the Clippers. I'm sure some of the players would like a day off, but the way they played means they'll get more, not less, work.

The only players that have been repeatedly praised for being in shape have been Pooh Jeter and Jason Thompson.

And I can assure you that with a team this young, the coaches aren't buying just being tired as an excuse.

*One thing that's been consistent in two preseason game is Paul Westphal mentioning some problem with the defense.

It was pick-and-roll defense against Phoenix. Tonight's problem was excessive fouling. The Kings had 19 fouls in the first half. Even without Tyreke Evans most of the night and no Beno Udrih because of injury, that's way too many.

*Without Evans after the first quarter and no Udrih, Jeter played a game-high 38 mintues, 37 seconds. Luther head also saw extensive time, playing 19:53 and finishing with 11 points.

Jeter and Head will probably play a lot Sunday in Oakland against the Warriors. Westphal said he's "not sure" if Udrih's sprained right shoulder will be well enough for him to play.

Udrih was injured in a collision during Wednesday's practice.

*Westphal said Carl Landry (6 of 13, 14 points) looked "OK" but still doesn't loook like himself. Westphal wants to see the quickness that made him an important player after being traded to Sacramento in February.

--Jason Jones

Photo: Los Angeles Clippers' Blake Griffin, bottom, takes a tumble between Sacramento Kings' Marcus Landry, left, and DeMarcus Cousins in the first half of an NBA preseason basketball game Thursday, Oct. 7, 2010, in Sacramento. AP Photo by Dino Vournas

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